Janet Moore, a graduate student in environmental education and interpretation, now uses 2D art to enhance her nature writing.
Science and art are both visual fields relying on acute observations in order to further understand and portray messages. They share a rich history, from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci to modern day botanical illustrations, that display an intense intermingling of science and the arts.
Moore is adding to that legacy with her journal, a pencil, watercolors and pen – using art to lend her own powerful voice toward transforming cultural attitudes about the natural environment.
“There’s never a time when I draw something that I don’t learn something new from that subject or connect to the place a little more deeply,” Moore said. “That’s why I do it.”
She is developing the contextual process of how humans visualize things and how active drawing impacts students’ memory and learning. Her drawings and words describe a “multisensory experience.” Moore stresses the importance of being present in a moment and in an environment and slowing down and absorbing the world.McDill Pond in Portage County appears in one of her simple works of art, a four-page book project.
“You don’t really have to go to some exotic place or some special place,” she said. “McDill pond is right in my backyard.”
Moore’s absolute passion for her craft is evident within her work and her ability to talk at length about its possible implications. Her calm, even voice mirrors the meditations of reuniting with nature.
Moore has been influencing students toward conservation and ecological restoration prior to her time in Stevens Point .
Samantha Bussan, a senior majoring in ecosystem restoration, volunteered for several years with Moore at McFarland High School near Madison.
“She is the one who got me into ecosystem restoration to begin with,” Bussan said. “I was amazed by how determined and dedicated she was to the school forest restoration project. She deserves all the recognition available and more.”
Ecosystems are interconnected structures among organisms, just as science and art are part of the same world in Moore’s eyes. She has already affected positive change, and there will be more to appreciate through her depictions of wild times and places to come.
Jazmine S. Bevers