My name is Marguerite Pilon, and I am a continuing intern with YVSC. My internship has focused on using art to support YVSC’s work, with a goal of engaging and educating our community
around climate science and environmental action here in the Valley. We are proud to announce our first fundraiser and the culmination of this work, Insight: Art for Climate Auction!
Coming July 9th, this fundraiser calls on the talented artists in our Yampa Valley community to create pieces informed by YVSC’s work. We have developed three artist prompts, centered on three key climate action sectors: Energy and Transportation, Resilient Land and Water, and Waste Diversion. Each of these areas is based on the most up-to-date research, with a special focus on how it is applicable to our home environments. We hope for each artist to deeply engage with our work, and are then inspired to translate and imagine these concepts artistically.
People have been responding to their natural environments through art for millenia, across cultures and ecosystems. Using art, we can explore our relationships to the land, reflect on changing landscapes, and honor the environments that we live within. As we face the reality of climate impacts and environmental degradation, the way artists depict and relate to our world is changing, too. It can be a wonderful educational tool, a way to imagine a different future, and a way to inspire action and build community around shared ecosystems. Today, the wonder of science elevates these pursuits, combining the research of why these issues are happening with an important sense of emotion and beauty.
In my own work, seeing artists respond to climate change has helped me navigate complex problems, gain an understanding of connections between issues, and has provided me with a sense of hope moving forward. I am inspired by others’ creativity, their passion for the earth, and focus on details that may be otherwise overlooked. On both a small, local scale and large, global scale, there’s a sense of community built within this work. We hope that attending this event encourages community building and education. The most successful climate action will come from an understanding that we are all connected to these ecosystems that support us, and a wish for change and responsibility that comes from a deep, strong, and engaged community.
Through my work to develop our “Call for Artists,” I have become familiar with a number of artists who are already engaging in this work. Paper artist Rogan Brown explores the issue of coral bleaching through a series of intricately carved paper sculptures, highlighting the delicacy yet durability of these environments. Oil painter Lisa Erickson creates fantastic worlds dealing with animal displacement, climate change, and interconnection and ecology. Photographer Paul Nicklen deals with concepts around drought in the Colorado River basin and human impacts on water resources in The Delta Series. When you dive into their work, you can see how inspired these artists are by the science behind each of these issues, reflected in their statements and different details in their aesthetic choices. In my own work, I’ve designed installations inspired by the science behind mushroom mycelium, reimagined my plastic waste into hanging mobiles, and thought about the relationship between land and water through painting.
Our Call for Artists is currently open, and we are accepting submissions until June 19th. If you are interested in getting involved, visit our webpage to read our three artist prompts, along with a plethora of resources and art examples to learn from and spark your inspiration. All information can be found at https://yvsc.org/insight-art-for-climate-action/. Any questions can be directed to myself, email@example.com, and Kate Brocato at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to collaborate with you and see the beautiful work of our Yampa Valley artists!