Using Art as a Vehicle for Change

Advertising Agency: BBDO Malaysia, MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur / Advertising Agency: Duval Guillaume, Belgium
Science alone isn't enough to change the hearts and minds of many. Art is the only thing that can do that. Art has the power to really make people think. So when you use art to deliver a sustainable message, people are far more likely to sit up and take notice. Or better yet, to stand up and act.

The implications for art intersecting with sustainability are huge. Using this unbelievably powerful tool—this endless creative resource each of us has—literally can change the world. There is tons of new art coming out that's been produced sustainably with natural, eco-friendly materials. There is art with a sustainable message. There are seed bombs. There is upcycling. The intersection of art and sustainability is the intersection of the heart and the mind. It is the synthesis of everything dear: fundamental survival, connectedness to the natural world, beauty, and love.

Because science is about facts, but the science of sustainability also involves questions underpinned by values. This is where art comes in. Consider how thought-provoking a piece of art can be. Think of how timeless pieces—the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, that famous Campbells soup can, has inspired wonder in people. If art can inspire cathedrals, the pyramids, the entire marketing world of the 21st century, just think of how art can provoke people to consider their perceptions of sustainability. 

This is one of the central tenets utilized in betterArts residencies—the program itself appeals to people who want to use art as a vehicle of change. BetterArts attracts artists from all over the world who have an environmental message to share with the world through their artwork. Whether upcycling trash, creating pieces out of invasive plant species, or the like, betterArts residents explore some of the world's most profound environmental issues in a beautiful way.

Check out some of the following pieces, used for social issue ads (compiled over at BoredPanda) and see just how intense the messages are when clever artists are at the wheel:

See more here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.