PARENT RESOURCE: Discovering Climate Art with Kids

“Art has the power to resonate with our deepest emotions. Each brushstroke or note can remind us not only of the world’s beauty, but also our own unique role within it.”

Katharine Hayhoe, Climate scientist

If you are looking to explore climate art with kids at home, here are a few ideas for how to get started. Bonus: these activities can be fun and therapeutic for grown-ups, too!

LEARN. Start the conversation with books. Although not specifically about climate, Hey, Wall is about celebrating community and the power of place-making. It would be a great read to pair with a tour of climate or environmental justice murals in your city (see below) and might even inspire your child to create a public artwork of their own!

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Another option is Magic Trash, based on the true story of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton. After reading the book, head online for more images of Guyton’s artwork, then consider making your own recycled art together.

MAKE. There are tons of ideas online, but if the options feel overwhelming, here’s one to try: “Design a Future City.” We like that this exercise sparks reflection on how urban design can shape happiness, health, and connection.

EXPLORE. If you’re based in Austin, visit one of the public murals by local nonprofit Raasin in the Sun (see photo below). Another fun option in town? Really Small Museum ATX curates tiny exhibits with big environmental themes.

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The Pillars Project (2300 Rosewood Ave.). Artists: Kendrick Rudolph, Tanner, Reji Thomas, Carmen Rangel, J Muzacz, Will “Hatch” Crosby.

ENGAGE. Share the art invitation with others in your school or community. Some possibilities:

  • Invite a few friends or classmates to participate in a “climate art show” featuring kids’ art. Ask the kids to decide where to donate funds from their art sales.
  • To coincide with a holiday like Halloween, Valentine’s, or Earth Day, create a striking art display in your front yard or in the lobby of your apartment building, so passersby/residents can view and engage with the art.
  • Enlist the support of local businesses in a walkable area of your neighborhood to display kids’ climate posters, as spotted in Biddeford, Maine (see photo).
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Storefront photo exhibit in Biddeford, Maine.
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Poster competition in Biddeford, Maine.

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