Our Green Mission Statement
The Wexner Center for the Arts is committed to utilizing sustainable resources and reducing our environmental impact. We also present and support the creation of art that addresses timely social issues involving the health of our planet, while serving as a forum for education about such significant contemporary issues as global climate change, alternative energy sources, access to healthy food, and other green issues and practices.
As part of this commitment, the center is striving to make many of our special events Zero Waste events. The center's fall 2011 exhibition opening party and Welcome Week party for Ohio State students were both Zero Waste events.
The Wexner Center for the Arts is proud to be a GreenSpot facility. Participation in the City of Columbus's GreenSpot initiative is a commitment that requires the Wexner Center to check in yearly to confirm we are continuing to keep up on our pledge to being and becoming a greener organization. The center has agreed to abide by the requirements and additional commitments outlined by GreenSpot. Read more on the program at the Columbus GreenSpot website.
Scarlet, Gray and Green
As an Ohio State institution, the Wexner Center also is part of the university's recycling and sustainability initiative, dubbed Scarlet, Gray & Green. Read more at the Scarlet, Gray & Green website. You can also find out about other Ohio State initiatives at the university's sustainability website.
Wexner Center “Green” Programs
Here's a sample of the kinds of events and ongoing programs the Wexner Center offers to share information and foster discussion about a host of environmental and ecological issues.
- Fall 2011 Exhibitions: All our fall 2011 exhibitions (on view through December 30, 2011) take on, touch on, or incorporate elements of the natural world. Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow is the first major survey exhibition for this artist who explores such topics as genetic engineering, deforestation, and climate change in his epic paintings. Paula Hayes, an artist and landscape designer from New York, creates terrarium-like pieces for her sculptural environments. Elliott Hundley: The Bacchae features sculptures and collages by an artist from Los Angeles who uses organic materials in his works. Read a news release about the three exhibitions in our press section. On view in the lower lobby, Diana Thater's Peonies is a video installation that also addresses the natural world.
- Art & Environment: This half-year course for high school juniors and seniors (offered each school year since 2004-05) brings together environmental sciences and contemporary arts. Students earn academic credit while meeting with and learning from Ohio State scientists, practicing artists, and professionals working in such fields as energy and waste disposal. An exhibition of work by students in the fall 2011 course runs December 15 to 30 at the Wexner Center.
- Wexner Center Roof Garden: Created by artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes, this new permanent garden was installed in September 2011 adjacent to the Wexner Center plaza and unveiled as part of the opening celebrations for the fall 2011 "eco" exhibitions (including Hayes's own show in our galleries). Featuring hardy sedum plants, sculptural planters, and pathways, the 3,500-square-foot garden sits atop the underground Film/Video Theater, and so is a "roof garden" even though it is essentially on ground level to passersby. It will be maintained over the years by the Wexner Center and Ohio State.
- Market at 15th & High: Launched in May 2010, this weekly farmers' market is a partnership between Wayward Seed Farm and the Wexner Center that brings fresh local fruits, vegetables, and others products one step closer to Ohio State students, staff, faculty, and residents of the campus neighborhood. In 2011, the Market at 15th & High is held each Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 PM through October 27. The 2011 Market and CSA Preview offered a preview of plans for the season and an opportunity to find out more about CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs, such as that offered by Wayward Seed Farm.
- The Virtual Pasture: The Virtual Pasture and its precursor, The Beanfield, are "agri/cultural" pieces by artist and Ohio State art professor Michael Mercil that investigate the contemporary lack of connections to the agricultural processes that were once embedded in daily life and in the land-grant traditions of the university's past. Both projects have been hosted by the Wexner Center on a small patch of land on the west side of the building (outdoors). The actual sheep visit and graze in the Virtual Pasture on "First Mondays" (first Monday of every month) from 10 AM to 3 PM through December 2011, weather permitting.
- Field & Screen: First presented in February 2010, this month-long film series sparked so much interest that it's now an annual series with the next installment in February 2012. The 2010 series focused on "films about our food" and helped lay the groundwork for the Market at 15th & High with additional events such as AgriCulture, a panel discussion about the local food movement, and a discussion and Q & A session about CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs. The 2011 series broadened the view to encompass other kinds of ecological concerns, in such films as Tar Creek.
- New documentary films: Our ongoing year-round screenings of recent documentaries frequently feature movies about environmental issues. Darwin's Nightmare (a look the devastating impact of globalization on a local ecosystem in Tanzania), Black Gold (an exposé of the true cost of that $4 cappuccino), and Earth Days (an informal history of the modern environmental movement), are just a few of the documentaries we've shown that connect with "green" interests.
- Climate and Culture: 2010 Director's Dialogue on Art and Social Change: This panel discussion brought together David Buckland (who connects artists and scientists for trips to the arctic in the Cape Farewell project), renowned Ohio State scientist Lonnie Thompson, musician and author Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), landscape designer and activist Edwina von Gal, photographer Mitch Epstein, and painter Alexis Rockman for a lively conversation about how artists and scientists are working together to call attention to the growing threat of climate change. Watch the recorded panel discussion at The Ohio Channel.