On Earth Day 2015, members of the Unity College staff and faculty announced the re-release of Hawk & Handsaw: The Journal of Creative Sustainability.
Hawk & Handsaw started as a print publication in 2008 and was published annually in that form until 2013.
Over the last year, Unity College staff and students reimagined Hawk & Handsaw as an online publication in order to reach a wider audience, engage in multi-media presentations and digital storytelling, and constantly refresh itself on a month-to-month cycle.
The core mission of Hawk & Handsaw remains to publish “thought-provoking written, visual, and media art that interprets and redefines notions of sustainability.” The current edition, Volume 7, is available online.
“The role of creative production in environmental work has never been clearer to me,” said Dean of Academic Services and Director of the Center for Environmental Arts & Humanities Dr. John Zavodny. “It’s to help communicate the most pressing problems and inspiring joys resulting from life in what our president, Stephen Mulkey, has called ‘the environmental century.’ This is the role of the arts, humanities, and media in sustainability science.”
Zavodny credited adjunct art professor Deanna Witman and former Unity College Public Arts Coordinator Meg Fournier for translating Hawk & Handsaw online. “This digital platform allows staff and contributors to move forward with a more dynamic and timely delivery and also benefits those seeking to contribute work as the submission process is now on a rolling basis,” said Witman, who serves as managing editor.
The inaugural digital publication, Volume 7, presents “Crow,” a selection from Alison Hawthorne Deming’s most recent publication “Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit” (Milkweed, 2014). Deming is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and the Agnese Nelms Haury Chair of Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. She lives in Tucson, Ariz., and Grand Manan, New Brunswick.
The curated works of several visual artists in this issue include Jessica Ferguson, Brenton Hamilton, Karen MacDonald, Sarah McRae Morton, and Meg Griffiths.
“Supporters old and new are invited to share and learn what creative sustainability can be by reading and possibly contributing to the journal,” Witman said.
About Hawk & Handsaw
Hawk & Handsaw: The Journal of Creative Sustainability publishes thought-provoking written and visual art that interprets and redefines notions of sustainability, published by Unity College, America’s Environmental College.
Deanna Witman, instructor of photography and all-things digital media and visual storytelling at Unity College. Her art practice is interdisciplinary and involves themes of ephemerality, and biology — consequences of both her art and scientific trainings and curious nature. Witman is an award-winning artist-educator exhibiting nationally and internationally and is represented by Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, Maine. She holds a M.F.A. in Photography from Maine Media College and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Kutztown University. Prior to her focus teaching and creating, Witman worked as a field biologist focusing on community assessments, wildlife, and plants. Her creative work can be viewed at www.dmwitman.com.
Ben Potter was born in 1970 and grew up in Tennessee. He majored in Art and Biology at Williams College. He received his M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the California College of Arts in 1998. He taught at several Vermont colleges and Ripon College in Wisconsin before moving to Unity College, where he is a professor of art. His art practice stems from his interdisciplinary background, and uses subjects drawn primarily from the sciences as the basis for his formal and conceptual investigation. His work can be seen at www.benpotterstudio.com Potter has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe.
James T. Spartz teaches courses in the Center for Environmental Arts & Humanities at Unity College. His research interests include topics in communication studies and environmental humanities, including use of new and traditional media, public opinion, perceptions of land use, social norms, and the role of place in environmental advocacy. James holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds an M.A. from the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Prior to graduate school, Spartz served as a worker/owner at an organic whole grains bakery cooperative, hardware store sales associate, and performing songwriter.
Michele Leavitt writes poetry and nonfiction. Her awards include the inaugural Michael Macklin Award for her full-length poetry manuscript, Back East, and the William G. Allen Award for Creative Nonfiction from The Ohio State University for a memoir excerpt, “No Trespassing.” At Unity College, she co-directs the Honors Program and teaches writing courses. A high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, and former trial attorney, she holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College, and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.