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Eco-Art for Everyday Life

Beverly Naidus

June 21st (Sunday evening) to June 28th (Sunday Morning)

This course offers an opportunity both to learn about Eco-Arts and to develop a public project with the guidance of the facilitator. Participants will explore different ways of incorporating eco-art practices into their everyday life and their communities.  We will discuss some of the ecological issues facing us both on the local and global level, look at the work of contemporary eco-artists, and develop some collaborative site-specific projects.

Born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1953, to two New Yorkers, Beverly Naidus grew up in Massachusetts, Maine and New Jersey. She received a BA from Carleton College and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Early recognition in the New York City art world offered her many opportunities to exhibit her interactive installations and digital art projects in diverse venues, including mainstream museums and city streets. Inspired by lived experience, topics in her artwork include the environmental crisis, global warming, unemployment, the alienation of consumer culture, nuclear nightmares, body hate, celebrating cultural identity, confronting racism and anti-Semitism, and envisioning utopia and global justice.  Beverly Naidus' artist's book,   One Size Does Not Fit All (1993) about healing body hate, is used by therapists, women's studies programs, and support groups internationally.  Her art has been discussed in books by Paul Von Blum, Lucy R. Lippard, Suzi Gablik, Lisa Bloom and others, and reviewed in many contemporary journals. She was a finalist for the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant Program and has received numerous grants, including a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant in photography.

In the early 1990's, while teaching activist art and intermedia as a tenured professor at Calif. State U, Long Beach, Beverly developed a disabling environmental illness provoked by extensive exposure to smog and pesticides.  In 1995, after years of struggling to get well, she fled Los Angeles with her husband, and a newborn son in arms, for the relatively cleaner air of Western Massachusetts.  While she deeply regretted leaving the dynamic feminist and burgeoning eco-art community of southern California, she needed to get back her health.   She slowly began her healing process while co-teaching her summer course in Activist Art in Community at the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE), with her husband Bob Spivey.  

During the eight years she lived in Shelburne Falls, MA, she developed her work as a digital painter and photographer.  One project, called Canary Notes: The Personal Politics of Environmental Illness focused on the stories of people getting sick due to the environmental crisis, corporate negligence and the drive for profit.  The other projects, What Kinda Name Is That? and vOther: Breaking Out of the Box exposed stories of "otherness," experiences of oppression and fears of difference.  During that time she was a faculty member at Goddard College in four of their low residency programs (BA and MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, ISE and the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts).  She also taught at Hampshire College during their Jan term, and as her health improved she was able to offer guest lectures and lead workshops all over North America and in Europe.

In 2003 she was offered a position at the University of Washington, Tacoma where she has created a new interdisciplinary and socially engaged, studio arts curriculum.   She received tenure in 2005.  Her new book, Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame (New Village Press, 2009) discusses this new curriculum in great detail and offers the stories of 33 other artists who teach art for social change, including those of Amalia Mesa-Baines, Martha Rosler, Suzanne Lacy and Krzysztof Wodiczko.  Her writing about socially engaged art pedagogy has also been published in two books ( New Practices New Pedagogies edited by Malcolm Miles and The Arts, Education and Social Change: Little Signs of Hope edited by Mary Clare Powell and Vivien Marcow Speiser), and in articles in Radical Teacher , the New Art Examiner , and the National Women's Studies Association Journal .   

Beverly currently lives in the middle of the woods on Vashon Island, WA with her teenage son, Sam Oak Naidus Spivey, and her husband, Bob Spivey (founder of SEEDS: Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School, www.socialecologyvashon ).  After many years of exploring a wide variety of healing strategies, and completely changing the way she eats, she is now extremely healthy.  She and her collaborator, Shahreyar Ataie, have just begun work on a new eco-art project, Reframing Eden , that will be part of the soil restoration and permaculture project at the historic and highly toxic Beall Greenhouses on Vashon.  She is an active member of the international eco-art listserve: www.ecoartnetwork.org .

Tuition/Room/Board All Inclusive

Tuition, includes room & board (4 Tiers Available):
   Student Rate: Economically challenged students and the unemployed: $365
   Regular Rate: Employed but struggling (teacher, librarian, lots of kids, etc.): $390
   Professional Rate: Actually contributing to your retirement plan (support the arts!): $425
   Contributor Rate: Contributing additional funds to support the Earthdance Scholarship Fund: $475

Room & Board: Included in tuition.
Deposit Required*: $75

Limited work study is available for the SEEDS Festival. For information, click here.

Arrival Sunday 6/21 at 6pm
Last session ends Sunday 6/28 at 12 noon


*You will not be officially registered until we receive your deposit. If your registration is cancelled up to 3 weeks prior to a workshop, you may either transfer the entire deposit amount to another event or be refunded 1/2 of the deposit. Cancellations within 3 weeks of the start date are not eligible for a refund or transfer.


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