Fire Transforms

fire transforms social.jpg   September 17-December 10, 2022

Living, Learning, and Creating with Fire

The new phenomenon of “megafires” in California has transformed our lives. We may be struck with “climate fatigue,” an ominous dread about living with endless wildfires. Each year we learn that wildfire is ongoing, escalating, and global, connected to environmental crisis, and embedded with deep loss. Artists can guide us through this emotional trouble, with images that can renew us with fire’s unique transformative power. 

Fire Transforms artists have lived with, learned with, and created with fire in their daily practice for years. Collectively, this art reveals innovative ways to visualize fire, to absorb the fear and confusion of fire, and to transform our thoughts and feelings about fire. 

Fire as Medium and Message

Fire Transforms works show us many styles and genres, mediums and processes, perspectives and ideas. Artists who have lived with fire—several lost homes, studios, and their life’s work to the flames—show us images that help us absorb fire with thoughtfulness and calm, replacing the catastrophic images bombarding us in the news media. Science-minded artists allow visual thinking to transform data, statistics, timelines, maps, and biologies of wildfire and its prevention into captivating works that help us learn with fire. Architectural drawings in the Meeting Room offer answers for those who wonder how incinerated communities rebuild. Abstractions and meditations on fire-as-nature or as a spiritual tool show fire as symbol or metaphor for inner change. Artists who use fire as an art medium ignite our curiosity about how fire can be a many-faceted  tool for expressive artmaking. 

Each artist in this exhibition offers us a myriad of paths into deeper thought, revelation, and renewal about fire, working to transform our complex connections to this powerful element.

This exhibition is guest curated by Rina Faletti.