The EcoArt Treasure Coast project was implemented for two years, 2009 through 2010 but has had a lasting effect on Martin County. This project introduced the concepts of ecoart to Martin County as a powerful tool to use in addressing our environmental concerns through the use of art. The Arts Council secured grant funding to bring this cutting edge concept to life, and since that time has seen projects sprout up that have roots from the original project.
Funding for this initial launch was provided by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach & Martin Counties and the State of Florida/Division of Cultural Affairs. EcoArt Treasure Coast (2009-2010) had two primary components: (1) the EcoArt Symposium, and (2) the apprenticeship with capstone exhibition.
The EcoArt Symposium featured:
- Sam Bower, founder and president of greenmuseum.org, the most comprehensive Web site on environmental art movement.
- Eco-artist Xavier Cortada on his Florida mangrove reclamation and native tree reforestation projects.
- Eco-artist Betsy Damon on her creation of the Living Water Garden Park in Chengdu, China.
- Eco-artist Michael Singer on the energy plant in Greenpoint, N.Y., that he designed to be friendly to plants and migrating birds.
Exhibits at the Court House Cultural Center
- Installation of mangrove propagules and documentary to start Xavier Cortada’s Martin County reclamation project and companion ecoart project in the courthouse park.
- “EPA: Environmental Performance Art” on loan from Exit Art, the New York gallery. Exhibit features eight of the more than 30 artists included in Exit Art’s 2008 EPA show.
- “The Indian River Lagoon: Gateway to Saving the Everglades,” the documentary on the lagoon and St. Lucie River produced by The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
- “Ganga -- from the Ground Up,” about man-made damage to India’s sacred Ganges river, with “A Gathering of Waters: The Rio Grande, Source to the Sea,” about a symbolic carrying of river water to the ocean.
- “Nor Any Drop to Drink – Palestine,” about the impact of water shortages on Palestinians, with “Concrete Creek,” by Israeli Eco-Artist Shai Zakai, whose artwork helped save a creek that had been used as a dump site.
- “Croaking Frogs: Before it’s too Late,” about efforts to save the broadest mass extinction of a species since the dinosaur, with “Malap Amphibian Deformity Project,” which studies threatened amphibians through fine art imaging.
- “Water and Autonomy,” which examines the lack of potable water for indigenous communities in Mexico, with “Desert Rainwater Harvesting,” about how Native Americans worked with eco-artists, and university professors and students to improve water management and promote tribal culture.
RAM Real Estate Provided EcoArt Treasure Coast with Palm City Studio Space: Ram Realty Services donated a studio space to EcoaAt Treasure Coast. Located in the Martin Downs Town Center in Palm City, the space will hosted exhibitions, apprentice and community meetings and serve as an "idea foundry" for the project's six apprentices as well as volunteers.
Suburban Subaru Sponsors EcoArt Transportation: Suburban Subaru of Stuart and Ed Vossen are provided EcoArt Treasure Coast's mentor artist, Betsy Damon, with a hybrid Subaru Legacy for her visits to Stuart during the course of her work with the project.
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties produced a video documenting the EcoArt Treasure Coast story.