Environmental Art Exhibit Earth’s Voice Opens at Orlando Science Center

Earth's Voice: An Environmental Art Exhibit shows our planet through artists' eyes

Climate scientists and environmental experts show that when we focus on restoring our Earth, we can solve multiple issues at once.  This multi-media environmental art exhibit addresses the manifold environmental crises humans and non-humans face while we envision new futures.

Artists are the ultimate translators of the human condition and can hold deep empathy for the natural systems around us that support our survival. It is through this deep empathy that we endeavor to connect art and science while waking up humanity to the severity of our current situation and inspire people to act. 

Earth's Voice: An Environmental Art Exhibit will be on display in Fusion: A STEAM Gallery on Level 3 through August 22.

A Q&A with artists Katie De Bari & Michelle Irizarry

What inspired you to create/curate the pieces in this exhibition?

2021’s Earth Day theme is “Restore the Earth.” We all have worries, dreams, ideas, and objections when it comes to reckoning with the damage we humans have inflicted upon our shared environment. Throughout COVID-19, we have all been forced to step back and reflect more than perhaps we normally would. We curated this exhibition in order to share our very human artifacts of our reflections on the non-human, consider both the resilience and fragility of our planet, call out injustice, and imagine a way forward.

What do you hope guests will take away from this exhibition?

This gallery is meant to highlight a diversity of voices concerned for the degradation of our planet. With our sponsor, CLEO Institute, we also want this gallery to be a testament of faith in science and of hope for a new way forward. This gallery is curated to encourage both reflection and action. We hope this will be just one of many art installations through which communities can explore how the personal and the environment meet and inform each other in the Anthropocene.

How is STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering, and Math) relevant to this exhibition?

The science of climate change is unequivocal. It is based on analyses of the long-term observational record as well as climate modeling where scenarios of increasing greenhouse gas emissions show widespread global warming and long-term changes in many aspects of our climate. These climate models are run on super-computers and use numerical tools to solve approximate versions of advanced mathematical equations based on the fundamentals laws of physics, fluid motion, and chemistry. They also allow us to assess how technological innovations that reduce emissions could alter our future path.

However, climate action requires both an activist community pushing our government to address the climate emergency and changes in our own lifestyle. Art has historically served a purpose in communicating difficult subjects to a diverse audience and has been behind many prominent activism movements. We hope this art show will present a variety of perspectives on how humans are dealing with the climate crisis, their thoughts and emotions on the subject, and how they perceive the problem and its solutions.

a painting of a woman holding the earth in her hands with a galaxy background

Featured Artists: YES Theatre, Brooklyn. Veronica Garcia-Bernal. Michelle Irizarry. Prague-ject Theater. Bryan Carson. Captain A. Emotions Dance Company. Dark Skies Productions.

Instructions for Cardboard Animals: Pangolin Project

Follow the instructions for cardboard animals and make a new friend. Literally! 

Pangolins are strange little creatures. They are very hard to keep in captivity, so you probably have never seen one in a zoo. So what are these animals, and why are they important? As you follow along with the instructions for cardboard animals, learn a little more about our pangolin pals!

Pangolins are mammals that are completely covered in scales. They are solitary animals and primarily nocturnal. Pangolins eat ants and termites specific to their region of the world. They have no teeth, so they catch bugs with their sticky tongue. They curl up into a ball when under attack; their scales protect them against most predators. There are eight species of pangolin across Africa and Asia, and all of them range from vulnerable to critically endangered. The primary threat to pangolins is illegal wildlife trade for their meat and their scales. This severely harms the pangolin population, and sometimes harms humans – removing scales can subject people to disease.

Pangolins are extremely important to their ecosystems! They eat most of the time they’re awake, so they control the insect population in a huge way. They also dig up soil while they look for food or when they burrow, which aerates it and creates a healthier surface for plants to grow in. When their burrows are abandoned, other animals move in and are protected.

Materials you will need:

  • A soda box (or a few cereal or granola bar boxes)
  • A hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Optional: a strip of paper for the pangolin’s tongue
Materials for making cardboard pangolin

Instructions for Cardboard Animals: Pangolin

Step 1: Cut out a body shape (like a rounded x) and strips for the neck and tail – make sure it’s wide enough to hold some scales!

Step2: Make a small cone for the head. You can do this by cutting a strip of the box and rolling it tightly from one corner, then cutting off the excess. Glue the cone together.

Step 3: Glue the head cone to the neck and onto the body. DON’T glue the tail on yet.


Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin steps 1 - 3

Step 4: Now for the tough part – let’s cut some scales! Scales are teardrop shaped, but they don’t all need to be exactly the same. Variety looks natural.  

  • 20 small scales, about the size of your thumbnail 
  • 35 medium scales, about the size of your thumbprint 
  • 40 large scales, about the size of a guitar pick 
Make scales- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin step 4

Step 5: Start gluing scales to your pangolin's head, legs, neck, and tail.

  • Glue a small scale to each leg with the point facing down.  
  • Glue 7 small scales to the head, layering on top as you move backwards on the pangolin’s body.  
  • Glue 7 small scales to one end of the tail, layering on top as you move forwards on the pangolin’s body.
glue scales- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin step 5

Step 6: Now, let’s create some body structure. Create a trapezoid shape where the smaller end is about the size of the back of the pangolin’s head with the scales on.  

Step 7: Create a slightly larger trapezoid than the first one. Then, create one more, larger than the middle one.  

Give each trapezoid shape some curve, like an arch. 

create body structure for- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin steps 6-7

Step 8: Glue some scales onto the smallest trapezoid, starting with layers of small scales. You can use all the rest of your small scales and move onto medium if you have room. Don’t over layer – just fill in spots where you can see the trapezoid underneath.  

Step 9: Glue the smallest trapezoid to the body shape. 

add scales to body structure for- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin

Step 10: Repeat steps 6-7 with medium and large trapezoids. 

  • Glue some scales onto the medium trapezoid, a row or two of medium and then large.  
  • Glue the medium trapezoid so it’s layered slightly underneath the smallest trapezoid.  
  • Glue some scales onto the largest trapezoid. 
  • Glue the largest trapezoid so it’s layered slightly underneath the medium trapezoid.  

    *If you need it, you can fold up a piece of cardboard to slip between the body shape and the trapezoid for support.  
add body structure to body for- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin

Step 11: Add the finishing touches

  • Glue the tail onto the largest trapezoid.  
  • Fill in the tail with medium or large scales.  
  • Fill in the legs with medium scales with the point facing downwards. 

    *Optional: curl up a thin strip of paper and glue it in the mouth to represent the tongue.  
add body structure to body for- Instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin

Step 12: Name your pangolin!

How can you help pangolins? The biggest challenge is education – most people don’t know that pangolins exist! Tell your friends about these cute little creatures. You can also support wildlife sanctuaries and advocacy groups.

results of instructions for Cardboard Animals pangolin

Expand on this activity

  • Learn more about pangolins!
    • Why do we know so little about pangolins? Because of their natural behaviors and specific diet, only a few sanctuaries exist where their natural behaviors can be observed or they can be studied up close.
    • Check out The Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary in Liberia, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife Rescue, and even some zoos in the United States are working hard to get the pangolin population back up.

  • Have you been online shopping? Check out more ways to get creative with cardboard!

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