2017 ECO-Award honours inspiring environmental artist Ken Hall
Photo courtesy of Ken Hall
Toronto – The Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) is pleased to announce the 2017 winner of its annual Environmental Community Organizer (ECO) Award: Ken Hall, an environmental artist from Mulmur, Ontario. Hall was lauded for his acclaimed, touring installation, Legacy, described by his nominator, Canadian Whale Institute chair Sarah Haney, as “a life-sized, anatomically correct killer whale skeleton, hand-carved entirely from reclaimed cedar and inspired by the tragic tale of… a female killer whale found stranded on the North Olympic Peninsula in Washington State” with “the highest levels of PCBs and DDT ever found in an orca.” The orca left a young orphan who refused to leave her, leading local children to name her “Hope.”
“Legacy exemplifies the work recognized by this award and the importance of the arts in moving more people to awareness, thought and action on critical environmental issues of our day when appeals to science and logic have fallen short,” declared Geo Takach, chair of ESAC’s awards committee. The jury was impressed by the power and scope of Hall’s physical and virtual exhibition; its aims to engage and empower young people; its immense reach of over one million visitors to date; and its strong support from Hall’s partners from DAREarts, Dufferin County, the Ontario Science Centre, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Working from his credo of “naturally inspired,” Ken Hall is described by Haney as “Working at the intersection of art and science… [to] create large public artworks which bring people together, provoking collective thought and discussion, while examining our relationships to each other and the natural world around us.”
ESAC’s ECO-Award honours outstanding contributions of individuals or groups working together to build partnerships and networks within the field of environmental studies, who increase environmental awareness through education and outreach, and who promote the mobilization of knowledge and research into action and practice. Winners receive a cash award of $1000, a one-year membership in ESAC and a subscription to Alternatives Journal (“Canada’s environmental voice”), and are invited to give a keynote address at ESAC’s next annual conference, to be held in Regina in 2018.
This year’s award is to be presented during ESAC’s annual conference, part of the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at Ryerson University in Toronto. An honourable mention goes to the Wellington Water Watchers of Wellington, Ontario.
For more information
Veronica Wahl, ESAC president (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Geo Takach, ESAC board member and ECO-Award committee chair (email@example.com)
ESAC’s Awards Committee also included board members Fernanda Tomaselli and Veronica Wahl.
ESAC appreciates the media sponsorship for the ECO-Award kindly provided by Alternatives Journal.