September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019; Lightcatcher
Curated by Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art
Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity presents 80 works of art in all media, from rare books to cutting-edge video, that span the 19th through 21st centuries. It highlights artists who celebrate biodiversity’s exquisite complexity, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on endangered species from diverse ecosystems. The exhibition explores art’s historic role in raising public awareness about the human activities that threaten habitats. Weaving together art, natural science, and conservation, Endangered Speciesalso features creative solutions by ecological artists who revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life.
Endangered Species highlights an international group of 52 artists who celebrate biodiversity’s beauty, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on species from diverse ecosystems under stress. It also includes the work of artists who spotlight the human activities that threaten biodiversity alongside projects that revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life.
The exhibition spotlights five thematic concepts: Celebrating Biodiversity’s Beauty and Complexity: From Landscapes to Microscopic Imagery, Mammoths and Dinosaurs: Interpreting Natural Extinction, Portraits of Loss: Extinction by Human Actions, Endangered Species: Plants and Animals on the Edge of Survival, At the Crossroads: Destruction or Preservation of Biodiversity.
Endangered Species has been organized with the intent of impacting public discourse about biodiversity while advancing the artist’s pivotal role in building awareness. By tracing links between contemporary and earlier artists, the exhibition examines art’s contribution to an enduring cultural legacy of nature conservation. Featured artists are listed below.
Major funding for the exhibition and catalogue has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Norcliffe Foundation with additional support from the City of Bellingham, Whatcom Museum Foundation and Advocates, Alexandre Gallery, and Heritage Bank. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.