Westside Campus Embraces Sustainability Efforts Through Art

April 9, 2014 -- Students, faculty and staff at the Westside Campus embraced the college’s sustainability efforts this spring through several art projects using discarded material.
Westside Campus Embraces Sustainability Efforts Through Art

Jul 17, 2015


The projects also coincided with Artzjam, an annual arts event at the Westside Campus, and next week's college-wide Earth Week activities.

“We became really engaged during the RecycleMania event and wanted to do more,” said Mary Bates-Ulibarri, Westside Campus Reference Librarian and part-time art instructor. “Several of the art faculty decided to join in the endeavor and have students use waste materials as their medium in creating works that express environmental themes.”  

Students in one of Lea Anderson’s art classes wove 1,215 plastic bags into a 30-foot long noose. Another used India ink and white paint on paper bags to produce a woman with a scowl, representing an unhappy mother nature. Other students stitched together recycled scraps of junk mail, cereal boxes and cardboard – making a colorful collage hanging from the ceiling in the CNM Connect Center.

Bates-Ulibarri said she is most excited about the “Bottlefall” project -- a waterfall-like image made of plastic water and soda bottles located on the second floor atrium of the Westside I building. The idea was inspired by African artist El Anatsui, who uses discarded materials to create monumental pieces of art. Anyone can come, choose materials from the bins of washed and precut pieces of bottles and string them together to add to the overall composition.

“There is no predetermined composition, so anyone can add to it – or take away from it or rearrange it in any way they choose. The more people who participate, the more dynamic it will become,” Bates-Ulibarri said.

Among CNM faculty and staff involved in the Earth Week projects and Artzjam are; Bates-Ulibarri; Anderson; Mark Love-Williamson, CHSS humanities instructor; Veronique Kaemerer, CHSS English instructor; Sue Ruth, CHSS anthropology instructor; Ellen Davis, art studio technician; Carson Bennett, CHSS English instructor; and Miguel Sedillo, administrator in CNM Connect.