From Harm to Harmony Community Art Project

Inspiring Action. Nurturing Artists. Building Community

Explore the Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Community Arts Project

2021 Exhibition

2022 Exhibition

Meet our Artists

Online Art Show

Shedding a light

Ancient Forest Lullaby

Our From Harm to Harmony: The Healing Power Of Nature project connects New Brunswick artists of all levels and backgrounds with experienced artist facilitators to help express participants’ feelings about climate change and environmental issues while raising awareness about these challenges and their solutions. 

The project emerged in 2020 from a partnership between the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) and the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) as part of their national FUTURES/forward mentorship program, which embeds community-engaged artists within organizations to address the pressing environmental issues of our times. Phase 2 of the project began in 2021 with an exhibition taking place in Spring 2022. You can see and purchase some of the works artists have produced so far by visiting our Community Art Fundraiser portal, where 30 per cent of all proceeds go to support the Conservation Council’s work!

The work produced in Phase 1 were featured at an exhibition hosted by the UNB Art Centre in March 2020.  The exhibition presented artwork culminating from a collaboration initiated through a remote-artist residency led by community-engaged environmental artist Juliana Bedoya in British Columbia and a diverse group of community participants from different geographic regions in New Brunswick.

Participants were invited to join this remote residency to express, through art, their ideas and feelings about climate change. The group met weekly via Zoom to converse and discuss environmental issues from a global to a local perspective, and from there, to develop the concepts and pieces presented in this show. Through their work, the artists sought to inspire changes in behaviours in New Brunswick and to offer a space for reflection on ways we might repair our relationship with nature, partly by experiencing its healing power reflected in the artwork.

Varying in age, culture, and professional backgrounds, participants exchanged skills and navigated different mediums and technologies—including embroidery, paper mache, photography, rug hooking, video production, felting, weaving with plant materials, and more—to create individual pieces that are amalgamated into a collaborative narrative that takes visitors from a hopeless reality of climate change, destruction, and harm to an action-driven world where humans are inspired to change their habits to live in harmony with nature.

By creating awareness about the specific challenges that climate change poses in New Brunswick, such as increased flooding, summer droughts, decreasing biodiversity caused by human industry, etc., we hope to inspire New Brunswickers to adopt more thoughtful practices (buying local, tree planting and species restoration, habitat conservation, reducing and recycling packaging, etc.) that will mitigate or redress the negative impacts of climate change.

Project Facilitators

Juliana Bedoya is a BC-based environmental artist who has facilitated a variety of community engaged art projects bringing awareness to environmental issues through education and social practice. As part of Something Collective she developed different projects including We Are Here and Our Footprint at various community centres in Vancouver where participants grew living moss graffiti murals as part of a community mapping project.

With Through the Eye of the Needle she guided an international exploration with two schools in West Vancouver and Colombia on the social and environmental impact of fast fashion.  Along with community art projects she has worked as a curator and Gallery Manager at ArtStarts in Schools in Vancouver, and served as the Community Arts Supervisor at the Ferry Building, a municipal gallery in West Vancouver. 

She is currently living on Vancouver Island where she supports individuals and community groups to establish their own cultural significance through skill sharing, including all stages of ethically harvesting and processing raw plant materials for art-making, eco-activism and local ecological restoration. She has also worked in the non-profit and public sectors as a curator and arts administrator developing interactive exhibitions, public art installations, and arts programming that support community participation.

Laura Barron is a Vancouver-based musician, writer, facilitator and community artist, gratefully living and working on ancestral, unceded Coast Salish Territory. Her 30-year career as a flutist has brought her from the Yukon to New Zealand, including solo appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and several performances at Carnegie Hall. With a doctorate from McGill, she served for 10 years on the faculties of the Universities of OR, WI & N. AZ, mentoring emerging artists, as she continues to do with ICASC’s Futures:Forward initiative, exploring songwriting, poetry and other interdisciplinary collaborations in the service of climate justice activism.

She has always strived for relevance in her work, and harnesses her experience as a performer and teacher in her role as the Founder / Executive Director of Instruments of Change. 

This Vancouver-based non-profit leads numerous community arts initiatives that engage with incarcerated women in Canada, at-risk youth in India, educators in Zambia, and many other diverse groups. It is in this capacity that she has been able to have her greatest reach and impact, designing experiences that empower underserved and often marginalized individuals to become instruments of change in their own lives as they find their own creative voices. 

Laura is also a frequent blogger, most recently about artistic responses to the pandemic, globally, in These Adagio Days. And she brings all of her professional experiences together in her new writing project, Key Changes, a novel based on the healing power of music.

Videos: From Harm to Harmony

These videos made by the members of our community art project explore how local artists are using their art to foster positive emotions in the face of climate anxiety, and a harmonious vision for our future.

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