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Keep Louisiana Beautiful: Empowering Eco-Art and Sustainable Practices

In a world where environmental consciousness is more critical than ever, communities, including professional artists, are taking proactive steps to educate and engage citizens in sustainable practices. Keep Louisiana Beautiful has stood at the forefront of innovation by supporting a year's worth of Earth Day activities through The Walls Project that fosters eco-awareness alongside artistic expression.

During the Earth Day event on April 27th, 2024, participants immersed themselves in a plethora of educational and hands-on experiences. Among the highlights was an enlightening session on the proper disposal of acrylic solids from used paint water. Through the use of floccing chemicals, attendees learned how to separate acrylic solids, ensuring the safe reuse of the remaining liquid as grey water (watch the video tutorial below).

Additionally, participants delved into the world of wild clay, practicing identification and the art of hand-building with this natural material. The creation of mini murals signage for Baton Roots farm from recycled campaign yard signs showcased both creativity and resourcefulness while weaving reclaimed fiber art totes from burlap rice, seed, and feedbags emphasized the importance of upcycling.

One of the most impactful endeavors was the February Eco-art Happy Hour workshop, where participants discovered the process of producing natural pigments from indigenous florals, grown at the Baton Roots farm, for watercolor paints. This innovative approach not only fosters creativity but also reduces the reliance on synthetic pigments, thus mitigating the risk of microplastics in groundwater. 

During the March Sow Good Saturday event, participants collaborated to repurpose paint cans, glass bottles (donated by Glass Half Full Nola), and scrap metal into sculptural signage for the Baton Roots farm. This project exemplified the transformative power of creative reuse in beautifying community spaces.

Culture Club afterschool programming from December 2023 to April 2024 engaged 45 high school students from the 70805 and 70807 zip codes in a series of eco-art modules. Students engaged in recycled collage portraits, wild clay handbuilding, recycle plastic sculptures, and creative reuse while placemaking on their campus, fostering a sense of environmental stewardship and artistic expression among participants.

The Walls Project is grateful for the innovative application of this year’s Keep Louisiana Beautiful grant that encourages eco-conscious stewardship of our soil and waterways in the creative community.

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