Rebecca Youssef raising environmentalism awareness through art
By Keemia Zhang
Los Angeles artist Rebecca Youssef is carrying out a project to raise awareness of environmentalism through an acorn-planting project.
Beginning in September, Youssef has gone into the Santa Monica Mountains and foraged for acorns. “There’s a little process about storing them,” she says, “soaking them in water, bagging them in the refrigerator and slowing the germination process down.” Youssef then returns to their original sites and replants them near their mother oak trees, where she predicts they will grow successfully.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Youssef attended university in Arizona before enrolling in graduate studies in California. Describing her home as “technicolored”, she states that the California landscape of “deserts and pastels” inspired her work.
She began incorporating her advocacy into her art during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the onset of several social justice movements, and now regards it as an important hallmark of her work. “The environmental stuff that I do,” she says, “really can inform the art and the impact toward its response.”
In an effort to raise awareness on a community level, Youseff plans to give out saplings as gifts to customers who attend the “Art at the Airport” program on December 10th, as part of the 18th Street Annual Winter party located near her studio at the Santa Monica Airport.
Youssef previously did an art show examining the results of a USC study tracking tree loss in Los Angeles County. “A lot of people don’t realize the importance of trees – in Los Angeles, our urban tree canopy is disappearing.” Youseff continues, citing the ongoing drought and annual temperature increases as a result of global warming. “One of the ways to really make an impact is to plant more trees.”
To learn more about Youssef‘s art, visit https://www.rebeccayoussef.com