Eco-Artist Anne Cummings conveys her environmental convictions in her artwork through the use of re-cycled and re-purposed materials. “Vermont Wastescapes” are photograph-based collages assembled from trash collected in each of Vermont’s fourteen counties. The resulting images show backwoods Vermont scenes absent of man-made features. The piece draws attention to human society and waste and it’s devastating effects on the natural landscape.
In the quest to justify my creation of art and meld it with my environmental convictions, “Vermont Wastescapes” was born. This series was a six-year journey to create a large-scale conceptual work celebrating the state I call home, using exclusively re-cycled, re-claimed, and re-purposed materials. It is intended to raise awareness about the volume of human waste we create, and its toll on places of natural beauty, even in a state considered as “green” as Vermont. To minimize the carbon footprint of traveling for artistic purposes, all the materials used to create “Vermont Wastescapes” were collected during planned professional and personal visits to each county in the state.
The images are composite compositions based on photographs taken of natural areas hidden on the back roads and trails of Vermont, which intentionally include no manmade features. There are fourteen counties in Vermont, and each piece of “Vermont Wastescapes” represents the county from which the materials were gathered; both in its shape, and the distinctive nature of the “garbage” gathered there. Interestingly, the human detritus of each county exhibits its own unique characteristics, just as the local flora and fauna do. From afar, these are colorful, beautiful images, but by closely examining the fragments of material composing each natural image, they disaggregate into recognizable icons of human society and waste.
Anne’s involvement in the arts has been a lifelong pursuit, from art classes at the Toledo Museum of Art as a child to creating and teaching art in many venues throughout her art career. Anne pursued a joint Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and art history from Ohio University and later did graduate work in history and art history at the University of Toledo and Ohio State University. She recently completed a Master’s degree at Saint Michael’s College in Creative Arts in Education.
Anne has worked professionally in the arts in many capacities. She has been a business owner, exhibition coordinator and designer, museum store manager, artists’ representative, graphic artist, grants writer, member of a fiber artists’ cooperative, and art consultant. Whatever it takes to keep her hands in the world of art! She is currently an art educator at Colchester High School and a working studio artist.
Anne’s work has been exhibited in a variety of venues in Vermont and Ohio, and is in public and private collections in Vermont, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan.
Much of the inspiration for her work comes from her close connection to the natural world. When the demands of teaching and family allow, Anne pursues interests in outdoor activities, such as running, XC skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking and gardening. Anne believes that humans must learn to be “Leavers” and not always “Takers” in their relationship with our planet. Anne considers herself an Eco-Artist and conveys her environmental convictions in her artwork through the use of re-cycled and re-purposed materials, and by presenting the viewer with ways of looking at our world, and our interactions with it, in a more intimate and responsible way.