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The Art of Conservation 2019: Connect

First launched by VCS in 2014, the Art of Conservation contest encourages local high school students to reflect on the value of nature and what it means to them, and then to express themselves through the medium of their choice. We see this as an vital opportunity to deepen the sense of place among our young adults and connect them to local – and global – environmental issues.

This year, we invite students to submit work that explores connections with nature. At VCS, we believe that it is our deep connection with the Vineyard’s extraordinary natural gifts  pristine beaches, magical forests, and rolling hills  that drives our desire to conserve our wildlife, waters, and open lands for future generations.

For students, connection to nature may not feel like something done deliberately. It may not be something you have even thought about before! But this connection may come at a party at the beach, or in messing around with friends in the woods, or while looking out the windows while crossing Vineyard Sound on the ferry. It can be fishing, surfing, gardening, or enjoying a sunset. 

Fortunately, for us Islanders, nature is an amazing and ever-present part of living on Martha’s Vineyard. If you have always seen nature as just the background to real life, stop and think again: maybe it influences your experiences more than you realized?

Please use your artwork to explore your connections with nature. We can't wait to see how the current Vineyard high school population – the future leaders of our community – experiences, values, and expresses their relationship to the natural world. 

Stumped? Can't beat the artist's block?

The ideas below may offer starting points for approaching the project – but don't let them limit your direction!

How do you as an individual connect with your natural surroundings?
Picture lying on the beach, mountain biking, skating on a pond . . . 

How does our natural habitat connect us to one another?
Picture a group campfire under the stars, two kayaks on a pond, 3 people birding together . . . 

Top photo by Maisie Jerrell, MVRHS; bottom photo by Beatriz da Costa, MVRHS