Alpine Environmental Art Education

Group 28

Location: Europe, Switzerland


Partnership: Greening Communities


Language: English, French


Format: Classroom Activities, Community Outreach, Resource Development


Audience: Community Leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations, Policymakers, Teachers

Meet the teacherLinks

Alexa Jeanne Kusber

Alexa is an accomplished American independent curator and educator, currently based in Zurich, Switzerland. Throughout her distinguished career, she has maintained a steadfast commitment to challenging and expanding the traditional boundaries of curatorial practice and art education.


Since her relocation to Switzerland, she has held the esteemed position of Curatorial Director at the Verbier 3-D Foundation, a nonprofit cultural organization with a mission to promote contemporary art, environmentalism, and education through its Artist Residency and Sculpture Park. Simultaneously, she served as the Public Programmes Curator for the groundbreaking MuDA – Museum of Digital Art in Zurich until 2020.


Over the past five years, her burgeoning passion for art education has driven her to develop educational programs and curricula for young minds, including initiatives like Kibit and Mini Masters, which have been making a significant impact in Switzerland since 2014.

Kiki Thompson

After pursuing her academic endeavours, which culminated in a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Art and French, artist and educator Kiki Thompson was drawn to the majestic allure of the mountains. This affinity led her to Verbier, where her love for the slopes and the snowflakes became an integral part of her life. 


Kiki now combines her passion for art, education and the mountains as the Head Art Teacher at the Verbier International School and as Co-Founder and Director of the Verbier 3-D Foundation, where she actively shapes educational programs throughout the year.


In addition to her passion projects, she undertakes commissions for sculptures and paintings, adorning public spaces worldwide. Her artistic imprint extends to the esteemed Canton du Valais Art Collection.

Usefull links related to the Solution

Solution Website
Solution Website


Kiki, Alexa and the rest of the team at the Verbier 3-D Foundation run a comprehensive educational program which aims to cultivate environmental and community awareness by leveraging the power of art. They collaborate closely with the local school system to deliver year-round cultural environmental classes to students; offer educational events and activities to both the local and visiting community; and collaborate with contemporary artists and the community to innovate educational approaches to addressing climate change.

Theory of Change

Kiki and Alexa aim to expand the connection of learners to their surroundings by fostering a sense of appreciation for their habitat, therefore encouraging the learners to become stewards of their environment. They achieve this by immersing both local community members and visitors in the region in the often overlooked and astonishing facets of their natural environment, fostering an increased appreciation for these elements through art. By engaging and inspiring local communities, the team aims to ignite the power of local action, unlocking the potential of communities to meaningfully address climate change as it affects their lives and surroundings. This will in turn create an ecosystem of climate action.

Approach and Actions

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the mountainous landscape, the Foundation is a dedicated hub for environmental education and community engagement. Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the foundation passionately champions the cause of environmental stewardship while fostering a profound connection between the arts, the environment and the local community.

The educational programme and initiatives each year are focused on the art produced from Artist residences, they examine various environmentally themed subjects such as water, energy, climate, habitat and infrastructure. This programme includes regular weekly art classes, clean-up culture hikes and informational installations within nature. There is also a cultural events programme which supports the educational programme and targets the wider community with events such as film screenings and artist talks.

Over the past 12 years over 50 environmental activities have taken place. The Foundation produces an informational booklet, printed educational handouts and sometimes a publication about their efforts plus online classes, films and social channels that feature environmental educational content.


The educational programme has increased the understanding among learners of the unique ecological challenges faced by mountain regions including issues such as deforestation, habitat loss, climate change, and biodiversity conservation. The programme also empowers learners with valuable skills and knowledge related to art and environmental conservation. This opens up new opportunities for local artists and those interested in environmental careers. There is also a more far-reaching community impact to the programme as the artistic and environmental projects serve as a platform for community engagement and collaboration. Local residents have the opportunity to work alongside artists and environmentalists, fostering a sense of pride and shared responsibility for the mountains. By instilling a sense of environmental stewardship and cultural appreciation in the community, the programme’s impact extends into the future. The values and practices instilled today will continue to shape the region’s relationship with its environment for generations to come.