Climate Connections exhibition series
Aligning with the City of Palo Alto Council’s current-year priority on climate change, Climate Connections presents a year-long series of exhibitions and public programs showcasing the role of art, creativity, and cultural institutions in creating opportunities for education and inspiration on the topic of climate action. Fall 2022-Summer 2023.
September 17-December 10, 2022
Jeff Frost, King Fire Self Portrait, 2018. Inkjet print on archival paper, edition 1/1, 46” x 68”. Image courtesy of the artist.
In recent years, “megafires” in California have transformed our lives and our landscapes. “Fire season” used to mean a predictable annual period of hot, dry weather, low humidity, and brown hillsides, from August to November, when fire danger was historically highest. Now, fire season can start in early spring and keep burning into the new year. We may feel puzzled and afraid, struck with “climate fatigue,” an underlying feeling of dread that the endless cycle of wildfires will never end. This connects us to bigger pictures of environmental change around the world. How can we transform our fear, sadness, anger, and confusion into comfort and clarity?
Thankfully, we have artists to help us explore, reflect, and try to make sense of these new realities. In Fire Transforms, artists creating a wide range of work nudge us into new ways of “seeing” fire. Photographers face wildfire directly, revealing the flames up-close, or the detailed remains of a burned home. In weavings, drawings, and sculptures, artists show how science can calm us with knowledge. In miniature scenes in tiny suitcases, we learn how firefighters fight and prevent fires. In paintings of nature’s comeback, we see how black changes to green over time. In architectural drawings, house plans present options for rebuilding destroyed neighborhoods and towns. And in fire-hued abstractions, in paper and wire mesh screens, and in paintings of Native American fire dances, fire becomes a creative tool for reflection and beauty. All these artists engage curiosity, wonder, and attention acknowledging how fire’s transformative power works through its cycles of destruction and creativity.
This exhibition is guest curated by Rina C. Faletti, founding curator of Art Responds.
To visit the exhibition website, follow this link: Fire Transforms website.