April 22 marks the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day all around the globe, but the Bateman Foundation chooses to think of April as Earth Month, bringing an intentional and long term focus to the ecology of the planet and the threats it faces.
The philosophy of the Foundation and of Robert Bateman himself is that education and personal involvement is one of the best ways to improve and protect the environment.
Jane Goodall, the world famous naturalist, and Robert Bateman, the famed Canadian environmentalist, educator and artist, share a belief that in order to reverse the negative effects of environmental degradation, we must engage the younger generation into activities that promote sustainable lifestyles. You can view the whole discussion hosted by the Jane Goodall Institute here.
Growing up alongside the Beltline Ravine in downtown Toronto, Robert Bateman has had a lifelong fascination with nature that began actively growing at the age of 12 and continues today with the same passion. His daily routine consists of creating artwork inspired by nature and even as he celebrates his 92nd birthday next month, there are no signs of him stopping.
An emphasis of the Bateman Foundation year round is innovating ways to re-incorporate youth into nature and educating them on the realities of today’s world, including the climate and ecological disasters we may face. As Mr. Bateman once said, “things we thought we lost can be revitalised.”
Earth Day really is year-round at the Foundation, through the many nature-oriented programs offered at the Bateman Gallery. By using education as a key to environmental conservation, Robert Bateman believes “the more people know and fall in love with nature, the more they will care and protect her.”
One of the premier exhibits at the Gallery supporting the philosophy of Earth Day is Environmental Impact II, an exhibition of contemporary artists focusing on environmental issues. The international show runs through May 28 at the Gallery.
Featuring the work of some 23 artists, including Robert Bateman, the art brings awareness to the consequences of human action, or inaction, on our world through industrial scale consumption, oil spills, diminishing water resources and the vulnerability of species.
We celebrated Earth Day last weekend in the Bateman Gallery with nature-based activities engaging youth and families and held an inclusive welcome back to members in the evening.
As we reflect on the state of the Earth, we feel that nature-based knowledge needs to be at the forefront of education. What we uniquely offer at the Bateman Gallery are creative ways of engaging our community in learning about the value of the natural world, and the role we play in preserving and protecting it. By offering innovative and fun educational opportunities not only in April but all year round, we can truly showcase the very powerful, all encompassing statement from our founder Robert Bateman: “nature is magic”.
We hope this month has allowed you to pause, take note of nature and be inspired to protect and care for it.
The Bateman Foundation Team