Exhibition of Climate Change Art Comes to Philadelphia
By Peak Johnson
September 3, 2015
Artwork by ten American artists motivated by concern over climate change will be featured through the remainder of this month and September at the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s regional headquarters at 1650 Arch Street in downtown Philadelphia. The exhibition has been installed in the huge 54-foot long set of windows facing 17th Street.
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.
Aside from the overall ten, the Philadelphia area artists who are featured in the exhibition will include Diane Burko, Peter Handler, and Paula Winokur.
“The fun thing about the installation is that it’s in the windows looking out over the sidewalk so you can catch it when you go downtown, when you’re commuting, shopping or whatever,” Fran Dubrowski, project director of Honoring the Future, said. “You can see it all at once or in pieces.”
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.
“It’s a digital image and it’s a skyline image of a fish,” Dubrowski said. “He [Cortada] is doing that because in the early days of the church that was a symbol used to communicate.”
Ichthys will be place on a letter to the Pope that will be sent to him on the eve of his visit. The letter, which anyone can sign online, thanks the Pope for his leadership on climate change and urges the signers to consider his message.
Honoring the Future expects that the exhibition will travel to other places, and already has requests to have exhibitions elsewhere including several Philadelphia institutions.
The theme of the installation emerged with Dubrowski and others began looking at different types of artwork that artists were doing.
“So we went out into the highways and byways looking and we found a beautiful amount of some really amazing artwork,” Dubrowski said.
The exhibition will remain on display during Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia September 26-27, 2015.