How Artivists Are Making the Invisible Visible
The key role of the arts in social movements is as true today as it’s ever been, and we at Bioneers have long sought to feature the work of groundbreaking socially and eco-engaged artists from across different disciplines. It is our belief that without the inspiration and visions artists provide, we won’t be able to give birth to the life-affirming and just civilization we aspire to.
This newsletter features five new interviews by Bioneers Arts Coordinator Polina Smith with profoundly influential engaged artists. Below are interviews with:
- Two renowned California-based Indigenous artists: muralist/collagist Mer Young and ceremonialist and earth-altar/mandala creator Veronica Ramirez
- Two daring curators: Patricia Watts, who has, over several decades, done more to promote the “Eco-Art” movement than anyone on the planet and Patsy Craig who is passionately helping promote the work of Indigenous artists in the Andean highlands
- The leading advocate for and educator about “tiny homes,” Lindsay Wood.
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Do What You Love, The Rest Will Follow
Mer Young is an Indigenous (Chichimeca and Apache) socially-engaged, Southern California-based artist whose body of work includes collages, drawings, paintings, and murals. She is the founder of Mausi Murals, and she has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. Some of her public artworks can be found in a wide range of Southern California towns, including Long Beach, Glendale, South Pasadena, San Pedro, Paramount, Anaheim, Tustin, and Los Angeles.
Bioneers reached out to Mer to help design the beautiful look and feel of Bioneers’ latest podcast, Indigeneity Conversations. She worked closely with the podcast team and guests to create the singular images of each guest that appear alongside each episode, highlighting the power and depth of the work of each of these leading activists. We discussed Mer’s career as both an artist and an activist in our recent interview.
Making the Invisible Visible
“Artists are creative divergent thinkers who can inspire new ways of seeing and of addressing the ecological problems of our era. They can serve as healers in this time, and they are here in large numbers because this is their time to speak; and now is our time to listen.”
Patricia Watts, the founder of the groundbreaking, highly influential nonprofit ecoartspace, has been one of the world’s most important curators and leading figures in the “eco-art” movement for over a quarter century. Ecoartspace is an online platform for hundreds of artists across 26 countries to connect and learn from each other.
A New Collection from Bioneers
All significant movements for positive change are accompanied by outpourings of artistic expression that help open our eyes to injustice and convey powerful new visions and possibilities.
Explore the world of incredible artists within the Bioneers community in our Engaged Arts collection, featuring interviews, galleries, resources, and more.
Living Small to Live Big
Lindsay Wood, widely known as “The Tiny Home Lady,” the founder and CEO of Experience Tiny Homes, is an expert on tiny home design, material/appliance selection and builder analysis. She has been a leading figure in developing innovative strategies to change the way tiny homes are designed and purchased, and she serves on the board of the Tiny Home Industry Association.
In this interview, Lindsay describes her home-buying struggles and how she became the “Tiny Home Lady.” She also explains the highs and lows of tiny house-living, and why she thinks tiny homes can play a role in helping address the housing and climate crises.
Reconsidering All that Drives Us
Patsy Craig is a curator/producer, author/artist and Indigenous rights advocate who has for over 20 years generated and cultivated a wide range of cross-cultural collaborations in the fields of art/design, music, urbanism, and environmentalism. This output has included publications, exhibitions, and events, including lectures, concerts, symposia, workshops, etc.
Six years ago, Craig turned her focus to the environment and Indigeneity after spending time at Standing Rock to support the water protection movement resisting the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline. Since then she has continued her activism and seeks to provide platforms that contribute to amplifying Indigenous world-views.
“I like to do and make with purpose.”
Veronica Ramirez, an Oakland, CA-based artist of Mapuche/Chilean-Mestizo ancestry, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been leading public “earth-altar” making (mandalas) for the past 24 years in a variety of different communities. In this interview, Veronica discusses her artistic journey, her favorite projects, and her hopes for what role her art will play in the world.