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This project is my exploration of what environmental art is for myself as an artist and how it can be used to save the environment.

Do you have concerns about the environment? Do you wonder what you can do to help?

I know I do but I am not an Agronomist, or Biologist, or Ecologist. What I am is a concerned artist and what can an artist do?

This is what I know.

Art Heals . Art Teaches . Art Informs . Art Enriches . Art Creates Change

But how can art change the world?

I'm on a mission to find out and you can help! 

I'm going west on a journey of discovery.

I will go armed with a camera, video recorder, laptop, and an inquiring mind.

I will follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark.

I will explore The Confluence Project created with artist Maya Lin.

I will explore and discover what Environmental Art is and what it can do to precipitate hope for the future.

I will compile all I gather and create a show, a book, and DVD featuring the viewpoints of artists, environmentalists, and volunteers involved in the project as well as my interpretations and ART.

It will be amazing!!!

"Through art and place, the Confluence Project strives to increase awareness of how we treat each other and the Earth, with a strong, positive emphasis on envisioning the future–for the next seven generations and beyond. We draw on the emotional power of art as a catalyst to inspire the future preservation of our cultural and natural resources." ~Maya Lin

I didn't write that but it sounds an awful lot like what I strive for. It was all I needed to know what my project would be.

My plot:

  •  So far I have contacted the Board of Directors for the Confluence Project and they have agreed to help me organize meeting with team members, artists and project coordinators for interviews and tours.
  • Before leaving I will continue to contact relevant people and more places of interest to visit. I will contact additional artists and environmental conservationists in the area for interviews and opinions on how art and environmental conservation and restoration can work together.

I am planning a 10 day adventure during which I plan to do the following.

  • I will travel from Sacajawea State Park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers to Cape Disappointment State Park at the mouth of the Columbia River at the Pacific Ocean.
  • I will stop at all the Confluence Project sites regardless of completion and document my observations in photos, video, audio as well as written word and drawings in a journal Lewis & Clark style.
  •  In addition to the arranged interviews I hope to conduct impromptu interviews with those I meet in my travels. I will hug strangers and exchange emails with them. I will take pictures of everything and everyone.

Upon my return the serious work will begin. I anticipate being ready to present my findings by fall of 2011 but never having done this kind of work I may be off. It is my intention to do the following, but again that may change somewhat in ways I can’t anticipate. It is an adventure after all!

  • I will create multimedia DVD compiled of my findings and featuring my art and photography with contributed music and other elements not yet imagined.
  • I will create an e Book of similar contents and with luck publish a book as well. The DVDs contents will be formatted as a teaching tool, but could be used as a presentation accompanying a show as well.
  • I will create a show of my show of my work that stands alone or in combination with the above.

My goal in all of this is to create a beautiful body of art work as I learn how we can use art to raise awareness and action on behalf of the planet. I will be working to further define what environmental art is and what it can do. I am imaging the point of confluence where art merges with environmental restoration.

I see this as the starting point for many new projects for myself and other artists. I want to bring back what I learn and inspire environmental art projects in my community and elsewhere on the east coast, as well as approach educational institutions and environmental programs about using this work for public awareness. This is only a the first step in what I see as really big work. 

So what exactly am I asking you to fund?

  • I will use funds to cover my travel expenses and lodging while in Washington and Oregon, as well as supplies and equipment needed for the trip and proper documentation of the sites. Additional funding will go toward the creation of the DVD eBbook and showing of prints from the trip. I will create a limited edition of fine art prints for sale with profits going back into the project and beyond that to the funding of environmental restoration in my area.  It is my hope that future projects will arise out of this and ideally installations in the spirit of Confluence Project may occur. If I raise enough money I may buy a Sacajawea action figure to travel with me :-)

To learn more about me and my art work please check my website and blog at http://www.gwynmichael

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    The above PLUS a postcard from the road.

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    the above PLUS credit on the project website AND a4x6 print.

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    the above PLUS a limited edition 8x10 print.

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    the above PLUS an invite to the launch party for the finished project AND 5 trees planted in your name.

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    the above PLUS I will do a custom tree portrait of any tree in the within 100 miles of Philadelphia.

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    the above PLUS a limited edition hard bound book designed by me.

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    the above PLUS executive level credit on any publications and projects that are a result of this project AND a limited edition 18x24 print.

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    the above PLUS I will bring the presentation/show to you (within the continental US)! I will work with you to curate an exhibition of the work in the city/location of your choice. You will be listed and recognized as the primary sponsor of the show, and host.

Funding period

- (35 days)