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  • Writer's pictureJenna Granger

Earth Art

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Create art using items found in nature

Grade Level:



Earth and Human Activity

Natural Resources




Tools & Materials

  • The great outdoors

  • Your creativity

To Do & Notice

1. Question: What is Earth Art or Land Art?

2. Make a Claim:

  • Can you make art out of only natural materials that you find in nature?

3. Gather Inspiration:

3. Make Your Own Earth Art

  • Earth Art Guidelines: Our goal is to create art with minimal impact on the environment. Therefore it is recommended that you use non-living materials from nature rather than living materials. All items should come from nature (no man-made materials). If you decide to use living materials please follow the guidance below:

  1. Gather non-living, natural materials from the ground. Pinecones, rocks, stickes, pine needles, sand, etc.

  2. If you want to use something living, like a flower or leaf there must be many more than one on the plant.

  3. Never pick something that is the only one.

  • Find the spot where you want to make your art. A flat open spot, cleared of other loose items makes a good canvas.

  • Think about what you want to make: a tower, mandala, caterpillar, animal, statue, or something entirely new and weird! More ideas here or here.

  • Spend time collecting your nature items.

  • Create!

4. Share your Art

  • Post a picture of your art to inspire others on social media. Tag us @sweptahoe on Instagram and/or to @swep4 on Facebook. Be sure to hashtag and follow #SWEPsnippets. If you cannot post directly yourself, send to SWEP (

What’s Going On

What is Earth Art?

  • Art that is made only from items found in nature and is often incorporated into the landscape. This art has a temporary nature and changes with time as nature changes, perhaps pieces blow away, decay, change, get absorbed into the earth, etc. All of this is part of the process of Earth Art.

Why make earth art?

  • It is a way to honor the earth

  • A great way to spend time outside

  • It is an ideal way to express our creativity

  • It is free to all, excluding no one

  • Allows us to see how nature and art can change over time


Using only snowshoes and a compass, artists are able to create beautiful snow art mandalas across the landscape. Check it out:

Going Further

Thank you to Sagehen Outdoor Education Program, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and our many partners for supporting student's science, sustainability and outdoor learning experiences.

Please review SWEP's Terms of Use prior to using this resource.

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