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EPA exhibit in Philadelphia

August 27, 2015 - September 30, 2015


August 17, 2015

Media only: Fran Dubrowski  (202) 295-9009; press@honoringthefuture.org


Exhibition of Climate Change Art Comes to Downtown Philadelphia

Artwork by ten American artists motivated by concern over climate change will be featured August through September at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional headquarters at 1650 Arch Street in downtown Philadelphia. The exhibition will be installed in the huge 54-foot long set of windows facing 17th Street.

“Art can catalyze creative solutions to climate change: art focuses attention, compels reflection, taps creativity, and inspires innovation,” said Fran Dubrowski, director of the nonprofit Honoring the Future, which organized the exhibition. “Science appeals to the brain; art also appeals to the heart.”

“These works of art deliver a powerful visual message about the challenges climate change presents to our health, natural resources, economy and our children’s future,” Dubrowski added. “But like all good art, they also offer hope.”

The artworks are captured in ten large (36” x 30”) photographs, developing a narrative theme that depicts melting glaciers, rising seas, and extreme storms but also showcases sustainable responses to climate change.  Anyone walking by the 17th Street windows can see the outward facing exhibition; there is no need to enter the building. Selected photos from the exhibition are available to the media upon request.

Philadelphia area artists featured include Diane Burko (Philadelphia), Peter Handler (North Philadelphia), and Paula Winokur (Horsham). (See Exhibition Press Packet for descriptions of their work and that of the other 7 artists.)

The exhibition will remain on display during Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia September 26-27, 2015. One of the works featured is a detail of Ichthys, a digital artwork created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to welcome the Pope’s climate change message and U.S. visit. Honoring the Future is using Cortada’s image as part of a letter it will send Pope Francis on the eve of his U.S. visit. Anyone may sign the letter, which thanks the Pope for his leadership and pledges to consider his message on climate change “with open minds, generous hearts, and a willingness to honor our responsibility to care lovingly for the earth….” For details see www.honoringthefuture.org/papal

The Pope issued a formal Papal letter on human responsibility for the environment on June 18, 2015. He called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day,” noting it most heavily burdens the poor. Pope Francis called on “every person living on this planet” to act and to encourage their leaders to act on climate change. “Honoring the Future shares the belief that each of us can make a difference where we live, work, study, and play,” said Dubrowski.

Also featured is WATERWASH® ABC (2011), a green infrastructure project in the South Bronx, the nation’s poorest Congressional District, created by ecological artist Lillian Ball with assistance from Drexel University environmental engineering graduate students and community youth. The project improved water quality, increased native habitat, provided a more natural aesthetic amenity, educated the public about wetland benefits, and helped prepare the shoreline for sea level rise and heavier rains from climate change.

The exhibition also previews “Hackensack Dreaming,” an installation by Nancy Cohen that will be on display at Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education from November 5-December 19.

Honoring the Future is a nonprofit project which harnesses 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. Honoring the Future is a project of the Open Space Institute. www.honoringthefuture.org


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From Exhibition Press Packet:

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


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 www.honoringthefuture.org 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 www.honoringthefuture.org/papal 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: https://cortada.com/.


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August 27, 2015
September 30, 2015
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Frances A. Dubrowski, Project Director, Honoring the Future
View Organizer Website


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Headquarter
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA United States
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