Textile artist, naturalist Medha Bhatt focuses on sustainability while creating beautiful, functional artwork
Visiting artist workshop, lecture to teach audience how to make waste fabric into beautiful products
Textile artist and naturalist Medha Bhatt will visit Georgia Southern University on Oct. 24 and 25. Bhatt has worked with environmental organizations in developing solutions toward zero waste and has worked to empower women through training programs in reusing of discards. Her own label, First Forest, considers discarded materials as a resources for creating innovative and aesthetically rich handmade products. She will conduct a workshop on Monday, Oct. 24 from 2:30-5 p.m. in Visual Arts Building (VA), room 2046 and deliver a lecture about her work on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 5-6 p.m. in VA, room 2071. Her work will be on exhibit Monday and Tuesday in Gallery 303 (just past VA, room 2016).
“With the current issues of climate change confronting every part of our planet, she believes, sharing efforts made by individuals can strengthen the campaign of conserving resources and biodiversity,” said professor Santanu Majumdar. “Medha will be sharing her journey and experiences of working in the area of sustainability and innovation, and have interactive and insightful discussions with the students as well as faculty and staff. This exchange of ideas holds great significance in developing a road-map for a greener tomorrow.”
Indian Pitta, Silent Valley National Park, India
Bhatt’s workshop will focus on her recent project, “Birds, Art and Reuse of Discards” and will be accompanied with a small exhibit called “Songbirds of Blue Ridge Mountains.” The work celebrates 100 years of the U.S. National Park Service and features textile artworks illustrating birds like the Mockingbird, the Northern Cardinal, the Blue Jay and many more. The exhibit will act as a backdrop to the workshop and artist talk, which will include textile art and mixed media as techniques of exploration. Bhatt’s Artist Talk will focus on bridging the gap between pollution, biodiversity and conservation through art and design and how First Forest was developed.
“The focus of sustainability probably runs in my veins as my mother has been an energetic upcyclist all her life. Further, during my design education years, I spent many months in rural salt pans of Gujarat where I saw and studied the sustainable way of life of traditional tribes amidst dearth of basic resources. I grew up reading Gerald Durrel, and Jane Goodall has been my guiding star,” Bhatt said. “My early professional years were spent with a group of environmentalists fighting against pollution, poison farming and urban waste. Many walks through forests where the bird numbers have dwindled, strolls through rice farms where the butterfly populations have been wiped out, brought a deep sense of pain and concern. Creating awareness about effects of pollution on biodiversity seemed to be an utmost priority. Hence, bridging sustainability and biodiversity through art began as a passionate attempt to address issues of environment.”
Both the workshop and the Artist Talk are free and the public is invited to attend.
The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt) is committed to offering quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare students to become professional artists, designers, art historians and industry leaders. The BFSDoArt is recognized as an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). For more information, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/art.
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree. For more information, visit class.georgiasouthern.edu.
Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. GeorgiaSouthern.edu.