The MAHB Art Community: A reflection on the initiative and call for contributions

Gavenus, Erika | August 3, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Mandy Coppes-Martin Tragedy of the Commons 2016 Madagascan Silk, meranti wood and paper thread. 140x100x100 cm.  Learn more about Mandy Coppes-Martin's work here

When the MAHB launched its Art Community space in February of 2016, it did so in recognition of the ability for art to reach people on an emotional and instinctive level —a level often missed by traditional science communication tools that speak in facts and logic. Multiple, complex, existential challenges face the environment and society. By engaging people on an emotional level, creative approaches hold unique potential for bringing about the personal behavior and system changes required to address, or minimize, these challenges. To support these approaches the MAHB created a space for creative processes and products that consciously promote the changes needed for realizing a more sustainable and equitable future.

We were admittedly jumping in a little over our heads —or at least I was— but the incredible members of the MAHB Community have been instrumental in making this initiative a success. Thanks to the connections you all shared with us, what was initially envisioned as an open space for artists to post their work, grew into weekly articles published through the MAHB Blog. Since its initiation, we have had the pleasure of bringing you stories from a diversity of artists and scientists whose creative works highlight the challenges facing the environment and humanity. These artists have included world-renowned wildlife photographers and painters, wild silk artisans, educational game creators, musicians, and many others. It has been a truly humbling experience to learn about the work they have all taken on. Their stories have also shed light on how the arts and sciences can complement and elevate one another. This past spring we had the opportunity to partner with the 6&6 collaboration project to explore in depth how science-art collaborations can bring deeper understanding of the amazing natural world that surrounds us.

If you have not yet had the chance to explore these stories, I encourage you to do so. They can be found here. Many of the stories not only share the final creative works, but also delve into what motivated the artists to take on these themes and the processes behind incorporating them into their work.

The MAHB is currently looking for additional artists and creative works to highlight through this series. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in sharing a story please contact me at erika@mahbonline.org.


The above post is through the MAHB’s Arts Community space –an open space for MAHB members to share, discuss, and connect with artwork processes and products pushing for change. Please visit the MAHB Arts Community to share and reflect on how art can promote critical changes in behavior and systems and contact Erika with any questions or suggestions you have regarding the space.

MAHB Blog: https://mahb.stanford.edu/creative-expressions/mahb-art-community-recap/

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.