“Living and working in New Mexico for nearly 30 years has greatly influenced my paintings, and my thinking in general. The expansive space, vivid light and western frame of reference informs the narrative content in my work, and the alien beauty of high desert skies serve as backdrops for many compositions. In contrast to the picturesque, however, are serious ecological concerns, with very real impact on the quality of life in this region of the country. I’m especially aware of the correlation between poverty and environmental exploitation, because they live so closely together here in the “Land of Enchantment.” Scott Greene
The mural is on the side of the Field and Film building at Central and Tulane, in Nob Hill. The mural depicts Sandoval Commissioners Block and Chapman on the side of the Oil and Gas industry. The right side of the mural includes the science hydrologist, a member from the Pueblos who gave an eloquent speech to the Commission and an activist from Food and Water Watch.
Banksy’s December 2018 “Season’s Greeting” had an explicitly environmental message. The art features a boy playing in the “snow”, but closer inspection reveals that the snow is actually ashes from a dumpster fire that’s painted just around the corner. But what really brings this art into its own is the video in which it was introduced to the world, which ends by panning out to show the industrial landscape that is Port Talbot, a South Wales town in a region that has been named by the World Health Organization as the most polluted area in Britain.
Noel Kassewitz makes “climate change ready” art. Using found flotation devices and color palettes from different periods of art history – such as rococo – she makes pieces that aim to bring attention to climate change with humor. “Today, we are facing unprecedented levels of chaos with our climate,” Kassewitz told HuffPost, “While there are myriad ways the change is occurring, one most concerning to me – an artist and Miami native – is rising sea levels.” She has been floating down the Potomac River on her artwork, showing its buoyant abilities as well as trying to send a message to those who ignore the problem.
Constructing New Ways to Communicate Science through Art
Jill Pelto incorporates scientific climate change data into her art. In one piece, the silver bodies of Coho salmon dance over blue, rippled water filling a space under a falling graph line. The line connects data points that document the decline of snow and glacier melt that feed the rivers the fish inhabit. Another combines data that describe the rising of sea levels, the climbing demand for fossil fuels, the decline of glaciers and the soaring average temperatures. All of those line graphs lay one over another to create a landscape telling the story of climate change.
National Parks 2050, depicts a post-apocalyptic future brought on by climate change, Rothstein’s newest work gives voice to her generation’s concerns about keeping the fabric of society from fraying in the face of a rapidly changing world. “I have been worried about climate change for a long time, and when I saw the systems designed to fight it being dismantled, I felt my time to pull out the art guns had come.”
Artist and illustrator Tan Zi Xi’s work mixes wry, playful humor with the realities of ocean pollution. Her early collection, “An Effort Most Futile,” showcases cartoonish scenes of overwhelming environmental challenges. More recently, her large-scale installation of recycled oceanic debris—“Plastic Ocean”—was on display at the Singapore Art Museum from May to August 2016. Composed of over 20,000 pieces of refuse suspended motionless, “Plastic Ocean” is an eerily immersive reminder of the permanence of our impact on the oceans.