Written by Caleb Chunn // Photo provided by Kennedy Williamson
From pots of gold and leprechauns to rainbows and shamrocks, St. Patrick’s Day is full of a complex color with a rich history in the art and design world that surrounds us: green.
Green is the most prominent color when one thinks of St. Patrick’s Day, but the color is not just reserved for the March festivities. The color green can be seen everywhere, and its presence not only has an effect on its surroundings, but it also affects the person looking at it.
Braydon Letsinger, a senior visual arts studio major, has utilized the color green in several of his pieces and said the color’s meaning has changed over time and become more ambiguous.
“Historically, it’s like rebirth, regrowth, because it’s plant life and like, with Ireland, it’s such a big color,” Letsinger said. “But in more recent history, it’s kind of come to have a little bit more negative connotations, but it can be used negatively, like Shakespeare was one of the first to coin the term like ‘green with envy’ or like the ‘green eyes of envy.’”
Tessa Davidson, an assistant professor of art, discussed the use of the color green in both her personal work and art throughout history.
“I learned through my reading about green back in the day that the human eye can actually detect the green more than any other color, like as far as the variety of all the differences within the color green,” Davidson said. “I think it was explained that it’s because of the way we’re wired as human beings to look for growth and what could be vegetation and things like that.”
Outside of the fine arts, the color green also inhabits the spaces people create, walk through and observe on a daily basis. This use of color in interior and exterior spaces is intentional and planned.
Jenna Lewis is a senior in the interior design and architecture program and has been creating spaces using intentional color theory and an understanding of how different colors can affect the human psyche.
“I think for interiors, green is usually a color that is peaceful and relaxing and hard to mess up,” Lewis said. “My first project I did was a wellness house. I was inspired by this plant and designing a hospital clinic area, and so for my patients I wanted them to not feel like they were trapped in such a sterile clinic. It was more of like something that would be very calming and soothing and feel like they were in nature without being outside.”
A group of Harding students has dedicated themselves to the challenge of wearing green every day during the month of March, and documenting it through an Instagram account called @greeenmonth, which was started by sophomore Kennedy Williamson.
“Green month is a great opportunity to bring together the green community,” Williamson said. “It’s been fun to see all the green on campus and wonder if it was a coincidence or intentional.”
Green is a color that can be found in many places with many meanings and is a great color to wear to avoid getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.