‘Green Artists League’
After many years of teaching at the University of Iowa and working and exhibiting as an abstract painter, Erin left the art world. She pursued her psychology degree and worked in addictions counseling, spiritual healing, and creativity training. Moved by her spiritual practice in both Zen and Christian communities, Erin returned to art making and became involved in environmental activism and building meaningful community. In 2006, Erin integrated her passions and aspirations in the founding of the Green Artists League.
The Green Artists’ League (GAL) is an interdisciplinary collective of artists who have come together to create public art that addresses the global environmental crisis. GAL strives to be a model of community, collaboration, and service. Viewing art as an agent for transformation, GAL engages the public through interactive art experiences. We hope to raise awareness and challenge people to look at their role as part of Nature and their relationship to the environment. Through this increased awarenss, GAL hopes to inspire people to adopt environmentally healthy behaviors and attitudes.
Created for Earth Day, 2008, Erin Stack escorted Stephenie Strogeny, who had been transformed into a ravenous ghoul, through the streets of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Stack would tell people about the sad tale of Stephenie, a savvy, yet profligate shopper who awoke one morning transformed into a giant Hungry Ghost. She is now doomed to roam the world consuming without ever being satisfied.
The public was encouraged to feed the hungry ghost by putting their waste water bottles, napkins, candies etc. through the many open mouths of the ghost. The food would then be seen through the exposed stomachs that hang from the ghost.
Legend has it that poor Stephenie is still seen wandering the streets of the Northeast trailing her ever accumulating train of waste.
In the spring of 2008, I became the organizer and director of First Parish Church of Newbury’s environmental mission the New Eden Collaborative. The New Eden Collaborative brings together
church congregants, Greater Newburyport CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shareholders, organic community gardeners, organic chicken cooperative members, environmental groups such as Transition Newburyport, and the Green Artists League (GAL) for the purpose of cultivating a sustainable, and earth friendly community.
The participatory art projects at New Eden is the first of GAL’s 3 ”Articulture” community art projects.
Erin Stack and architect Stephenie Strogney collaborate annually on roaming eco- interventions.
“Savage Rituals”, Earth Day, 2007, Newburyport, MA
This performance addresses Americans anxious, projected as romanticized, relationship to Nature. Our “friendly” polar bear greeted people on the street and in commercial establishments. The bear offered the gift of cards describing assorted “savage rituals”. If performed, these rituals would allow a more intimate relationship with Nature.
Selected Savage Rituals:
2. For the duration of one month from this day, place a cup outdoors every time there is precipitation. Allow the cup to fill for as long as the rain or snow lasts. When the weather changes, drink the contents of the glass.
5. In your mind, determine a length of time: a specific number of hours, days, weeks, years. Next, pick up a rock. Any size that you can carry is fine. Keep this rock with you at all times: in bed, in the shower, at work…always have the rock in arms length of you. At the end of the specified time, return the rock to the exact location where you found it.