The Earth Project is a visual art and literature exhibition. It uses the timeless relationship between the visual image and the written/spoken word to enrich our sense of the world around us and at the same time, examine our feeling of connectedness to the earth and to nature.
The exhibition component of the Earth Project consists of painting, photography, mixed media, video, sculpture, and installation. Accompanying each artwork will be a specific, original work of poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction written in response to the visual image presented. In addition to the exhibition, The Earth Project includes various programs, including a moderated discussion with several of the participating artists and a reading/discussion by participating writers.
According to project curator, Baltimore artist/photographer Penny Harris, “Each work of art and accompanying piece of writing visualizes and interprets different aspects of the project's theme” and also “offers parallel paths to reflect on the ongoing connection and inevitable conflict between nature and civilization.”
The Earth Project challenges its visitors’ perceptions of their ongoing relationship to the world around them. It asks them to reevaluate their understanding of the word “nature” as it exists in the world today. And it asks them to think about how our world of constructed environments and habitats coexists with the idea of a natural world.
One of The Earth Project's intended goals is to re-sensitize the audience member to the world they are living in and to allow us all to re-imagine what the world could become if we choose to be an active steward on its behalf.
Coordinating the project with Harris are Jonathan Shorr, director of the University of Baltimore’s School of Communications Design, and Symmes Gardner, executive director of UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture.