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Open Jam Idea Seeds

On Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 from 6-8pm seven emerging artists (ages 16 – 29) from the East Toronto area connected on zoom for the first time to network, exchange resources, and brainstorm different ways they would like to show-up for environmental and social justice in their practice. The following is a recount of some of the questions, ideas and resources that emerged from their discussion… It is my hope that through sharing this list that it may be used to inform future program planning in the arts and culture and beyond. 

*NOTE: This is a LIVING blog post meaning that it will continue to be updated as monthly meetings take place.


  • What does it mean to make sustainable art? Are there different types of sustainable art making?  
  • Does it cost more to make art sustainably?
  • Are there particular online softwares that are more sustainable and/or eco conscious than others? 
  • What is the best way to dispose of art materials when you’re done using them?
  • Are there organizations that value and exhibit sustainable art… in Toronto… in Ontario… on a national level?


  • Lack of awareness of how to access and/or grow sustainable materials and use them in art making (namely in visual arts and theatre)
  • Lack of knowledge around where public art interventions (i.e. community-engaged projects) can happen safely and legally
  • Most climate action groups that focus on art-making in Toronto focus on advocacy efforts over artist-cacacity building and/or are based in the West-End of the city


  • Hosting a series of online, in-person or hybrid workshops that explore different types of sustainable art making (i.e. bio art, land art, upcycling, etc.)
  • Starting a podcast or blog post series with interviews from more established eco-artists to learn about the ideas, processes, and costs that underpin their work
  • Sourcing a list of eco-conscious online softwares for art making 
  • Putting together a list of local, provincial and national organizations that provide opportunities for artists/creatives to collaborate with other folks with an interest in climate action
  • Designing an outdoor exhibition using completely natural materials 
  • Starting a community garden where artists can learn how to plant and harvest natural materials to use in their art making
  • Creating a community-engaged art installation that incorporates regenerative principles 
  • Hosting monthly open-jam sessions online via zoom for emerging artists in the east end of Toronto to connect and determine programming goals



Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene​

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The Anthropocene Reviewed

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Braiding Sweetgrass

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Ink Making

Jason Logan

The Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments and Prints from Nature

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