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ASU kicks off Campus Sustainability Month with a chalk art event

Campus Sustainability Month is a celebration with University hosted events meant to inspire communities to educate themselves on sustainability

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Different color chalk used to create an art piece on Tempe campus Wednesday, Oct. 5 2022.

October is Campus Sustainability Month, and ASU is hosting events and activities throughout it to celebrate and educate the University community on sustainability. 

ASU has taken advantage of art to inform the community about sustainability. This month's art events include The Pathway to Sustainability, a chalk art event, and Solar Sewing Machine Artwork with Paul Nosa, a sewing event.

Sustainability and art are able to complement each other in a way that is “approachable and speaks to people in different ways,” said Susan Norton, assistant director of University Sustainability Practices, in an email.

“Using art to reach and teach individuals about sustainability is an easy way to make people think differently and helps to connect the dots that sustainability comes in many forms and actions," Norton said.

A Pathway to Sustainability was the kick-off to Campus Sustainability Month at ASU. The event was held on Oct. 5 at the Student Services Lawn near the Memorial Union.

Multiple artists drew and created a chalk path that stretched along the walkway for students to follow as they walked past. The design included five key points of sustainability that connected from point to point along the pathway.

The five key points are: reduce waste, eat real, get active, conserve energy and conserve water.

Jennifer White, a returning artist for the chalk event at ASU, hopes the event will grab the attention of students passing by to see the art and the purpose behind it, even if they do not stop.

White described the event as an interactive way to encourage students to be a part of creating a sustainable campus. The event is about “having fun” while still getting the important information, White said.

Choosing the medium of chalk gives the ability for the art to remain “for days and allows for a greater reach for our sustainable messaging,” Norton said.

The Solar Sewing Machine Artwork event will take place on Oct. 13 and feature artist Paul Nosa who will be creating embroidered patches with his adapted sewing machine.

Nosa has connected solar panels to his sewing machine, which makes it portable and sustainable. All the power is drawn directly from the sun. If the panels on the sewing machine are not producing enough electricity, Nosa uses his van installed with solar panels to charge up.

When Nosa creates his embroidered patches from upcycled fabric pieces, he asks other individuals for five words or less to inspire his embroidered creation. By asking others for their input on the piece, he intends to draw out their imagination and creativity. 

The main mission of Nosa's, from a sustainability standpoint, is to demonstrate that art “can be done off the grid." His art is completely produced through sustainable energy because it is “a necessary function to go solar,” he said.

"We have found that using art to speak to sustainability tends to attract a diverse crowd," Norton said. "We started using chalk art as a way to engage the campus when social distancing was needed and it was so successful that we have continued to use this platform to reach the campus community."

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Wyatt Myskow and Kristen Apolline Castillo.

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Claire Le GalloCommunity Reporter

Claire Le Gallo is a reporter for the Community and Culture desk at The State Press. She is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Anthropology.

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