Art Workshops

Franke James’ Green Conscience Workshops

Franke James green conscience workshop at Sierra Club Canada

students cutting magazines to create their green conscience artwork, photo by Franke James

“Your workshop was an awesome experience! It really made me re-examine my bad eco-habits and I realized that I don’t have to be an artist to express an environmental message through visual communication. Thanks, Franke!” Laura Woodward

At each Green Conscience Workshop, I start by explaining my Six Tools for Climate Change Art. The tools are intended to help anyone express themselves visually (even the most analytical “I-can’t-draw-a-straight-line” kind of person). Many people today are anxious about climate change and feel powerless. Making art can help you express your concerns — and share your ideas with friends, family — and possibly even a much wider circle.

I first developed the Six Tools for a presentation at the McMichael Art Gallery in 2007. Here’s what I wrote back then (and recent events have shown it to be truer than I ever imagined!),

“Artists can make a difference in the world. Think of this: If any one of us stands up and tells a group an idea we have, it may spread — or it may disappear into the ether. A far more effective way to make an idea spread is to give it ‘tangible form’. By creating climate change art our influence can stretch far beyond the boundaries of our personal circle. If others find our work to be moving they will share it with others, until our voice is amplified and our message reaches millions around the world. Unlike the scientist, we artists have the freedom to weave facts, opinions, thoughts, emotion and color all together. We can instill passion and motivate change. That is our palette.”

Take a look below at the students Green Conscience artwork. (And don’t miss the short videos where you can hear them describe their artwork themselves.)

And then think about yourself — “What’s bothering your green conscience?”