Going Up: Climate Change + Philadelphia

In Going Up: Climate Change + Philadelphia, eight artists from around the country – Daniel Crawford, Lorrie Fredette, Jim Frazer, Eve Mosher, Jill Pelto, Kaitlin Pomerantz and John Heron, and Michelle Wilson – explore the future of a hotter, wetter Philadelphia. Several of the artists use data as a point of departure, and others suggest imaginative ways of thinking about problems and solutions, even considering the responsibility of art to reduce its own carbon footprint. The gallery contains artwork made for indoor display as well as pieces that document social practice or conceptual art that happened outside the gallery or studio, less focused on the product than the process. Many help us to notice our surroundings more closely, observing the small and incremental changes around us that track global change. Going Up opened on September 24th at the Schuylkill Center, and runs through December 2016. Artist duo Kaitlin Pomerantz & John Heron explored waste and water pollution, presenting an imaginative way to think

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The Air We Breathe

I live on the edge of the earth’s largest contiguous temperate rainforest that connects with over 25 million acres of federally protected wild land. Annual precipitation ranges from 25 to 140 inches along this coastal panhandle. It is here that water defines our identity, our way of life, our values, and our survival. Some would argue it is salmon that defines Southeast Alaska as the bounty of nutrient-rich tidal inlets and glacier-fed rivers and streams have provided ample human habitation for thousands of years. Sacred Tlingit song and dance about salmon abundance and return has been passed down for hundreds of years. Salmon fill our freezers and shelves, fuel our regional economy and culture, feed our families and the bears which ultimately feed the forest to complete an inexhaustible cycle of nutrients. As an artist in Alaska, salmon seem an obvious theme to base research on. As I began sifting through the ecological significance of salmon for my own survival,

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Pursuing Active Hope in Houston

What does the intersection of art and environmental activism look like? Along with Lina Dib and Tony Day, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University, recently created Fossilized in Houston. Fifteen local artists were commissioned to produce images of species endangered by climate change. These images were then used to create lawn signs and thousands of posters and stickers that are being distributed throughout Houston in a guerilla public art campaign. Each week between March and July 2015, a new species makes its appearance. The goal is “to contribute to an enhanced intellectual and emotional awareness about climate change and the ongoing mass extinction, and hopefully push decision-makers in energy companies, city planners and individual citizens to reconsider collectively destructive yet normative behaviors.” Matthew wrote a great article about why this project matters in the Houston Chronicle. And photos of the lawn signs, posters and stickers in various locations around Houston can be found here. Where did the idea for Fossilized in Houston come from? Distantly,

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Telling the Climate Change Story

There are many ways to tell the climate change story. It can be told in numbers organized in charts or graphs – the tools preferred by scientists. Or it can be told in a myriad of artistic ways as evidenced by the categories on this blog. For painter and photographer Diane Burko, the climate change story is best told in large-scale images that capture both the majesty of the depicted subject, and the poignancy of its potential demise. Inspired by the science of climate change, Burko’s paintings and photographs invite us to revere what we have, and to understand that despite its magnitude and seemingly unlimited resources, our earth is at risk and requires as much nurturing from us as we do from it. The merging of the aesthetic and the rational in a single experience invites us to confront our own understanding of, and response to, climate change. In the interview below, Burko talks about her two current projects: Politics of Snow and Polar Investigations. For more on these projects, see also this excellent post on the World Policy Institute Blog. You have had

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Teresa Posyniak’s Beautiful Losers

Teresa Posyniak is a painter and sculptor best known for her work with encaustic, using hot beeswax to create rich, sensual surfaces that incorporate textures, drippings, splatters and layers of tinted, glowing colors. She is also an artist exploring climate change issues in Calgary, Alberta – a city that boast over 100 energy companies, mostly in the oil and gas industry. One of the fasted growing economy in Canada, with the tar sands literally in its backyard, Calgary does not play well with those who criticize its economy’s main driver. Yet artists still find a way to make their voices heard. Note: The photos included in this post are studio shots of works in progress that will become part of Beautiful Losers: My Carbon Sink Muses. Each photo is a detail of a much larger installation. There will be at least 9 columns in total. Tree forms will number about a dozen. Bleached Forest will be one much larger piece with many more elements. You’ve provided this blog with a

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