photo of a garden hose and soil

Socially, Politically and Environmentally Engaged Artwork

The ES-Art major combines humanities-based research in environmental issues with a socially and politically engaged art practice. Coursework proffers a tool set aimed at transforming understanding of the flora, fauna, geography, geology, culture and politics of the Inland Northwest region by channeling it through an artistic idiom. Using irony, metaphor and a vast repertoire of visual techniques artists help us inhabit abstract and emotional terrain in which understanding of environmental issues becomes more meaningful and legible.

[Re]presenting Nature in the Anthropocene

The ES-Art major is designed to serve students whose deep interest in environmental issues dovetails with a developing capacity for creative thinking and production in the visual arts. Contemporary technologies, convictions and methodologies have given artists new tools for communicating the complex narratives of climate change in visual, artistic terms. The Art-Environmental Studies major is guided by the following questions: How have artists historically represented nature? What are the limitations of this kind of representation? How are artists engaging in new methodologies to explore, understand, transform and [re]present nature within the conceptual framework of the Anthropocene? Senior projects evidence formal artistic skill and focus while centering environmental content.

The Environmental Studies Art Major

Environmental Studies Courses

ES 120 Intro to Environmental Studies
ES 207 Methods of Analysis
Two ES Natural/physical science courses, including one with a laboratory
Two ES Social science courses from different departments
One ES Humanities course
One ES Interdisciplinary course
ES 479 Citizenship and Leadership

Art/AHVCS Courses

ARTH 103 Intro to Art History and Visual Culture Studies
One of the following 200-level ARTH courses:
226 Landscape and Cityscape in Ancient Rome
228 Mayhem, Machines, Manifestos: Modernism in Art and Architecture
229 Art Since 1945
230 The Social Life of Photography
250 Architectural History of Walla Walla
ARTH 352 Art/Environment
Two beginning level ARTS courses
ARTS 130 or 160
One Intermediate level ARTS course
One Advanced level ARTS course
ARTS 314 Art and the Anthropocene
ARTS 480 Senior Studio Seminar
ARTS 490 Thesis in Art Studio