Mix media sculpture created from glass, ceramic, water, and found object

Mix media sculpture created from glass, ceramic, water, and found objects. (Artwork used with permission by artist: Cole Schnaudigel SIU art education)

April 01, 2022

Eco-Art Conference and Symposium at SIU to focus on the art-science relationship

by Kamaria Harmon

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Eco-Art Conference and Symposium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on April 8 will promote the interdisciplinary partnership between art and science and how it contributes to mending issues in our environments. The event will focus on environmental concerns, sustainability and climate change.

This professional development conference and symposium is open to the public and targeted to professional and aspiring art and science educators. In addition, a public exhibition of participants’ artwork will be on display in the Vergette Gallery in the Allyn Building from April 3 through April 8. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Jody Paulson, the program coordinator for art education, says she hopes the conference will answer three questions centered on the areas of focus. “How do the arts deal with these issues? How does science approach these concerns? How do we work together to make a difference?” she said.

The conference and symposium will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Registration is available online now. Tickets range from $100 for professional educators, $80 for Illinois Art Educators Association (IAEA) members and $25 for students. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  

All participants who attend the conference and symposium are asked to submit artwork for the exhibition. There will be a reception and awards announcement directly after the conference.

Paulson said she hopes educators will bring what they learned back to their classrooms.

“I want them to have the confidence to have these conversations with their students,” she said. “Learn about greening your curriculum. Before asking students to save the Earth, help them love the Earth.”


Hilary Inwood, an outstanding postsecondary educator in environmental education in the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication and an artist at the University of Toronto, will speak on April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Morris Library Guyon Auditorium as part of the Visiting Artist Program (VAP). During her VAP lecture, she will be giving a presentation focused on her work as an artist and educator, and she will talk about her previous works and how she became an educator. 

Her free, public lecture will also serve as an informal welcome for conference attendees.

At the conference, she will deliver the keynote address, “Re-Imagining Art Education as Creative Activism,” and emphasize how creative activism will help solve environmental issues. Inwood will also lead a workshop, Eco-Art Education to Eco-Activism.

Workshops will be led by K-12 educators, experts, and graduate and undergraduate SIU students. A panel discussion will close out the conference, answering questions from participants and expanding on the relationship between art and science and its correlation with climate, the environment and sustainability.

Learn more

SIU College of Arts and Media, School of Art and Design, SIU College of Liberal Arts, Southern Illinois Art Educators Association, Illinois Science Teaching Association and the Green Fund: Sustainably Office are all sponsors of this year’s conference.  

For more information regarding the Eco-Art Conference and Symposium, visit the website at https://conferenceservices.siu.edu/conferences/eco-art.php or contact Jody Paulson at jodypaulson@siu.edu.