Tales of Future Bear will be on display at the Olin Library at Rollins College beginning February 18th. This socially engaged art project expands on Future Bear, a comics-based artwork created by Rollins faculty members Julian Chambliss and Rachel Simmons. Through funding from United Arts of Central Florida and the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement at Rollins, students from Simmons’ Digital and Mixed Media Printmaking course were partnered with fifth graders from nearby Parke House Academy. As teams of artists, their charge was to collaborate on interactive Future Bear-themed print projects which would help expand awareness about climate change and suggest ways to improve the health of our planet. They were asked to explore kid-friendly formats like games, posters, books, t-shirts or comics to make the projects fun, interactive and engaging. After working together for 7 weeks, both groups of students learned a lot about the importance of community in developing public awareness of environmental issues and the impact that art can have on how we perceive and respond to these issues. In addition, the project prompted students to consider the role of the artist as a responsible leader and global citizen. As Gabe Colon ‘16 wrote in his essay on the project, “While working with these kids, I realized that there is a lot more to art than just drawings and colors. Even if you can affect one child or person with your art, you are changing the way someone thinks for better or for worse. Working with a younger generation makes you realize not only how much there is to teach these children who will be our future, but also how much there is to learn from them.” For more information on Future Bear, please visit www.futurebear.net.
This display is dedicated to the memory of Will Hauver ’15 who was an artist, friend, mentor and leader in our community.