Nurture Nature Center’s Community Resilience Project Murals to be Permanently Displayed at St. Luke’s Hospital – Easton Campus

Two large-scale artworks created by artists Jackie Lima and Don Wilson and commissioned by the Nurture Nature Center (NNC) will find a home at St. Lukes Hospital – Easton Campus this week. The murals are a product of NNC’s four-year community-wide project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Nurture Nature Center commissioned three artists living in the Easton, Wilson, and Bangor area to produce community-specific murals that envision a more resilient future.

NNC’s project, called “CREATE Resilience: Community Resilience through Education, Art, Technology and Engagement”, was one of nine projects awarded nationally (2018) in a highly competitive grant process through NOAA’s Office of Education. The project is a multi-disciplinary effort to help regional communities understand the science of hazards and strategies for resilience.

The artist of the Easton mural, Jackie Lima, is a painter of large scale works and professor of art at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “This mural weaves imagery with text in a fascinating way that narrates history and environment while visualizing a sense of community that is uniquely Easton”, explains NNC Art Director, Keri Maxfield. Wilson area artist, Don Wilson is a muralist, educator and Master Watershed Steward. “Wilson’s mural is rich with community-specific examples of resiliency and includes a vision of a more sustainable future as discussed throughout the project”, adds Maxfield. The third mural, which is displayed at Bangor Area High School’s Alumni Hall, was painted by James Gloria (Bangor, PA) who is a muralist, arts educator, and organizer of the Heritage Mural Project, Bangor, PA.

Artists were selected on the following criteria: residency and engagement in the community they represent, skillset in the arts and ability to visually communicate concepts, and an interest in learning about environmental hazards.

In addition to the murals, the project featured components for education and action for high school students, and community adults and families. Easton, Wilson and Bangor Area high school students formed teams of CREATE Resilience Youth Ambassadors who engaged with residents to document and exhibit the history of local hazards and help lead community-based education events focused on learning strategies for household preparedness and hazard mitigation. Residents and families participated in community education events, including discussion forums, expert presentations, arts-based activities and mapping workshops, community resiliency tours, and hands-on household preparedness events. These activities helped inform a community vision of resilience that the artists used as a starting point to develop the content for the murals. Since the completion of the murals, NNC has produced community guidebooks and short film about the project to be shared with NOAA’s Science on a Sphere® network.

NNC is continuing the momentum of the CREATE Resilience project with a new two-year project funded through Community Funding Program, supported by Representative Susan Wild’s office and administered through NOAA. CREATE Resilience Research and Community Learning Hub seeks to foster “ready, responsive, and resilient” communities that are empowered and able to protect their community members in the face of changing climate impacts and environmental hazards.

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