Adapt & Sustain was a participatory mural project that happened during the fall of 2014.  It was a capstone, or Applied Project, for the Sustainable Solutions program offered by Arizona State University.

Many of the words used by practitioners in the field of sustainability have multiple definitions and interpretations.  When communities try to become more "sustainable," the complexity of the words that describe issues and problems can be a barrier that prevents us from even trying to talk about them, let alone solve them.     

Picturing the words and ideas as visual metaphors might make a complex and specialized academic discourse into an interesting visual composition. When that picture is created by volunteers on a large, public wall, it is available to just about everyone to look at, interpret, and talk about.  The complexity of sustainability becomes a beautiful thing to look at and a compelling topic of conversation. 

A D A P T  &  S U S T A I N 


Angela Cazel Jahn

Project Artist

Angela has over twenty years of experience in the arts and social engagement.  She is one of the co-founders of the Children's Museum of Phoenix, and has implemented community-driven projects in the Nuestro Barrio and Coronado neighborhoods and at multiple schools, created therapeutic imagery for the Childhelp  Children's Center of Arizona, and shown work in local and national art galleries.  She is currently a graduate student in the School of Sustainability at ASU.

Mountain Park Health Center

Project Host & Property Owner

The Gateway Clinic is more than a doctor's office.  It's a health center providing essential care to people who may struggle to find quality, affordable care elsewhere.  More than that, it's a community-gathering space that promotes overall health and wellness.  Each year, we invite local school children to participate in an art project, which is an opportunity for them to both learn about health and to express themselves creatively.

ASU's School of Sustainability

Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability is the first of its kind in the United States, with a focus on finding real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.  The School’s course of study emphasizes experiential learning, research with faculty, corporate and K-12 work, community service, and leadership development. The knowledge and solutions that are created today will shape our quality of life as well as future generations–we have an opportunity and an obligation to make our world more sustainable.

Balsz Neighborhood

This mural is located on the canal bank northwest of the corner of 40th street and Van Buren in Phoenix, Arizona.  This site represents a first step in activating the canalscape in this vibrant community in the Gateway District of the Valley of the Sun.

Copyright © A D A P T & S U S T A I N. All rights reserved.

This mural project has been supported and/or inspired by... 

Martinson Sustainability Solutions Research Grant