Posts Tagged ‘ecoartist’

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Congrats Krisanne Baker

October 8, 2019

International award for innovative integration of ocean ed and creative arts

(Waldoboro, Maine) – Krisanne Baker, an art teacher at Medomak Valley High School, has won an Educator Innovation Award for effectively and creatively teaching students about ocean conservation issues and empowering them to be stewards of our blue planet. Baker received a $750 cash prize.

An eighteen foot Humpback Whale designed and directed by Catherine Johnson. Students are creating a 70′ ocean awareness mural that wraps around a student courtyard at Medomak Valley High School under Krisanne Baker’s Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care curriculum. Photo: Krisanne Baker

The Educator Innovation Award was presented by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs (Bow Seat), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit whose mission is to activate students through the arts, science, and advocacy to become the next wave of ocean leaders. Bow Seat’s flagship educational program—the global Ocean Awareness Contest—invites youth to learn about and explore the connections between human activities and the health of our ocean through visual art, writing, music, and film. Since 2012, more than 12,000 students from 106 countries and all 50 U.S. states have participated in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Bow Seat has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to help advance teens’ creative talents and passion for the ocean, as well as to educators who use the program as a tool to teach students about ocean conservation issues, apply classroom learning to real-world problems, and build students’ research and communication skills.

Aubrianna Nash and Kylee Miller work on their section of the 70′ mural.
Photo: Krisanne Baker

Knowing that our lives depend on the health of the ocean, Baker began a conversation about climate change in her art classrooms and found that no other teachers were addressing the subject. Baker developed the “Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care” curriculum to teach students how to use art to make a difference, specifically in ocean advocacy. When she offered her Studio Arts class the choice to work on Bow Seat’s Contest for an entire quarter and then submit their work to the competition, the students voted unanimously to do so. Krisanne’s Foundations of Arts and Creative Design classes learned  how to make accurate scientific illustrations of endangered Gulf of Maine marine animals, then created slumped recycled glass renditions of their creatures, which collectively will be a part of a display traveling from the town hall to local libraries to elementary schools beginning in 2020. The Foundations of Arts class now has a year-long focus on the Gulf of Maine.

“Bow Seat is committed to empowering ocean-conscious creators and changemakers who are using the power of creativity and imagination to bring people together to care for our shared planet,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “We are thrilled to have educators like Krisanne as a member of our global community, and we respect the incredible work she does to ignite her students’ curiosity, encourage their creativity, and open their eyes to their own power to affect change.”

Some examples of slumped and fused glass endangered ocean creatures from Baker’s Foundations of Arts and Creative Design classes at MVHS. Photo: Krisanne Baker

“Using art to educate people, especially young people, gives me hope for this planet,” said Baker. “As an ecoartist, my personal practice uses art as a means to make change. However, five years ago, I decided to do the same as an art educator.  I teach about climate change through art because when I asked my students who was talking with them about it, no one was. It’s a tough subject and in my mind, the largest looming local and global problem our young people face. In my 25 years of teaching, never before have I had students so impassioned, empowered, and empathetic.”

Art advocacy for North Atlantic Right Whale silkscreened t-shirt; Gulf of Maine: Endangered Ocean Species silkscreen unit.

Visit bowseat.org for more information about Bow Seat’s programs, educational resources, and global collection of student artwork. The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest, “Transforming Crisis: Climate Hope,” is open now through June 15, 2020, to students ages 11-18 worldwide.

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