With a BA in Studio Art from Oberlin College, Alice Shockey has taught Earth Art with Brooklyn Nature Days, a year-round nature immersive school in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. After teaching with the early childhood and after-school program for two years beginning in the fall of 2016, Alice went on to teach Earth Art in the after-school program with the Waldorf-inspired New Amsterdam School in the East Village, New York.
Earth Art is a form of nature-based art that offers children an outlet to let go of their day and explore the natural world of surrounding parks and gardens in New York City. The children lead the way with their originality and wonder, inspiring new ideas and methods of collaborating with the surrounding environment and with each other, using their findings to create process-based art and hands-on projects.
We use found objects to create site-specific nature-based installations and sculptures in different natural locations in New York City. We will often begin our class by using buckets to forage for material from the grounds of the parks and gardens, predominantly working directly from the earth, collecting seed pods, acorns, leaves and other natural objects to create observational abstract forms.
We also integrate some supportive material such as clay, natural paint, and twine to help strengthen our creations as they become more dynamic. We may use clay to document the texture of a seed pod, paint to reveal the form of the underside of a leaf, or twine to emphasize three-dimensional pattern such as that of a spider web.
As Earth Art is a process-based form of creativity we focus on practicing cooperative learning as we work together with the earth, respecting and noticing all it has to offer us and understanding the limitations and possibilities of our immediate environment in New York City.