Collaborative art exhibition “Melting Ice” bridges art and science

Subhankar Banerjee, Caribou Migration I, 2002.

Created for the U.N.’s World Environment Day 2007 in partnership with the Natural World Museum, “Melting Ice/A Hot Topic; Envisioning Change” is a 42-person collaborative exhibition which catalogs thawing ice, snow, and permafrost worldwide, as well as wide-reaching effects on culture and the environment.  Featuring a range of approaches, the art has been presented for the public’s learning experience at natural history and cultural centers, such as Oslo’s Nobel Peace Center (2007) and Chicago’s Field Museum (2008).  The exhibition was promoted by the non-profit organization Art Works for Change, a group that partners with leading educational and activist institutions to produce and curate art exhibitions on social and environmental issues.

The innovative Field Museum has also hosted an educational exhibit titled “Climate Change” (2010) and continues community engagement projects in “climate action” and conservation.  John W. McCarter Jr., President and CEO of The Field Museum is quoted as saying: “Climate change is one of the most crucial issues of our time. Through exhibitions such as this, museums can inform and educate the public about the causes and effects of climate change while also providing ideas for practical, long-range solutions.”

As far as bringing solutions to the table, artists featured in “Melting Ice” such as Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison have influenced policy makers and consistently reach beyond the art world through their research-oriented installations and collaborative studio approach.  In the article Can art help climate change?, The Guardian said that “…the exhibition proved over and over again that artists can successfully tackle this subject, making their points succinctly and powerfully.”

Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison, Peninsula Europe I, 2000-2004.

The US exhibitors also include sonic artist Andrea Polli, photographer Chris Jordan, filmmakers David and Hi-Jin Hodge (US & Korea), tapestry artists Era and Don Farnsworth, ad agency Free Range Studio, videographer Jacob McKean, multi-media artist Justin Young, sculptor and Guggenheim Fellow Margaret Cogswell, photographer Sant Khalsa, photography and sculpture collaborators Shana and Robert ParkeHarrison, photographer Sebastian Copeland, photographer and writer Subhankar Banerjee (India & US), painter Theo Wujcik, and painter and installation artist Xavier Cortada.

International artists include Alfio Bonano (Denmark), Ana Prvacki (Serbia), Angela Lergo (Spain), Anne Senstad (Norway), Cecilia Paredes (Peru), Dalibar Martinis (Croatia), David Buckland (UK), David Nash (Wales), David Trubridge (New Zealand), Fred Ivar Ultsi Klemetsen (Norway), Gary Hume (UK), Gilles Mingasson (France), Ichi Ikeda (Japan), The Icelandic Love Corporation, Ives Maes (Belgium), Jonas Liveröd (Sweden), Kahn & Selesnick (England), Laura Horelli (Finland), Lucy & Jorge Orta (England & Argentina), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon), Philippe Pastor (Monaco), Queen Sonja of Norway, Robert Bateman (Canada), Siobhan Davies (UK), Strijdom van der Merwe (South Africa), Sven Pahlsson (Norway), Sveln Flygari Johansen (Norway), and Yoshiaki Kaihatsu (Japan).

Yoshiaki Kahaitsu, Teahouse.

The Icelandic Love Corporation, excerpt from Dynasty (video), 2007.

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