River-Inspired Prints to Benefit Student Artists

2 min read
June 24, 2024
River-Inspired Prints to Benefit Student Artists

Rivers are Life is thrilled to announce an ongoing project featuring two unique works of art by the acclaimed artist John Sabraw. The prints, "Dynamic River" and "Rivers are Life," are available for purchase, with proceeds directly benefiting environmental art students at Ohio State University.


Both pieces are created by John Sabraw, who is renowned for his commitment to environmental sustainability and is featured as a River Hero in the Rivers are Life film, Toxic Art. This film explores how Sabraw uses toxic runoff from abandoned coal mines to create stunning works of art, transforming pollution into beauty alongside partners like Ohio State University and True Pigments. 

About the Artist: John Sabraw 

John Sabraw is not just an artist, he’s also an advocate for environmental change. Born in Lakenheath, England, Sabraw built a career that merges art with environmental science. His work has been featured in a number of collections and media outlets, and is part of the collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Honolulu, the Elmhurst Museum in Illinois, and Emprise Bank. Additionally, his work has been highlighted in platforms such as TED, Smithsonian, New Scientist, and Great Big Story. 

Currently, Sabraw is a Professor of Art at Ohio University, where he serves as Chair of the Painting + Drawing program. He is also a Board Advisor at Scribble Art Workshop in New York. His dedication to environmental sustainability and education has earned him recognition within both the art and scientific communities. His vibrant, eco-conscious paintings use pigments made from toxic sludge extracted from polluted streams, a process developed in collaboration with scientists. This unique method not only results in stunning artworks but also turns environmental degradation into powerful visual statements.  

Supporting Future Environmental Artists 

Eco-art education has the potential to affect students in a variety of areas, including their awareness, behavior, attitude, and actions. Furthermore, outdoor environmental education programs significantly boost students' intrinsic motivation, making learning more satisfying and engaging due to internal rewards rather than external pressures like grades. 

Beyond individual students, eco-art can have tangible impacts on the environment too. Take Ansel Adams, for example, whose photographs of natural spaces connected him with the Sierra Club. The advocacy group worked with Adams to take pictures of what would become Kings Canyon National Park to convince Congress to act in 1940. Today, Kings Canyon National Park is administered jointly alongside Sequoia National Park, and the two host more than 1.5 million visitors each year. 

Expressing one’s perspective on nature is crucial for fostering a deeper appreciation for natural ecosystems as well as motivating collective action to protect them, which is why supporting burgeoning artists is important now more than ever. 

Proceeds from the sales of “Dynamic River” and “Rivers are Life” prints will be shared with a fund established by John Sabraw, which provides students with the resources needed to create their own environmental art projects. This initiative aims to inspire the next generation of artists to engage with and address ecological issues through their creative work. 

Get Involved 

John Sabraw’s fund provides resources and opportunities for students to engage in environmental art projects, encouraging their passion and potential to communicate the value of our environment. By purchasing these prints, you are not only acquiring beautiful pieces of art, but also directly supporting art as an advocacy tool on behalf of our waterways.