Art FORM San Diego Blends Art with Environmental Stewardship

April 18, 2024

Art can take on many forms, especially when common everyday items are used.

Art FORM San Diego focuses on providing art classes to youth and helping the environment while they’re at it. “FORM” stands for Found Objects Recycled Materials, and includes everything from paper to buttons, natural materials, and items that may otherwise end up in a landfill.

Art for Youth

Created 12 years ago, Art FORM provides workshops to over 500 youth in the San Diego area every year, free of charge.

Art FORM currently provides free programs to schools in Mid-City San Diego, helping to fill gaps in art and environmental education. Public school students and under-sourced communities near the Adams Avenue corridor, most within walking distance of Art FORM’s studio, currently benefit from scholarship programs. In our school workshops, students learn more about the effects of and solutions to climate change through the experience of creative reuse art projects and process,” they explain on their website.

Youth can participate in workshops through their schools, during their summer workshops, or at community events year-round.

“The short-term goals of our workshops are for students to increase art and problem-solving skills; increase climate change literacy, and to create individual and group projects sharing this knowledge with school and family. In the long term, our workshops are designed to inspire and empower the next generation through their experience. Art FORM brings innovative and conservation-minded awareness to our young students and communities through the creative process, unique points of view, and environmental responsibility,” they say.

Some of these workshops include: Painting and Drawing, Building Sustainable Mini-House Models, Teen Community Service, and themed workshops around birds and other STEM topics.

Art for the Environment

Annually, Art FORM diverts nearly eight tons of reusable materials from landfills. The materials are donated by members of the community who can schedule an appointment to drop them off.

In addition to traditional art supplies and natural materials, they also accept sewing supplies, yarn and textiles, office supplies, and architectural samples.

“Art FORM instills art education and environmental stewardship through creative reuse. Through our workshop content, process and materials, students and the community can engage in an art form that inspires ingenuity, problem solving and conservation,” they explain on their website.

Art for the Community

As a nonprofit organization, Art FORM relies on donations from communities and businesses, but another way that they’re bringing in funds to help continue offering their programs free of charge is their Creative Reuse Store.

With the amount of donations they receive, they have opened the Creative Reuse Store to share the supplies with others in the community.

“Inspiring ingenuity through creative reuse, and diverting materials from the landfill makes a win-win for San Diego. Mindful individuals, local businesses, industries, and partners donate clean, reusable materials. We then sort, organize and display items for the community to access for a low-cost donation. These materials can inspire art, problem-solving, and be effective in STEM/STEAM activities. We regularly provide free materials through our workshops with San Diego’s Mid-City public schools and students and beyond with the community, and through partnerships,” their website explains.

Pattern Energy is proud to support Art FORM San Diego and their work in youth education and creativity, environmental stewardship, and building strong communities.

To learn more about Art FORM or to make a donation, visit their website here.