Climate Art and Action: George Mason University

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Climate Art and Action: George Mason University

September 8, 2016 @ 8:00 am - October 2, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

Media only: Fran Dubrowski  (202) 295-9009;

Climate Art & Action
Presented by Honoring the Future

We live at a historic juncture – a time when our decisions shape human destiny. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations now reach levels unprecedented in human history. As these and other greenhouse gases accumulate and warm our Earth, glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and growing numbers of species totter on the edge of extinction.

Our challenge is clear. We can summon the courage and creativity to rebalance our relationship with the Earth. Or we can continue half-hearted efforts to curtail our carbon footprint even as we witness that strategy failing. The repercussions of our choices, too, are clear. We can offer our children and grandchildren a better future, or our legacy can be a very bleak world.

Art can be a powerful catalyst for creative solutions to climate change: art focuses attention, compels reflection, taps creativity, and inspires innovation. So artists have increasingly expressed concern in their artwork about climate change. This exhibition presents photographs of the work of 10 pioneers of this emerging art.

Honoring the Future is a nonprofit project dedicated to harnessing the power of art to educate, empower, and engage the public on climate change. We aim to build a better world for our children and grandchildren by creating resilient, environmentally responsible, “climate smART” communities, starting with you. Please join us.

Visit to learn more.

Cortada, Xavier (Miami, FL)

Detail from “ΙΧΘΥΣ” (Ichthys)(2015). Digital artwork created to welcome Pope

Francis’ climate change message and U.S. visit. © 2015 Xavier Cortada.

Cortada celebrates two historic milestones: Pope Francis’ recent letter – or

“encyclical” – to the church, the first to focus primarily on climate change and

human responsibility for the environment, and the Pope’s September visit to the

U.S. to address a joint session of Congress. (The Pope will also travel to

Philadelphia and to New York City, where he will speak to the United Nations in

advance of December’s international climate policy negotiations in Paris.)

The image, entitled “Ichthys” from the Greek word for fish, refers to a stylized

symbol of two arcs intersecting to form a profile of a fish. Early church

members used this symbol, says Cortada, “to communicate with one another,

build fellowship, and spread their ideas” during a time of persecution.

Cortada intends to evoke their sense of urgency and unity as models for climate

action. Visit to see the full image.

Artist’s Bio:

Xavier Cortada is internationally renowned for collaborating with scientists to

generate environmental awareness through art. His work on climate change

includes Ichthys and “Ice Paintings” made from Antarctic sea ice and sediment

while Cortada was a National Science Foundation Fellow in Antarctica. He has

been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, and

major museums and corporations. He has collaborated in creating murals

addressing peace (Cyprus, Northern Ireland), child welfare (Bolivia, Panama),

AIDS (Switzerland, South Africa), and juvenile justice (Miami, Philadelphia). He

holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences,

Graduate School of Business and School of Law.

Artist’s Website:


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September 8, 2016 @ 8:00 am
October 2, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
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Frances A. Dubrowski, Project Director, Honoring the Future
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Hylton Performing Arts Center at George Mason University
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, VA 20109 United States
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