The World Affairs Forum at Seton Hill University will partner with the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley (SAMA) on Tuesday, October 6, to host “green is a primary color: Discussion on Art, Ecology and Education.” The event, which will be held at SAMA in Ligonier, Pa., will open with a small reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by presentations from four local artists, educators and advocates at 7 p.m. and conclude with questions, responses and collaboration from the audience at 8 p.m. “green is a primary color” is open to the public free of charge. Event seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. To make reservations, please contact the SAMA at 724-238-6015.

Four local experts will lead the evening’s discussion. In addition to offering their personal experiences and insights, speakers will answer questions related to ecological responsibility and advocacy. Speakers will also address related economic, social and cultural topics, including the cultural changes necessary for fostering worldwide sustainability, the feasibility of sustainability and other “green” efforts within local communities, the benefits of environmental efforts within indigenous cultures, urban communities and economic dependencies, the global economic implications of environmental movements and the promotion of sustainability and environmental responsibility to future generations.

Slated speakers include environmental educator Angela Belli, artist and art therapy professor Dana Elmendorf, environmental artist and art educator Constance Merriman and artist and art educator Stuart Thompson.

Belli is director of the Environmental Education Center at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hill University and her Master of Science degree in environmental science from Duquesne University. She is a trained facilitator for numerous environmental projects and is a trained educator for Pennsylvania Amphibians and Reptiles and Pennsylvania Songbirds.

Elmendorf is an artist, art therapist and assistant professor at Seton Hill University, and has a passion for the evolving genre of eco-art. As an artist, Elmendorf works from a holistic perspective and considers all life part of a system. Within her art, she attempts to combine green elements and recyclable materials with her own personal experiences in nature.

Merriman is an artist and a teacher who has been creating artwork for over 30 years. More recently, she has focused on the social and environmental effects of the worldwide extraction of fuel for energy. She currently teaches at The School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as at The Carnegie Museum of Art. Merriman also is a collaborator in the Community Forest Project at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.

Thompson has taught art at both the high school and university level and is a retired professor emeritus in art from Seton Hill University. Also a sculptor and painter, Thompson creates artwork focused on nature, often drawing from his own experiences hiking various trails in Pennsylvania and southeast Utah, the Appalachian Trail and the Grand Canyon. Thompson also has exhibited and juried extensively.

According to professor of communication and education and World Affairs Forum director Frank Klapak, Ph.D., the event is designed to facilitate an open discussion of ideas, resources, curriculum and activities promoting sustainability and environmental accountability, among other ecological issues.

“I think that it is important for the World Affairs Forum to initiate discussions on critical issues that impact lives, locally, nationally, and globally,” said Klapak. “‘green is a primary color’ will explore, and go beyond, artwork from recycled materials, creative sustainable labyrinths, windmills and solar art, and will search for common ground and meaning in using earth, air, sunlight and water, our most essential life resources.”

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art exists to preserve, exhibit, and advance American art and is dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania. Charged with the development, maintenance, and perpetuation of a permanent collection, the museum mounts exhibitions designed to evoke an interest in and an understanding and appreciation of American art.

The mission of the World Affairs Forum at Seton Hill University is to help develop a community of informed citizens by bringing together people of diverse and independent voice, politic, belief, idea, ability, vocation, learning, philosophy, and action. The goal is to initiate, foster, and sustain a greater understanding of social, geopolitical, and cultural issues affecting our human condition, while encouraging individual and group action at all levels.