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EPA exhibit in Philadelphia
August 27, 2015 - September 30, 2015
August 17, 2015
Media only: Fran Dubrowski (202) 295-9009; email@example.com
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.
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: www.cortada.com.