Professor Stanley J. Shetka will be transforming the Schaefer Art Gallery over the next 62 days into his office, classroom, studio, business, and home. The Collateral Healing Initiatives Project and “The Life Course” will begin in the Gallery this Thursday, Nov. 30th, and continue until the end of January 2024. This project will display collected materials that Shetka has received from people all over the world. While Shetka was attending Wimbledon School of Art 50 years ago, The WORLD ART PROJECT Concept was born. It centers around Collateral Healing Climatism: “The things I create and make/need must contribute to reversing climate disintegration. If it does not, it is not art!” Shetka said.
Shetka has been at Gustavus Adolphus College since 1979. Now, he is the president, originator, and owner of WORLD ART PROJECT, and the President and CEO of Collateral Healing Incorporated, an artist studio corporation. Additionally, he is the Vice President of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation and is currently a member of the board of Directors, Head of the Artist Selection Committee, and the first grant recipient of 1989.
To participate in the WORLD ART PROJECT, each person is invited to choose one item, material, or substance that is of personal importance to them and include a signed piece of paper currency: a one-dollar bill, or if outside the USA, include one paper currency note equivalent to the value of one U.S. dollar. “You may write WORLD ART PROJECT, your name, signature & date, or the name of your selected material or substance, on the outside border of the paper currency,” The WORLD ART PROJECT flyer states. Before being placed back into circulation, all paper currencies will be officially stamped with WORLD ART PROJECT on the outside border and also signed by the artist and Shetka.
He continues to accept materials and encourages participation from others: “I especially invite all past, current, and future students, faculty, and staff to visit and participate. The many milestone events in my life did not happen in a vacuum. My education did not begin or end in school. We cannot teach art; we display the will and desire to continue by example and projects for all.” His plan is to invite community members, parents, and business leaders into the Gallery to participate in various events such as conversations and lectures. “With the community-engaged installation, I aim to create a platinum LEED-certified living gallery connected to a maker space to be utilized by every department and every course. It takes a village; graciously, we all live and work at Gustavus,” Shetka said.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is “…the world’s most widely used green building rating system,” states the U.S. Green Building Council’s website. It provides guidance for buildings so that they may become healthy and highly efficient while also cutting costs, in order to provide benefits that range from the environment to both social and governance. This system is integral to Shetka’s project, as it focuses on reducing humanity’s carbon footprint. “So, if you have heard of a building that is LEED Gold or LEED Platinum certified, this means the building earned between 60-79 points or 80 plus points, respectively. This is the highest green certification a building can receive. Gustavus needs to have its first building!” Shetka says. The U.S. Green Building Council’s website says that “LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation.”
Shetka’s Collateral Healing Initiative Project is “committed to creating cost-effective
environmental solutions within all human activities that utilize water, air, and plants,” the Collateral Healing Initiative Project flyer states. Its purpose is to display the powerful interconnection between humans and their behaviors, values, and systems of life. It is “about identifying and defining an art movement which involves a new aesthetic within the economics of water, air, plants, and all human activities,” the flyer also states.
An example of an item donated is a lock of hair from then 42-year-old Christa Halmosi who is from Germany. Currently, she is 77 years old. This item is a testament to the longevity of this project. The WORLD ART PROJECT statement says: “Every day throughout his life on earth, artist Stanley J. Shetka continues to create one work of art from all the individually selected materials or substances he continually receives from everyone in the world.”
In regards to items donated, The WORLD ART PROJECT poses this question: “Ask yourself, ‘What material or substance of matter represents your stay on earth?’ From your hands, you are contributing a memory or reminder that represents an aspect of your life on earth that is important to you.”
If an individual chooses to participate, they can send their one package to WORLD ART PROJECT, P.O. Box 40, Webster, Minnesota 55088.