Art that matters

Erin Agius has had a pretty rough year. The Arizona State University first-year student lost a job as a restaurant manager due to the pandemic and spent the majority of 2020 and early 2021 in virtual seclusion.

But things are looking up.

Student in glasses and black turtleneck

Erin Agius

Agius was recently named the winner of the ASU Earth Day Design Contest 2021, sponsored by Arizona State University’s Sustainability Practices. Agius’ logo will be the official ASU Earth Month 2021 sticker and inspire a mural to be painted on the Memorial Union windows from April 5–15.

“This feels incredible because I recently started going to college and now winning this contest felt reassuring that I’m headed in the right direction,” said Agius, an ASU Online student living in Denver. “It feels like the struggle of 2020 is finally over. This will definitely add to my portfolio and I’m pretty stoked.”

Others are stoked as well, including Emmery Ledin, engagement coordinator with University Sustainability Practices. She said hundreds from the Sun Devil community voted on the four submitted designs for the inaugural contest.

“This contest was conceived to give the ASU community the opportunity to flex their creativity during these challenging times,” Ledin said. “Earth Month is not only a time to reflect upon and appreciate our shared home, but also a time to reflect upon ourselves and the strength of our community. I had hoped our contest would bring attention to our Earth Month celebration while also rekindling the Sun Devil spirit.”

ASU’s Earth Month continues all throughout April.

The design prompt for the contest was, “What does One Earth, One ASU Community mean to you?” The finished product also had to inspire involvement in ASU’s Earth Month celebration, while creating a sense of community at ASU and care for the Earth.

Agius' logo, “Mother Earth,” fit the bill, according to Ledin.

“Erin’s art was so compelling because it expressed the fragility of our planet while also illustrating our shared responsibility to care for it,” Ledin said. “All of the design submissions were stunning, but this one absolutely nailed the Sun Devil spirit.”

The logo and sticker will be passed out at ASU’s Earth Festival on the Tempe Sun Devil Fitness Complex field on April 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. They’ll also be available at several reception desks on the ASU Tempe campus.

“Mother Earth” took two hours to design, said Agius, and features a long-haired woman proudly smiling over a clouded but pristine-looking Earth.

Agius said the inspired design stems from a strong belief in sustainability and a responsibility to leave Earth in a better place for future generations.

“I believe the Earth is not something we own. We are a gracious guest on a living planet that provides us everything we need. Everyone knows that a polite guest leaves things the way they found them,” Agius said. “Not only do I believe that it’s now more important than ever that we take those steps, I believe it’s also more available to do so. The technology and research that’s been provided gives us that possibility. And all that we have to do is take the action on that.”

More information about ASU Earth Month and a list of activities.

Top photo: Erin Agius' "Mother Earth" logo design. Courtesy of University Sustainability Practices.

Marshall Terrill
marshall.terrill@asu.edu