Earth Day Art with Ansel Adams

Earth Day (April 22) is fast approaching, and it's the perfect opportunity to take a moment to reflect on what we can all do to protect the earth and live more sustainably. 

Celebrate Earth Day with an Ansel Adams art history lesson and activity for kids!

Artists have always been great advocates for appreciating the beauty of nature, and taking the time to see the amazing wonder in everyday things that often go unnoticed.

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
— Georgia O'Keeffe

The Impressionists revolutionized the way painters worked... taking their easels outdoors "en plein air" to capture the beauty of waterlilies, haystacks, and even common everyday fruit!

With an apple I will astonish Paris.
— Paul Cezanne

And nature photography is a natural extension of this admiration for the outdoors. Seeing the art of Ansel Adams helps to put things in perspective.... from an amazing close up of a bunch of fallen leaves, so crisp and luscious you can almost hear the sound of the wind blowing through them, to the vast distant landscapes that sweep our eyes up to the sky in awe of the immense beauty that surrounds us.

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

Rose and Driftwood

Rose and Driftwood

This month set aside a day to try this fun project with your kids.

Ansel Adams Earth Day Project

  1. Have a little chat about what Earth Day means to your family. Why we need to protect our environment, and what we can do to help.
  2. Look at a few of Ansel Adams photographs together and discuss his work. How does art like this help us to feel appreciation for nature, and a connection to the earth?
  3. Choose a location (a park, a meadow, a forest, the beach, or even in your own back yard) to get up close and personal with nature.
  4. Invite your kids to take some nature photos (with a proper camera, or even just with your smartphone.)
  5. Play around... see how they look in black and white, adjust the contrast, or try your own creative spin on nature photography.
  6. Repeat as often as you like!

Show and Tell!

Once you've finished this project, head over the our facebook group to share you kids' work! We love to see how unique and amazing everyone's art is.