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Artivism: Regenerating Ecoliteracy, with Karen Viola

The resilience of our biosphere depends on an ecoliterate human society. Plastic has fascinating properties with both beneficial and harmful histories we are only beginning to fully understand. It is abundant, pliable, and durable, even archival in an awful way. Through experimentation with found plastic packaging as a primary medium, I explore ways we might regenerate and deepen our understanding of ecological systems on which our lives depend.

Karen Viola works and resides on ancestral lands of the Munsee Lenape, in White Plains, NY. Her extensive experience designing innovative children’s books and her love of nature informs her interdisciplinary art practice. Her art often gravitates to the book form using found materials, offering visceral, hands-on learning experiences that strive to nurture curiosity, ecoliteracy, and social connection.

Where: Online

Register here.


Karen Viola Artworks
Climbing Tree Design
Climbing Tree Design Instagram

The vision of Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation is to generate a movement with committed social artivists in response to historic global unrest. Artivism aims to generate community through multi-disciplinary teamwork for a more dignified and meaningful coexistence, however you define these terms. The goal of this initiative is to nurture confidence in taking continuous action from wherever you are by means of reciprocity.

 Artivism: The Power of Art Social Transformation, grew out of Illuminations of Social Imagination: Learning From Maxine Greene, (Dio Press, 2019), edited by Teachers College alumni Courtney Weida and Carolina Cambronero-Varela, and Dolapo Adeniji-Neill, of Adelphi University. “The concept for this book is inspired by the late Maxine Greene (2000), who described her enduring philosophical focus and legacy of social imagination as “the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient society, on the streets where we live, in our schools” (p. 5). The purpose of this volume is to examine and illuminate the roles of community organizers and educators who are changing lives through public art and community arts projects. This research originally emerged from a well-attended 2018 conference presentation and exhibition at Teachers College, Columbia University, engaging with the local and international community of arts education and arts administration.”

— Publisher’s Description

 Artivism: The Power of Art Social Transformation is jointly sponsored by Adelphi University, Sing for Hope, and the Gottesman Libraries.

Poster Image:  Schooling, Courtesy of the Artist

To request disability-related accommodations, contact OASID at 678-3689, as early as possible.


May 08 2023


4:30 pm - 5:45 pm


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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)





Teachers College, Columbia University
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