2023 Environmental Justice Theme Highlighted in Annual Exhibit & Workshops in September

“Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.”

Roman Philosopher & Scholar Marcus Tullius Cicero

That sentiment will be on full display this September as The Interdependence Hexagon Project showcases artwork born from its 2023 theme of Environmental Justice. In addition to the exhibit of artwork, community members can experience hands-on activities to bring them closer to nature.

“Art is such a powerful reminder that we are all connected and often experience the same struggles and joys that connect and confront us on both a personal and a global level. This year’s artwork beautifully illuminates the importance of the environment to humanity and the impact we, as humans, have on it. The hexagonal art highlights important topics ranging from pollution and the impact our actions have on health, equitable safe housing and access to clean air and water, to understanding our connection to land, respecting its history and indigenous peoples who came before us. The art highlights the responsibilities we have to protect and care for plants and all living creatures on land and sea and many other life-affecting aspects of environmental justice.”

Beth Burkhauser, Executive Director of the Hexagon Project

Each year, to Celebrate Interdependence Month, The Hexagon Project holds the Eastern Regional Exhibit locally to display artwork submitted from area schools as well as schools from across the country and the world, over 1500 created illustrating this year’s theme and other themes of Interdependence. Submissions are reviewed and outstanding works are assigned awards in numerous categories.

The 2023 Interdependence Hexagon Project Exhibit XVII, with the special theme of Environmental Justice, will be displayed at ArtWorks, 236 Penn Ave. in downtown Scranton throughout the month of September. The exhibit opens on First Friday, September 1 with a reception from5:30 – 9:00 PM featuring live music, light refreshments and the opportunity for attendees to create their own hexagons if they feel inspired.

The celebration of environment and art continues throughout the month of September with the following free events taking place at ArtWorks:

  • Learn Conservation Advocacy 101 Training by Trout Unlimited on September 7 from 5:30 – 8PM. The workshop will be led by Emily Baldauff, the Mid Atlantic Organizer for Trout Unlimited with the objective of empowering community members to become conservation advocates by giving them access to the skills, knowledge, and tools to effectively make a difference in their community with regards to environmental concerns and beyond. For full details and to register, click here.
  • Poetry and Guided Meditation for Peace and Environmental Justice happens on September 10 from 10AM – 12PM. Vanessa White Fernandes will facilitate a guided meditation with poetry honoring the Earth accompanied by Brenda Fernandes’ ambient soundscapes. Bring a yoga mat. Chairs provided. A light continental breakfast will be served courtesy of ArtWorks and Beacon. Bring a yoga mat.  Chairs provided. Click here to register.
  • The Hexagon Awards/Recognition Event for students, parents, teachers and community takes place on September 10, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Awards Program begins at 1:00 PM. Take this opportunity to view the Eastern Regional Exhibition and national and international digital displays and take part in a silent auction and basket raffle. Along with certificates to individual students, we will present two Community Partnership Awards:  “WeReclaim! Lower South Valley” with the SHINE Program and Earth Conservancy, Ashley, PA and The 2022 Berkshire County First Peoples Hexagon Project, Berkshire County,  Massachusetts. No registration is required to attend this event.
  • Interactive art will be buzzing at this Bees and Interdependence Workshop on September 14 from 6-8PM for ages 8 and up. In this collaboration among The Hexagon Project, The Greenhouse Project and beekeeper Orna Clum, attendees will learn about bees and bee-keeping, make a hexagon hive on canvas (canvas will be provided); taste honey and engage in other interactive and educational activities. The goal is to display the hexagon hives created at The Greenhouse Project’s Honeybee and Harvest Day on October 1. To register, click here.
  • Telling of the Anthracite: Art and Environment Philip Mosley, author of “Telling of the Anthracite: A Pennsylvania Posthistory,” will present the ways artists have told the story, how education and awareness needs to preserve, protect and sustain it on September 17 from 1-2:30 PM.  The event includes a book signing by Mosley. For more information about the author and to register, click here.
  • A Hexagon Bead and Natural Materials Workshop will be held on September 23 from 10AM – 12PM.  Sunday Olaniyi, a Nigerian-born artist now residing in the United States, will lead this workshop. Olaniyi creates captivating bead artworks that bridge tradition and contemporary aesthetics. Inspired by the Yoruba culture and African proverbs, Olaniyi’s medium of choice is beads on board, allowing him to express his feelings and capture the essence of his artistic vision. To read more about the artist and to register, click here.

Most of the hexagons created in schools and community events can be viewed by browsing “Hexagon Project 2023” at www.Artsonia.com.

The Hexagon Project is grateful to have received support from the following: ArtWorks – Beacon Keystone Community Resources, Blick Art Materials, Cummings Insurance, Davis Publications, Dan Simrell Advertising, LaMar Advertising, Peoples Security Bank, Scranton Area Foundation and our generous donors.