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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Art opening at Wesleyan's Zilkha gallery this Friday

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University
238 Washington Ter., Middletown, (860) 685-3355
Global Warning: Artists and Climate Change
Apr. 28—May 24, 2009.
Opening reception: Fri., May 1, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Global Warning: Artists and Climate Change explores pressing environmental issues through the lens of visual artists. Although a number of the artists have collaborated or consulted with scientists and other experts, the aim of Global Warning is to increase awareness of climate change through challenging, often evocative, content that is laced with poetry and aesthetic power. Included in the exhibition are works by Marion Belanger, Nancy Cohen, Lenore Malen, Eve Mosher, Katie Shelly, Frances Whitehead, and students from Wesleyan University's Architecture Research-Design-Build Studio taught by Elijah Huge.

The exhibition is curated by Nina Felshin, Zilkha Gallery's Curator of Exhibitions, and organized in conjunction with Feet to the Fire, Wesleyan University's 18-month climate change initiative.

Global Warning: Artists and Climate Change runs from Tues., Apr. 28 through Sun., May 24, 2009. The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Friday, May 1 from 5—7 p.m., with a curator's talk at 5:30 p.m.

About the Exhibition
Chicago artist Frances Whitehead has formulated a new site-specific project entitled "Wesleyan University PhenoLilac." She proposes to "repurpose" the mature lilac bush just outside the gallery as a phenologic observation point to measure long-range climate change.

Lenore Malen's "Harmony as a Hive" consists of a traveling science museum and library located within a large sculpture, whose structure mirrors the geometry of the beehive. The work examines the ancient relationship of bees to human society in view of recent threats to the world's bee population by globalization and climate change.

Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art, is the guiding hand behind the collaborative project "SplitFrame", a site-specific and sustainable bird-viewing platform commissioned and built for a nearby sanctuary in 2008. The project, represented in the exhibition by a model and documentation, was conceived and executed by students in Professor Huge's Architecture Research-Design-Build Studio.

Eve Mosher is represented by a video and documentation of her 2007 interactive and performance-based public artwork "HighWaterLine" on the New York City waterfront, which created an immediate visual and local understanding of the effects of climate change.

Made of handmade paper, Nancy Cohen's lyrical sculptural installation "Estuary: Moods and Modes" is an evocation rather than a re-creation of her encounter with the vast quiet landscape of the Mullica River and Great Bay Estuary in New Jersey's Pine Barrens.

Marion Belanger's "Landfill," landscape photos printed on translucent fabric, was commissioned by Wesleyan's Center for the Arts and Environmental Studies program for the Feet to the Fire Festival in 2008.

"Bottled," by Wesleyan student Katie Shelly '09, is a site specific installation that uses recycled perfume bottles to comment on challenging personal and social questions raised by the environmental movement and the activism that surrounds it.

Related Events:

Seeing Green: Artists Tackle Climate

Saturday, May 23, 2 p.m.
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
This panel discussion examines how art that delivers challenging content with aesthetic power can be a major force in raising public consciousness. Panelists include Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Art Elijah Huge, and Global Warning artists Lenore Malen and Eve Mosher. Nina Felshin will moderate the panel. It is free and open to the public.

• About the Feet to the Fire project at Wesleyan

Feet to the Fire: Exploring Global Climate Change from Science to Art, is an eighteen-month project which includes: research opportunities for a team of students and faculty to explore first-hand the effects of global warming, fieldwork studies in art and science, performances, pedagogical exchanges in existing courses, commissioning of artists, and convening of experts. The project is funded in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It is one of only eight grants given to challenge campus-based performing arts presenters to integrate their programs more organically within the academic environment. Visit for more information about the project.


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