Through the process of becoming aware of my impact on my surroundings, I began to notice how the immediate environmental issues that challenge our country are being handled. I started doing independent research on the topic and traveling to locations across the United States in hopes of understanding why more is not being done to combat these issues of environmental sustainability. I have found that the lack of change stems from lack of awareness, and that people tend to be disinterested because they don't perceive an immediate threat to their well-being.
My goal as a young artist is to raise awareness and spark a genuine interest into the environmental issues that threaten our planet. My work portrays environmental topics ranging from fracking to clean water on the micro and macro scale. Given the complexity of these issues, I have spent the last few years trying to find the most effective way to bring about awareness in a coherent fashion. My work is split up into three categories: factual data, direct examples, and environmental imagery. I chose this method so that the topic discussed in each piece of my work can be supported by the works that surround it. In a time where there is so much confusion and unchecked misinformation surrounding environmental issues, I have found it is important to combine factual evidence from credible sources with artistic expression.
During my artistic process, the subjects that I research influence my work greatly. This involves deep observation of oil, erosion, and the ecosystem of a particular environment. Through close observation, I use the details in nature to inform my work and encourage a genuine connection to the topics I discuss. My pieces are made with a mix of natural materials, such as copper, and materials relevant to the oil industry, such as oil ink and other industrial materials. I chose the medium of printmaking to discuss environmental issues because of the deeply ingrained and historic role printmaking has played in activism.
What inspires me to fight for the environment with my artistic method is the shared sense of optimism within the arts community, which I believe is the necessary approach to combat environmental issues. There is an urgent need for artists to use their practice both inside and outside of the gallery to help educate the public and preserve a safer earth for the future. Through genuine interest and close examination I hope my audience will become invested in the health of our planet and be inspired to seek change.
NATHANIEL KROHN is an 18-year-old artist from Virginia. He has spent the last two years studying visual art at Interlochen Arts Academy. He has attended multiple summer programs including Interlochen Arts Camp and Rhode Island School of Design. Nate has received gold and silver keys in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a president's honorable mention, and his artwork has been shown in multiple galleries and festivals. Nate’s mission as an artist is to spark genuine interest in and raise awareness for crucial environmental issues. Nate uses various printmaking techniques to discuss topics such as water quality, oil fracking, and renewable energy. Nate aims to combat crucial environmental issues both in medium and concept.