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FSU art professor’s latest project targets sustainability and anxiety caused by hurricanes

The onset of a massive hurricane can cause environmental damage, threats to sustainability and even psychological suffering. A Florida State University art professor is tackling two of these detrimental effects in one project by producing a Hurricane Emergency Art Kit. Professor Holly Hanessian recently unveiled the kit at a public event held at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts. The project has received support from both the FSU Office of Research and corporate partner Sawyer International.

Hanessian’s first objective in developing the project was to address water sustainability and disaster resiliency in underserved communities. The kit encourages the use of appropriate water filtration technology and seeks to decrease the reliance on single-use plastic water bottles.

“Right before Hurricane Michael, I was in Walmart’s camping section and found the Sawyer mini-filter,” Hanessian said. “I was amazed that the filter could clean 100,000 gallons of dirty water and wondered why they couldn’t be at the front of the store, where mounds of plastic bottles of water were piled? This thought ignited my passion for this project and for others to connect the idea of global warming and increased hurricanes to plastic water bottle-use.”

The Hurricane Emergency Art Kit is enclosed in a tin that floats and includes one Sawyer mini-water filtration system and a series of handmade porcelain objects designed for self-soothing. In addition, the kit comes with a handmade book containing hurricane preparedness tips, games, guides for reducing anxiety in anticipation of a hurricane and poems from local writer Christine Poreba.

Interested in learning more? Find the complete article written by Anna Prentiss & Miranda Wonder of Florida State University here.


October 21, 2023

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Florida State University offers a unique academic environment built on our cherished values, distinctive heritage, and welcoming campus. Florida State has it all, offering nationally-ranked academics, world-renowned faculty, championship athletics, and a prime location in the heart of the state capital. And we're the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida!

Combining traditional strength in the arts and humanities with recognized leadership in the sciences, our university is privileged to provide 16 colleges that offer more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional and specialist degree programs, and it’s worth noting that each year FSU awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees. Upon graduation, our students join an exclusive and supportive network of more than 300,000 alumni around the world.

Florida State University's arts programs rank among the finest in the world. We also offer a wide array of undergraduate and graduate research opportunities, including those at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory – the only national lab in the state.

We are Florida State University, and we are inspiring the extraordinary.

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