In recognition of International Earth Day, local artists were invited by the Honors College to creatively transform foam cubes into artistic representations of how our planet is suffering.
A total of 16 cubes, some painted while others are sculpted or appended, were released onto Green Lake behind the Green Library on Monday by the Office of Sustainability; the foam cubes will remain afloat through the end of the week.
The Honors College’s Artist in Residence, Leonor Anthony, brought the project to FIU after hearing about the PIAG Museum’s “Earth and Water: Our Planet, Our Life” exhibit, which aims to bring awareness of global climate change through forms of art.
“When I initially met [Director of PIAG Museum] Mireya Power, she told me about the exhibition and I was immediately smitten,” says Anthony, who also designed a cube for the unique display.
Anthony chose to decorate her cube with her most well-known painting – a portrait of Albert Einstein. Plastic water bottles and string, often found floating in oceans and harming marine life, were glued to the top of her cube simulating Einstein’s famous disheveled hair.
Albert Einstein’s famous quote, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them,” inspired Anthony to get involved with sustainability and think outside the box for solutions.
Abstract artist Emilio Hector Rodriguez covered his cube with multiple shades of blue to represent our diminishing waters in a message to save our oceans. Says Rodriguez, “If all the water in the world was contained in this cube, we could only exist living inside of it.”
Honors College Dean Lesley Northup led participants of the project in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday. The event also included tours of the floating art pieces and remarks from the artists.
“Everything is connected,” Anthony says. “As you watch the news and discover that there are continent-sized trash heaps and mounds of plastic floating around our beautiful oceans, ask yourself, ‘How did I contribute to this and how can I make it better?’”