Elizabeth Streiff

Thesis 2020

Class of 2020
Environmental Studies Major and Art+Design Minor

The Art of Urban Gardening

Urban farming aims to support and relieve local food insecurity while educating others on sustainable food practices. The Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability on Butler University’s campus aims to do the same, while also engaging students and the community to inspire a more sustainable future on Butler’s campus. My thesis project helps achieve that goal by illustrating educational signs and installing them around the perimeter of The Farm. Each piece draws attention to key agroecology objectives and practices, such as native plants and pollinators, soil health, green infrastructure, and environmentally friendly pest management practices.

My interest in this project stems from my previous involvement as an intern at The Farm at Butler, as well as my passion for the environment. As an Environmental Studies major, I have learned to analyze and investigate challenges to solving environmental issues, such as food insecurity and commodity farming, that stem from political, economic, social and ethical perspectives on the environment. In all the pieces, I use black pen on paper to create realistic and detailed objects and added text in Photoshop. My intention with creating these signs is to mimic the artistic expression of the agroecology approach – intensive and thoughtful attention to detail, innovation and self-sufficiency. I believe an artistic expression, in any environment, can be used as a tool for community engagement, education, and invoke thoughtful action.