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Rhode Island — Climate Change: Art and Action Exhibition

September 3, 2019 - September 26, 2019

CLIMATE CHANGE: ART & ACTION Interactive Exhibition September 3-26

Gallery Night Reception on September 19 5-9 pm along with the Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) a staged reading of plays at 7pm in the Paff Auditorium featuring Lighting the Way a group of plays commissioned for this biennial event and presented by the award winning Wilbury Theatre Group.
And Local Impact of Climate Change Round Table Forum in the Paff Auditorium September 26th 7pmArtists are powerful storytellers. Close observers of nature, they see climate change altering our world – often quickly and dramatically – through a combination of elevated temperatures, rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, and storms of record-breaking frequency, duration, and intensity. Cities, especially coastal cities like Providence, are especially vulnerable. Moved to respond, contemporary artists are creating an explosion of art exposing the hubris in our attempt to master nature. Probing with courage and integrity, they are guiding us to reexamine assumptions, challenge myths, and see and think anew in harmony with nature.

This exhibition operates at the intersection of art, science, and civic engagement. It takes visitors on a journey to meet these visionary pioneers, share their inspired explorations, envision a future rooted in respect for creation– and start designing that future. The exhibition presented by Honoring the Future, a nonprofit launched to harness the power of art to educate, empower, and engage the public on climate change. Our art exhibitions and programs spark conversation and inspire action. We empower individuals, communities and businesses to create a resilient, environmentally responsible climate smart world. (Visit www.honoringthefuture.org to learn more.

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 potent catalyst for creative solutions to climate change: art focuses attention, compels reflection, taps creativity, and inspires innovation. This exhibition explores the work of pioneers of this emerging art, examining the challenges which inspired them and the solutions they envision.
Honoring the Future has designed and created a multi-media contemporary art exhibition with a simple goal: to cultivate visitors’ curiosity about climate change and inspire them to rethink their relationship with Earth’s precious resources. The exhibition will feature several major “platforms” – that is, art installations or artworks grouped around a central theme. See, e.g., the Alaskan Journey: Artists Bear Witness to Climate Change component summary, and include interpretative signage that provides the background information viewers need to reflect on the visual information in the art. The exhibit contains interactive elements (e.g., headsets for viewing Let’s Explore, our 360° virtual reality film on climate change, as well as an opportunity for creative expression and idea sharing). It provides an easily accessible pathway for visitors to take action in response to climate challenge – by connecting visitors to university and outside resources and by suggesting “things you can do” to respond to climate change. It also includes, “What You Can Do” (available in English and Spanish), online resources to complement and extend the viewer experience, offer an opportunity for community outreach and make use of the assets which make URI an ideal host for such an exhibition: its multidisciplinary research and teaching strengths, its emphasis on innovation and big thinking, its dedication to a sustainable, healthy and environmentally just society and its urban, coastal location.
This exhibit features more than 75 works by 15 nationally recognized artists in a variety of media created to inform, educate and inspire action against climate change from Honoring the Future – An Open Space Institute Project. The exhibit includes work by Lillian Ball, Lucrezia Beerli-Bieler, Gary Braasch, Diane Burko, Nancy Cohen, Xavier Cortada, Dudley Edmondson, Cecilia Frittelli,and Richard Lockwood, Lee Goodwin, Peter Handler, Patricia Johanson, Peter Petrochko, David Schrim, Karen Singer, Toots Zynsky,During the Gallery Night Reception on September 19 5-9 pm The URI Providence Campus Arts and Culture Program in Collaboration with The Award winning Wilbury Theatre Group will present Lighting the Way Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) a staged reading of plays directed by Logan Serabian at 7pm in the Paff Auditorium The works are among 50 new plays commissioned internationally on current issues of climate change for a biennial event. Discussion will follow led by Logan Serabian with Barnaby Evans from Waterfire, Alicia Lehrer from the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, and Performance Artist Eli Nixon.

The Local Impact of Climate Change Round Table Forum in the Paff Auditorium September 26th 7pm
“In conjunction with the exhibition, we are proud to feature a public panel presentation reporting on the University’s major leadership role on climate science research,” stated Steven Pennell. The community forum features current information on the impact of climate change in our region and recommended action steps individuals can take. The discussion moderated by Ian Donnis with presentations by faculty from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and The Coastal Resources Institute including Jeremy Collie, Isaac Ginis, Howard Ginsberg, John W. King, Pam Rubinoff.

Xavier Cortada, Brother Sun (2015). Digital art celebrating Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudata Si’ (Praised Be), and its quotation from St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures. 


September 3, 2019
September 26, 2019


Fran Dubrowski


University of Rhode Island
45 Upper College Rd
Kingston, RI 02881 United States
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