“We can solve climate change ... It’s not all doom and gloom! That’s why the Earth figure is holding up a golden circle — to show viewers the greener future we could have if we helped out and started changing the way we live for the better.”
— Artist Jada Mensah, whose work is featured above, and in the exhibition
How can we transform the climate crisis into hope for our shared future? PEM’s timely exhibition brings together dynamic contemporary art, hands-on experiences and inspiring works by youth artists to help guide us toward making a difference for the planet.
The majority of Americans are anxious about the climate, yet only a small percentage of us actually talk about it or know how to make a positive impact. Our choices and actions regarding the environment will require imagination and vision, and the steps we take today will have far-reaching ramifications. Now is the time to be bold!
Climate Action leverages creativity, science and participation to raise awareness about the underlying issues of climate change, focusing on known solutions, including Indigenous practices, to foster action. The goal is for each of us to move beyond our fear and feelings of helplessness and make informed choices to take positive steps forward. Collectively, as a growing community, we can take actions that will help lead to a climate-stable and environmentally-just future for all.
On view in the Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center, this exhibition highlights local and regional climate issues and opportunities. Most of the 29 featured artists are based in New England — including works by 9 award-winning youth who participated in the Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis international student art contest in 2020 organized by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs.
Climate Action features works by the following artists. Nelson Andrews (Mashpee Wampanoag), Wes Bruce, Silvia López Chavez, David Greendeer (Narragansett and Ho-chunk), Elisapee Ishulutaq (Pangnirtung Inuit), Moon Hee Kim, Courtney M. Leonard (Shinnecock Nation), Nathalie Miebach, Greg Mort, Rosemary Mosco, Randall Munroe. Jill Pelto, Naima Penniman, Emma Quateman, Susan Quateman, Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Madeleine Jubilee Saito, Laurie Sproul, and Alan Syliboy (Mi'kmaq). The show also includes award-winning artworks by the following youth: Emily Cai, Dora Chen, Jennifer Liu, Xingfeiyan Liu, Emily McNichols, Jada Mensah, Anjali Mitra, Jasmine Wang, and Michelle Zhan.
To create Climate Action, PEM partnered with The Climate Museum in New York, the first museum in the nation dedicated to the climate crisis. The exhibition is presented as part of PEM’s Climate + Environment Initiative and is made possible by the Dorothy Brown Bequest for Art and Nature and the Albert M. Creighton Jr. Fund for Art and Nature. Special thanks to the Creighton family for their generous gift. Additional support was provided by Susan and Appy Chandler, Peter and Sandra Lawrence and individuals who support the Exhibition Incubation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum and the support and guidance of the Art & Nature Center Visiting Committee.
Share your impressions with us on social media using #PEMClimateAction
TOP IMAGE: Jada Mensah, Earth Collaption (detail), 2020, Digital artwork. Silver Award, High School, Art category, "Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis" international student art contest. Courtesy of Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, Inc.
Artist Silvia López Chavez discusses her artwork, Undercurrent.