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Environmental Studio cluster students visit food justice art exhibit

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Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Students from one of Westminster College’s spring cluster courses, Environmental Studio, recently traveled to the Pittsburgh art gallery Contemporary Craft to observe the interdisciplinary nature of a food justice art exhibit.

“Food Justice: Growing a Healthier Community through Art,” running until March 19, is a socially-engaged art experience that critically explores the complex human issues that can shape and influence positive change in food security.

“Because of the visionary, poetic and transformative potential of art, you will see, feel, and understand the issues of food insecurity in new and meaningful ways,” according to Contemporary Craft’s website.

While very few of the students in the cluster, which features the integration of the art course Sculpture and Science and the environmental science course Project-Based Environmental Science, are fine art or science majors, they realized the potential and power of the exhibition.

One of the pieces “showcased how long and hard the process [of acquiring Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits] to get approved is,” said junior Abby Green, a business administration major from Brentwood, Tenn. “This exhibit, composed of receipts, was very effective…the receipts were all around you and you could read and see it all and walk into it which was really cool.”

Students in the project-based cluster course are currently working in teams on art projects that visualize data about food insecurity and making podcasts featuring interviews with artists who work on themes related to environmental justice. Some of their project work will be presented at Westminster’s annual Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration (URAC) on April 27.

The cluster course is taught by Summer Zickefoose, assistant professor of art, and Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry and environmental science. For more information about the course, please contact Zickefoose at or 724-946-7267.