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Youth Climate Advocacy Committee Sustainable Art and Fashion Gallery

Phipps Youth Climate Advocacy Committee Presents Sustainable Art and Fashion Gallery in The Center for Sustainable Landscapes!

Sustainable art is a creative expression that does not harm the environment address topics that include climate change and social justice. It does not follow any fixed rules and can manifest in many different creative processes and art forms. Materials that can be used in sustainable art include salvaged, upcycled and organic materials as well as renewable energy sources. Similarly, sustainable fashion is a term that refers to protecting both the environment and the people who produce clothing. Due to unethical production methods within the fashion industry, workers tend to be underpaid and subject to harmful environments. The industry is also detrimental to the environment through issues like deforestation, emissions, and pollution. Through best practices, we can work toward making our fashion habits more sustainable while still cultivating a unique sense of style. These best practices can include buying second-hand clothing, reducing water waste, recycling and upcycling clothes, supporting local businesses and avoid greenwashing.

From this year’s Phipps Youth Climate Adovacy Committee (YCAC) cohort, the sustainable art and fashion group led by Marley McFarland, Greta Engel and Ruby Frazier decided to continue YCAC’s tradition of hosting a sustainable fashion show while also making the project their own by incorporating artwork. This resulted in the planning and implementation of a sustainable art and fashion gallery for youth to create art to be showcased to the event attendees. They also wanted to provide a space for youth to work on their art projects. This led the group to host a workshop for individuals to learn about sustainable art and fashion with designated work time. To fuel inspriation for the participants' projects, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse stopped by for the workshop discuss their mission and lead a button-making project using found materials from their store. Phipps’ YCAC members are passionate about sharing sustainable fashion and art habits and encourage youth to implement this in their creative work.Thank you and congratulations to the youth artists featured in this gallery who used sustainable materials to create these amazing pieces.

YCAC is a group of 25 teens and young adults who care deeply about the climate and about environmental justice issues. Throughout the cohort year, youth in the committee develop climate and environmentally related initiatives of their choice. These initiatives are entirely youth-led and youth-driven, with Phipps supporting with resources and supplies. We are able to offer this program thanks to the generous support of the Heinz Endowments.

Madison Clark

Title: Spike

This is my piece, Spike. It is a crochet animal made to resemble a rhino. I used almost entirely recycled scraps to crochet this piece: everything from string scraps to plastic bags ripped and tied into a long string. I use my piece to show the dangers of overconsumption of material items and how we as humans often are unaware where our resources come from. 

Jo Fernandez-Jenkins 

Title: Think of the Children

Concerned birders, hunters and conservationists advocated to pass the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 after thinking of the bleak future their children and wildlife would have. Wood ducks were almost massacred to extinction, but thanks to those dedicated individuals, they are the most populous game bird in the Atlantic flyway. While hunters and conservationists may seem at odds, they are truly birds of a feather with fierce care for wildlife’s future. We stand at a precipice too and can still unite to work to reverse climate change and create a sustainable, bright future for all living beings. 

Ruby Frazier

Title: Moon Planet

My piece is made from clay, as well as over and underglaze. I created the basic shape of the moon and added the face. I added a face to the moon to show how the moon is always looking down on us, and how we look back at the moon. We stare up at the sky and I thought it would be interesting if the moon was always looking back at us. 

Kaylee Koch

Title: In our Hands

My piece depicts two hands holding up the Earth made of recycled materials. This piece is made using acrylic paint on canvas, recycled cardboard, and scraps from receipts, magazines, and packages layered on top. I am very interested in the environment and finding out the little things I can do that will make an impact. Through my artwork, I wanted to convey that we have the power to create change. Overall, I am proud of this project; it pushed me out of my comfort zone and turned out how I had imagined. 

Eliza Sterbal

Title: Stop Willow Ware

I am very passionate about protecting the environment. I try very hard to reduce and reuse, not wanting to buy a lot of new clothing. I feel like my dress is a great example of how someone can reuse what they already have to create a very comfortable and functional dress, which in my case includes a message about protecting the environment. I hope it encourages others to sign petitions and write letters to the government to try to put a stop to the Willow Project! 

Mariko Joy Ito

Title: Certified Wildlife HabiHAT

This HabiHAT is a picture of a native garden. It includes all the criteria for a native habitat garden. It was inspired after our own garden, which was certified by both the National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. I did not destroy any habitat during the making of this hat. I am a huge advocate for sustainable gardening/native gardening. I put my passion for gardening into this hat, and I believe that it is a realistic picture of a sustainable garden. Passion, conviction, and a love for nature can save our deteriorating planet. 

Sidney Rice

Title: Great Gatsby Flapper Dress

As someone who loves both books and sewing, projects like this are my absolute favorite. I love using all kinds of fabrics in sewing, but using mediums like book pages or other reusable materials is always challenging and interesting. I used old muslin fabric to create the base. I drafted and draped a simple dress and then, piece by piece, I attached the book pages onto the fabric. It was a long and slow process, but I’m very happy with the result! 

Yukiko F. Ito

Title: Genesis

I believe that although it is important to take action concerning sustainability, we must first cultivate a sustainable mindset. This piece depicts neural mass, in which a single neuron shines brighter and is bigger than the rest. It also resembles a seed. This represents the birth of an idea that leads to sustainable action. The following poem is part of the artwork:

Green is not a style,
It is a mindset.
Deep in the tangle of neurons,
A single synapse
A faint green light is born.
It spreads, an energetic flame.
This is the beginning
Of the Green Revolution
We seek.
The seed of inspiration
Must sprout
In fertile imaginations
Before change can Occur.
Green is not an adjective.
It is a commitment.  

Miles Bornes

Title: 100% Real Wild-Caught Fresh Atlantic Salmon

In my art piece, I sought to shed light on the detrimental effects of fish farming on our environment. Through the intricate use of cardboard and recycled beads, I aimed to convey the complexity and interconnectedness of this issue. Each element meticulously crafted represents the layers of impact, from habitat destruction to water pollution. The use of recycled materials speaks to the urgency of sustainability and the need to rethink our approach to food production. By creating this artwork, I hope to provoke thought and inspire action towards more ethical and environmentally conscious practices in the realm of aquaculture. 

Marigrace Garvis

Title: The Carapace

My inspiration for this piece was my grandmother. She used to live right near the beach, but now lives with my family. She misses the beach every day, and her favorite animal is a sea turtle. I decided to make this piece out of recycled newspaper and seashells from Myrtle Beach. Inside the turtle, I also used some of my grandma's word search puzzles to incorporate her more within the design. 































































































Photos © Brodie Bard

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