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GEOS 470 – Art for Climate Boise

Mihana Ho & Kyle Oldham
Dr. Jennifer Pierce – GEOS 470
Art for Climate Boise Exhibition

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Learning Goals:

Through Art for Climate Boise we learned the benefits of art in education, specifically when it comes to climate change.  Art is a great way to help students convey and understand their feelings about climate change and visualize possible futures.  Climate art also helps add feeling to the hard data and scientific facts that are usually taught to students.  In addition, we developed event coordinating skills such as budgeting, marketing, organizing catering & stage set up, decorating, communication, fundraising, etc.

Art image from the student's poster


Mihana Ho

At the start of this project I was extremely overwhelmed because I had never coordinated a big event before.  I was worried about getting enough funding and enough art submissions, but when the deadline for the submissions came around and I saw how many we had received I was confident all of our hard work would pay off.  This project finally gave me a sense of what climate action feels like and the good it can do.  One of the most important things we can do to combat climate change right now is talk about it and teach more people about what is going on.  Art for Climate Boise provided a safe and encouraging environment for people to do just that.  In the future I hope this event will raise money to go toward local climate solutions, so people can see and make a difference in their own lives.

Kyle Oldham

When this project began it felt like we were asked to do the impossible. We had no money, but needed to get a band, stage, catering, and run an art gallery for a week. I could never imagine then what we have achieved now. We did and are doing every one of these tasks. I felt that we had no chance of making this work up until I saw how many submissions we received. We got the word out successfully and people really cared. It has been shown that art helps education by putting topics in different context, allowing to see topics, like climate change in multiple lights. That is why this work is so important. I have a new respect for event planners, artists, and this team. When I see art now, I know the work behind it and that there is something to learn.

Art image from the student's poster

Community Partner: Art for Climate Boise Exhibition

Mission Statement:

Art for Climate Boise is an opportunity for students to educate themselves and the community on the climate crisis while expressing their passions through art.

Project Purpose:

One of the greatest challenges of the climate crisis is simply encouraging people to talk about it.  Many people are scared to bring up the subject in fear of disagreement or confrontation with a friend, family member, or another.  We have created a safe space that encourages positive conversing around the subject of climate change and climate solutions in order to spread awareness in the local community.  The art exhibit gives the community an opportunity to learn and talk with one another about how climate change has affected them and what local solutions addressing climate change might look like.

Art image from the student's poster

Course Concepts

Course concepts used in this project include critical thinking and the ability to explain climate change to other people and bring it up in conversation in a way that relates to people’s personal lives.  Critical thinking was used when obstacles appeared in the planning process of this event.  Substitutions sometimes had to be made and ideas changed many times in the planning process.  During the event, we were able to converse with visitors about climate change and what possible solutions for Boise might look like while answering questions about climate change.

Next Steps

We would love Art for Climate Boise to become an annual event during Earth Week to bring awareness to climate change.  We would like for the event to raise money in the future to go to a local project that will reduce Boise’s greenhouse gas emissions or carbon footprint; this would likely take longer than one semester to achieve.  Next steps would include: early fundraising to secure a larger budget, possibly looking for a new venue, call for artists, organization of an auction or pricing of the art to raise money for a local CO2 reducing project, and selection of a local climate solution project.

Art image from the student's poster


  • Researched the benefits of art in education
  • Raised funding through Bronco Giving
  • Created and put up posters around community to spread awareness about event
  • Used university connections to spread a call for artists
  • Made new community connections that allowed us to access the resources we need
  • Formed a team to analyze submissions and choose which are to be accepted into exhibition
  • Organized the collection of accepted art pieces
  • Set up and broke down art exhibit
Art image from the student's poster


The topic of climate change can be an unsettling conversation starter in many places.  Art for Climate Boise provided a safe and encouraging environment for people in the community to engage in friendly conversation about climate change and climate solutions.  This opportunity allowed for students to learn about climate change and spread awareness in their local community.  Talking about the climate crisis and teaching more people about it is one of the best things we can do right now for the climate movement.  This art exhibition got people to think about what climate solutions would look like in their local community and their own lives.

SLx Featured Submissions