Artistic expression has a long history within movements. Art can be used as a tool to raise awareness and gather the masses to rally behind a cause. It can be a form of self-exploration or a vehicle for community building. When we understand art as a social tool, we unlock a world of possibilities.

From protest art to street art, the intersection of art and passion has been present throughout history. I find it so powerful that art is able to both reflect and influence history. As a solutionist myself, I am always searching for creative, new ways to engage people in important conversations.

A Brief History of Artistic Campaign

The idea that artists also serve as leaders who push for cultural progress is nothing new. Some of the most effective social movements throughout history have harnessed the power of the arts to amplify marginalized voices.

Keith Haring Inspired Artwork | Small Online Class for Ages 6-11 | Outschool

In the 1970s, South African artists created murals to protest against apartheid. A decade later Keith Haring shared his bold cartoons with the world to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic. In 1985, Guerilla Girls was created, an anonymous group of feminist artists devoted to fighting sexism within the art industry.

Contemporary Art

More recently, campaigns such as the #ClimateStrike movement by Greta Thunberg and the #BlackLivesMatter movement have inspired artists across the globe to create thought provoking new pieces.

Today, many artists are feeling compelled to create in response to one of the greatest threats facing humanity: climate change. These artists are producing pieces that remind us of the catastrophic impact climate change will have on species and ecosystems if we do not take immediate action.

man in black suit jacket illustration

French impressionist Edgar Degas said it best, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Below are some of our favorite artists and organizations fighting for action on behalf of our planet.

Planet Home Artists Transforming Pollution Into Beautiful Works of Art

Each year, millions of tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. This process has been happening for decades now and has resulted in some highly disturbing images – islands of plastic debris floating around the Pacific, marine life being found with stomachs full of plastic, the list goes on.

Luckily, these Planet Home artists have made it their mission to turn these ugly scenes into beautiful works of art and inspire people to cut down on their plastic consumption. Their innovative creations are helping to clean up the world’s oceans and prevent plastic from getting into oceans in the first place.

Planet Home was proud to feature the following artists at our 2019 event: Sculpture artist Gilles Cenazondotti created giant installations out of discarded plastics. Joel Dean Stockhill & Yustina Salnikova teamed up to create “A-WAY”, an interactive maze made of plastic waste. Artist and filmmaker, Tiare Ribeaux, demonstrated the process of making DIY bioplastics as she explained the benefits of biodegradable plastic alternatives. Artist and ocean lover, Jeremy McKane created “LUCiD” a virtual reality experience that allowed viewers to see how we can change an outcome simply by shifting our mindset.

Gilles Cenazandotti — Tide Art — Plastic Beach — Exhibition — Slash Paris

Organizations Committed to Ocean Conservation Through Art

PangeaSeed Foundation

PangeaSeed Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving our seas. Their work lies at the intersection of art, culture, and environmentalism. Their mission is to empower people everywhere to create meaningful environmental change for oceans through science, education, and ARTivism (S.E.A).

You can get involved with PangeaSeed by submitting your artwork to be considered as a supporting artist or by applying for one of their esteemed internship programs.

Big Blue & You

Based in Miami, Florida The Big Blue & You is focused on motivating young people and educating them about the vast world of ocean conservation through art, science, and media. The Big Blue & You is proud to be founded and run by women of color, including Planet Home solutionist, Danni Washington.

At 21 years old, Danni co-founded The Big Blue & You along with her mom, Michelle Swaby-Smith. In 2018, they began hosting pop-up Art by the Sea events, and eventually partnered with the PangeaSeed Foundation as part of the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans event series.

Mocha Mermaid

Another Danni Washington original, Mocha Mermaid is a community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) ocean lovers. Mocha Mermaid strives to bring together and celebrate the diverse minds behind the world of ocean conservation.

ArtSea Festival March 3 at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park | Miami New Times

Coming soon Mocha Mermaid will be hosting Mermaid Meet Ups every Water Wednesday! These beach side events will give folks a chance to connect and collaborate with one another.

Staying Engaged

Whether it be sculpture, photography, interactive installations, or virtual realities, it is obvious that art activism can touch hearts around the world. It is easier than ever to connect with art and with social movements from wherever you are.

You don’t need to be a professional artist or activist to be an active participant in this work. You simply need to have your heart in the game and be willing to challenge the status quo!