Announcing "Best of" Awards: Creative People Leading Climate Action Virtual Exhibition
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Join us in celebrating the awardees from the Creative People Leading Climate Action Virtual Exhibition. The exhibition features nearly 200 pieces of art from eighty-three artists. The show will be available to view online at the Augusta Savage Gallery through June 30, 2021 and will be archived in perpetuity.
Artists used their climate-inspired art to:
- Inspire Action;
- Capture beauty;
- Document this time of change;
- Help others imagine a better future;
- Stand in solidarity with those on the front lines;
- Mourn our collective losses;
- Share their unique vision; and
- Showcase their hopes or dreams.
“The Best of Awards come with a cash prize, graciously supported by the Women’s Fund of UMass and a grant from the UMass Sustainability Innovation & Engagement Fund (SIEF). The Arts Extension Service, Women of Color Leadership Network, and the Augusta Savage Gallery invite you to join us in congratulating these artists, and see more about their work by following the links. We are grateful to all the artists, performers, musicians, and others who took the time to submit their work, and more, we are grateful to them for their focus and leadership on the greatest challenge of our time, the climate crisis,” said Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director, Arts Extension Service.
Creative People Leading Climate Action Awards:
Best of Show: Movement by Sepideh Faramarzi.
“The purpose of my artwork is to show the disappearance of water resources on the planet as well as the extinction of a group of animals.” -Sepideh Faramarzi.
Innovative Solution: Desert by Ponnapa Prakkamukul.
“The work was made from rust made from high iron content groundwater that was left from glacial movement 20,000 years ago and aimed to capture dynamic changes in the environment of the dune that caused by human settlement after 1938.” -Ponnapa Prakkamukul.
Climate Justice: Yes We Must by Vanessa Adel.
“I tried to distill the many interconnected aspects of the climate crisis that I was trying to teach in the arc of the course, as a way to integrate the social and environmental aspects of the climate crisis, as well as community organizing around the globe.” -Vanessa Adel.
Yes We Must
As flora and fauna migrate to the poles
Now is the time to grow our souls
So said Grace Lee Boggs as she urged people to engage
Our collective imagination in the service of change
I’m writing rhyme to change the narrative
What follows is my attempted declarative
Denial, overwhelm and climate nihilism
Obscure the facts that reveal idealism’s realism
A livable economy for you and me
Means working for justice and sustainability
We’ve hit the end of the road to extraction
Except now it’s a logic that drives our distraction
Acting as if the Sixth Extinction
Deserves no special attention or distinction
Bird calls replaced by cell phone dings
Facebook, Amazon deploy billionaire stings
Uprooted from the land, distanced from the feral
We barely understand the promise and the peril
The cultural habits of settler colonials
Make many of us obtuse listeners of myriad testimonials
People have spoken for half a millennium
Navajo, Laplander, Aborigine, Ute
Still, Enlightenment hubris serves to dilute
Native wisdom of ages the wealthy regard with ill repute
Actions based on stable future presumptions
Prevent us from reducing rampant consumption
Unfinished movements for equity and inclusion
Help unravel theories and practices of delusion
The ocean, the atmosphere, the fires might decide
As our children weep over that which they preside
If we grow our souls we can all elevate
Until then, greenhouse gasses will not attenuate
From Yes We Can to Yes We Must
In people, not billionaires, place your trust
We must imagine that we can really prioritize
Clear our heads and hearts and truly collectivize
UMass Amherst Student: The Birds, The Fish, The Butterfly by Rongbing Shen.
“As a musician and nature lover, I am eager to do something to remind people of our relationship with nature and raise public awareness about environmental protection.” -Rongbing Shen.
UMass Amherst Alum: Dark by Sasha Pedro.
“My work often blends natural elements with unnatural components, exploring what nature might look like in the future should the world continue to deny climate change.” -Sasha Pedro.
Honorable Mention: Bees by Melissa Pandina.
“Our connection to nature is magic. These are the times I capture in my work. I peel back the “what actually happened,” slip in a touch of myth and the viewer gets to experience the extraordinary world right below the surface.” -Melissa Pandina.
Honorable Mention: Elevator of Earthly Destruction by Melissa McClung.
“Instead of directing their vast resources towards making life on Earth more habitable, billionaires are looking for an escape hatch. But will life among the stars really be as magical as it sounds?” -Melissa McClung.
Runner Ups for Best of Show: While We Sleep by Marlow Shami, Day 200 by Margaret Wiss, and Elevator of Earthly Destruction by Melissa McClung.
The Augusta Savage Gallery, the Arts Extension Service, and partners in Creative Women Leading Climate Action virtual symposium co-host Creative People Leading Climate Action, the juried digital visual art and multi-disciplinary exhibition.Creative Women Leading Climate Action is presented by the UMass Arts Extension Service, Augusta Savage Gallery, Women of Color Leadership Network, College of Humanities and Fine Arts Advising and Career Center, Department of History Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, Department of Theater, and UMass Amherst Center at Springfield with support from Women for UMass Amherst, UMass Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Arts Extension Service’s Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative.