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Artists Respond to Global Warming, Reach Across Generations
by Eban Goodstein (2003)
We knew art was the answer, but not being artists ourselves, we didn't quite know how to proceed. So- we paid a visit to our local avante-garde art museum, where the director there shared 10 minutes of her time, and planted the seed, that became a grant proposal, that became a couple of checks, that eventually became a really cool project:
"Can sixteen high school students, working with a handful of established artists, change the world? That was the agenda of a week-long workshop that teamed young artists from Portland, Oregon with prominent figures from the Northwest art scene, including Native American sculptor Lillian Pitt, and public space artist Buster Simpson.
The teams had spent several weekends earlier in the summer studying how global warming threatened to fundamentally reshape the Pacific Northwest: dramatic losses in snowpack from warming are likely to lead to large scale summer water shortages for this normally water-rich region.
Pitt's team response was to build a dome-like sculpture from willows, and people it with the creatures historically dependent on summer stream flows. Simpson's group traveled across the landscape-from coastline to snowline-- creating public sculpture out of white dress shirts, colored paint, trees, stones, water and life-jackets.
Other students worked with reknowned photojournalist Gary Braasch, poet Michelle Glazer, and producer/director Brian Lindstrom.
"It is an inspiring collection of work", said project organizer Emily Thomas. "We are starting to see how dramatically global warming will change our world. These kids are opening people's eyes to the impacts".
These projects can help you consider how greenhouse gas pollution is changing your world. Then learn what you can do to stop it."
Could it be the new mutant smiley face? You judge.
Eban Goodstein is currently the Volunteer Executive Director for the Greenhouse Network.
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