Ohio University

Cutler Hall
The John Sabraw Arts and Innovation Fund

Supports innovative art and industry collaborations that foster sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The John Sabraw Arts and Innovation Fund

OHIO artist and environmentalist John Sabraw joined OHIO environmental engineer Guy Riefler’s efforts to make paint pigment by extracting the iron oxide from the acid mine drainage that pollutes local streams near abandoned coal mines.  

Together, the Professor of Painting and the Professor of Civil Engineering brought student artists and student engineers into the “Pollution to Paint” project and research. Not only do the students experience enriching, hands-on research, they also bear witness to the power of collaboration between art and science in service to a healthier environment. 

Gorgeous paint pigments emerge from this process that has been finely tuned over the years. The result is the creation of retail artist and commercial paints.  

"I really like collaborating with scientists. These days, everything is so specialized that there is little discussion among disciplines. But artists and scientists communicated closely in the past. Often, they were the same people. There is a commonality."

— John Sabraw, Professor of Art, Chair, Painting + Drawing program