Contemporary Craft’s New Exhibition Shines a Light on Climate Change

Contemporary Craft’s new exhibition, Climate Awakening: Crafting A Sustainable Future, which opened on September 8, looks at our planet-wide crisis through the lens of art.

Despite ever-mounting evidence and a barrage of catastrophic events–people are still largely complacent about climate change. Because just watching the news and trying to absorb the information seems unable to tip us into sufficient action, the emotional connection forged by compelling works of art might be our last hope: humans are good at avoiding data, but when feelings are involved, we tend to get fired up.

a piece of wooden artwork in an avant-garde shape

Adrien Segal’s Molalla River Meander, 2013
Carved plywood, Dimensions: 15 x 46 x 11 inches (38 x 117 x 28 cm)

That fire is exactly what’s needed to change our behavior before the damage to our planet is irreversible. We are seeing the effects of climate change in our own Western Pennsylvania neighborhoods. Our riverside communities see flash-flooding more frequently. Urban heat islands are raising city temperatures by an average of five degrees. Severe weather events have increased in recent years.

In addition to examining the work of four contemporary creators, Climate Awakening: Crafting A Sustainable Future will serve as a catalyst for community engagement by hosting a series of action events that explore the artistic, intellectual, and social issues relevant to the show. Featured artists include Adrien Segal, Courtney Mattison, Susie Ganch, and Meghan Price. The show opened on September 8 and runs through January 13, 2024.

Story by Stephen Treffinger

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