In celebration of the 2011 Common Experience theme of Sustainability, the Honors Forum used its Gallery to explore the interconnectedness of The Commons. The Commons is an expression that refers to environmental resources to which we all have joint “ownership” of or access to, such as the air or the oceans. Affirming that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect these natural systems, the Forum encouraged students, faculty and staff to participate in the curation/creation of the gallery.
The gallery sought to interweave images of the four natural elements with many other facets of the environment. These included images of objects external to the earth's systems (i.e. litter, landfills, and carbon footprints) and images of the organisms that are integral to it, such as the planet's many endangered species. The Commons Experience Gallery explores the idea that each living being has a place in our global system and the idea that no one species has the right to exploit or eradicate others.