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Green Art Night celebrates creativity and sustainability

Fueled by chocolate chip cookies and fruit kebobs, Green Art Night participants let their imaginations fly. Art was made from aluminum foil, plastic bottles, magazine pages and any materials you can usually find at the bottom of a desk drawer or a storage bin with Christmas decorations. They sat together at large tables, young and old, faculty and students, Tigers and local residents.

Sustaining Pacific kicked off a series of sustainability themed events with the Green Art Night on Friday, February 11, 2022. To celebrate the national sustainability month, the series will culminate on April 15 with the 10th annual Green Fashion Show.

Presuming our resources are finite, sustainability supports environmental, economic, human and social practices that will help us meet our current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Green Art Night was first imagined in 2018 by a student who hoped to teach about sustainability through art. The idea caught on and Sustaining Pacific partnered with Pacific’s Art Department for the inaugural event three years ago. They must have done it right because, even after the COVID-19 hiatus, people turned up in droves at the Reynolds Gallery for the first in-person event in two years.

“I think that art and sustainability go really well together because there’s so much that you can create out of what you already have around you,” said sustainability engagement manager Kelsey Smith. “You don’t have to go to an art supply store to get things to create art. You can find it in your trash can or in your supply closet. It’s all around you.”

The main purpose of Green Art Night was to create awareness about environmental and economic sustainability, but it was also about getting people together and giving them an artistic outlet as a form of self-expression.

“Although I’m a pre-dent major, I have been doing art all my life. It’s an ongoing hobby for me,” said Julie Nam ’23, outreach coordinator for Sustaining Pacific “I feel like art is just a good way to relax and release your creativity and show what you can do. Show your ideas to people.”

The third pillar of sustainability, social practices, is probably the one we are least familiar with. Events such as Pacific’s Green Art Night bring us together and help us create successful places promoting our wellbeing and building a community.

Marissa Gandolfo-Gillaspy ’23, ASuop sustainability committee member, may have summed it up best:

“I think we are in such a fast time right now where everyone’s moving all the time, we don’t really allow ourselves to be creative and have an outlet where we can be ourselves and step out of our comfort zone and explore different things. So, art is a really good outlet to step away from your work, your busy schedule, running around, let’s sit down and really put to use your creative abilities that maybe go often overlooked in your day-to-day life.”

Learn more about sustainability at University of the Pacific at

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