Moss art inspires environmental awareness

With great weather comes even greater projects. Geneseo Environmental Organization took advantage of the recent sunshine and partnered with Nature Walk Club to present the first-ever moss art mural on campus. Moss art, also known as eco-graffiti, is an outlet for artists to create and express environmental consciousness. They cover public places with green material, which grows into the artist’s design over time.

In an effort to promote environmental awareness and sustainability on campus, GEO and Nature Walk Club wanted to communicate a message to students that was both informative and aesthetically pleasing. The project came just in time for the celebration of Earth Week.

Members of both organizations creatively covered the wall below the gazebo near the College Union in fuzzy green moss that read “Geneseo,” surrounded by drawings of sprouting trees and plants.

The idea began with GEO President senior Jennifer Benson, who coordinated the moss art event.

“It grew out of a casual conversation,” Benson said. “It was a pretty fun process to go through.”

The moss was intended to remain on the wall for a week in order for it to really grow, but unfortunately lasted only four days between April 12 and 16, due to upcoming events in the Union.

“They wanted it washed off before it got really well-established, before we could have a larger event centered around it,” Benson said.

EcoHouse Hall Council President sophomore Jason Phillips was also involved with the project and the process behind it.

“First we chalk out the design on the wall, but the actual paste itself is made of moss, yogurt, corn syrup and some food coloring … put that all in a blender and it makes a paste,” Phillips said. “It works really well because the moss just eats up all the natural bacteria.”

The concept is meant for a really long wall to show the progression of the use of energy with moss as you’re walking.

“At the beginning when you first start to make energy, you see wood, oil, coal … leading to bad energy. Then it reaches the end of the mural, where you get more sustainable energy. It sends a message about how we should use and obtain our energy by supporting the continued use of fossil fuels and push towards renewables,” Phillips said.

In the future, GEO plans to collaborate with more organizations on campus such as Outing Club, to continue the murals in the upcoming fall and spring, when the moss can actually stay and grow.

It might not just be walls; next time, this green art might appear in some surprising locations.

“Wherever we can get permission. It’s not a destructive piece at all,” Phillips said.