Nature-based art is an idea that dates back thousands of years. From cave drawings to larger-than-life outdoor sculptures, humans have long used nature as both an inspiration and a setting for creative ideas. The garden, then, is a natural (pun intended) location for art to emerge and flourish in school.
The thing I love the most about art in the garden is how inclusive it is. The garden can be a setting, model, or place of inspiration. Garden-based art can be big or small, permanent or ephemeral, and can involve students as individuals, or as part of a long-term, collective effort that involves the entire community.
Much like gardening, there is something about art that connects people. Creating something beautiful, that has no limits on age, background, or ability is a powerful way to participate in - and feel pride in - a place. Much like starting a garden, our advice about garden art is to dream big, and start small. Involve the resources and people close at hand - upcycled and found objects, PTO members and volunteers, paint store mis-tints, student-inspired ideas, dried seeds and flowers, and so much more. The enthusiasm for your garden is sure to grow as art blossoms along with plants each year!
Below, we've included some images of WIsconsin garden art projects that we hope will be an inspiration for ever more outdoor art in schools across the state! Check out our Art in the Garden Pinterest Board
for more ideas.