National Climate Assessment Art

 Dr. Avila holding cut Antarctic ice core
IAN VAN COLLER, DR. AVILA HOLDING CUT ANTARCTIC ICECORE, (2017, PIGMENT PRINT ON WASHI WITH ANNOTATIONS)

Artist's statement: Climate change has compressed and conflated human and geologic time scales, making it essential to find ways to conceptualize “deep time.” This work seeks to make notions of deep time comprehensible through visual exploration of glacier ice, as well as other earthly archives. This project includes intimate collaborations with paleoclimatologists by having them annotate directly onto my photographic prints — a contemporary taxonomy of ice and climate. This portrait was photographed in a cold/clean lab at Montana State University. The ice shown is 10,827 (left side) to 10,833 years old.

 

A white field under blue skies with little feather white clouds.

KATELYN GARCIA, THE DUST WE WILL BREATHE (2022, INKJET PRINT) 

Artist's statement: The Dust We Will Breathe is a photograph of the drying lakebed of the Great Salt Lake, a graveyard of once underwater mounds made of microbial organisms. Human consumption is mostly to blame for the lake reaching historic lows, which is compounded by climate change and the west’s current megadrought. If no drastic changes in consumption are made, the lake will be gone in 5 years. Every day that more lakebed is exposed, we will breathe in more of its toxic dust.

 

A glacier in the dark with one spot of it lit with a ray of light.

CHRISTIAN MURILLO, GLACIERS, LAST CALL (2022, PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT)

Artist's statement: The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan receives the last ray of light, resembling a glimpse of hope for the glaciers in the North Cascades. As a landscape photographer, I am constantly searching for wilderness areas that provoke the juxtaposing themes of power and fragility, particularly in the context of climate change. I aim to draw my audience in with the beauty of the landscapes and inspire them to contemplate the intrinsic value of wild spaces. We cannot truly protect something we do not love, and we cannot love something that does not move 

 

Collage of maps, boat, sea, car, trees, house damage, Bahamas map, power link text of flood
MELANIE MILLS, CLIMATE CHANGE - HURRICANE (2021, MIXED MEDIA WITH MAPS AND BLUE TARP)

Artist's statement: 'Climate Change - Hurricane' explores human influence on climate forces, which in turn impact the human environment. The collage piece reads from left to right and includes mixed media, maps, and blue tarp material, which is pervasive in areas that have lost roofs from high wind. The piece concerns sea level rise and the increased intensity of hurricanes, particularly in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands. Of note is the impact on populations that repeatedly face displacement, loss, and hardship, and are economically ill-equipped to fully recover.

 

Painting of polar bear on Ice watching a ship in a distance.

PIA DE GIROLAMO, INVASION (2020, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS)

 
Artist's statement: My painting depicts a polar bear in the Arctic viewing a distant cruise ship. I was on such a ship, visiting the Arctic Circle in 2019. The polar bear's look is wondering and poignant; the cruise ship seems innocent, but it represents another human incursion into this place of beauty. Climate change has already affected the area; the ice that allows the polar bear to travel and find food is shrinking. Bear and boat are on opposite sides in this painting. We need to be on the same side as the bear.
 
Art  handmade paper, upcycled warp yarn remnants representing Coral reef from top left to bottom right colorful coral turns to bleached coral against a black backdrop.
CONSTANCE COLLINS, CORAL CONUNDRUM: DEAD OR ALIVE (2023, HANDMADE PAPER, UPCYCLED WARP YARN REMNANTS)

Artist's statement: Coral reefs are being threatened globally from climate change, unsustainable fishing, and land-based pollution. This piece recalls coral reefs and their inhabitants. As reefs deteriorate, they lose their vibrant color and their ability to provide nutrients and shelter to thousands of marine species. Here, the gradation from color to monochrome represents the bleaching that occurs as coral dies. We need to protect these crucial ecosystems, or we lose them. I used upcycled remnant warp yarns for the coral clusters and created handmade paper.

 

A vibrant landscape painting of people walking in a hay field, others standing on a hill with pine trees in the background, a stream with many fish swimming in it, birds and people in a pond planting and measuring water depth and birds all around.
JILLIAN PELTO, REPLANTING RESILIENCE (DIPTYCH) (2022, WATERCOLOR AND COLORED PENCIL)

Artist's statement: This work addresses the ways humans and natural habitats are responding to climate adversity in the Gulf of Maine. Three line graphs are incorporated into the painting. They depict, from bottom to top: historic sea level rise from 1950-2021 and projections for future rise to 2050; the increase in National Wildlife Refuge acreage in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire from 2001-2020; the increase in the percentage of US adults who supported policies to protect the environment from 2008-2019. Together, these data show how public efforts are rising to meet the tide.

 

PAT DARIF, COASTAL BLOOM II (2020, FIBER)

Artist's statement: In this piece I use paper lamination, dyeing, painting, flour paste resist, screen printing, and stitching to create work about human relationships with the earth. I live on the western edge of the Lake Erie watershed where fertilizer runoff from farms and lawns has resulted in the development of huge algae blooms on the lake. To me, these blooms can appear eerily beautiful at times, but they pose a serious danger to the life of the lake. This problem is an issue in many places throughout the country.

 

See more images by visiting the USGCRP's Art X Climate Gallery.