CSM Earth Day Celebration & Eco Art Poster Exhibition

Paul Hankamp, Biology Professor 
Vera Fainshtein, Associate Graphic Design Professor, Digital Media Department

College of San Mateo celebrated its 3rd Annual Earth Day on April 19, 2017 in the College Center. Continuing CSM’s commitment to our Sustainability Plan, this year’s event included a broad cross-section of sustainability themes, with special attention to social justice. The number of exhibits has increased from 19 in 2015 to 29 this year. Of the 29 total exhibits, 8 were student groups and 21 were community partners. Student participants visited a variety of organizations in four categories: Biodiversity, Water, Waste and Energy.

  • Botany Club showcased their Living Wall Installation.
  • Umoja and the Cultural Awareness Board did social-justice-themed presentations.
  • Fine Arts Club did a participatory art project in which 100’s of students made a collage made from 1000’s of squares of recycled paper.
  • Jazz Ensemble performed a set.
  • Mana students showcased their 10 poster presentations on climate change issues facing pacific islanders.
  • Geology Club showed land tortoises.
  • Astronomy Club set up solar scopes on the plaza for looking at the sun.
  • The Libray Makerspace hosted workshops including tote bags from up-cycled t-shirts.

Exhibitors included live animal ambassadors from Wildlife Associates presenting the “Spirit of the Rainforest” and live turtles on the green space in front of the College Center. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California State Parks, San Mateo City and County Sustainability Programs, Sustainable San Mateo, Recology, Fresh Approach, Breath California, CalWater, and New Leaf Community Market returned this year. Tesla, Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market Association, Costco and the San Mateo Bee Guild were new to the event. Over 70 student and faculty volunteers assisted at the event.

Students discussed sustainability ideas with each organization. After learning from these conversations, they collected a stamp. When they had collected four stamps of each type, they wrote a personal pledge based upon what they had learned about sustainable living. In exchange for the pledges, they received organic packaged snacks from companies committed to sustainable business practices. Prizes were raffled to the students that pledged. Over 150 personal pledges were received.

College of San Mateo Digital Media Department presented Eco Art: Graphic Design for Change, an international traveling poster exhibition. It is designed to inspire positive change in the community by promoting ecological values central to the global environment and sustainable lifestyles on a macroscopic scale. In addition to displaying the work of international designers, the exhibit features a selection of posters created by CSM design students, selected by the curator of the Eco Art show, Olga Severina. To provide successful design solutions, digital media students researched themes provided by Biology student research.

By bringing the Eco Art exhibit to College of San Mateo, the goal of the Digital Media Department was to raise awareness about current environmental issues, foster collaboration between Digital Media and Biology, and provide our students with a valuable opportunity to further their careers by showcasing their work in a prestigious design show. Both the exhibition and student posters contest will be on display at CSM through May 22.

Link to International Poster Exhibition and Student Poster Contest: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fanya37/34339141291/in/datetaken/