Creative Climate Award Closing Reception

By Rubianny Alvarado

The Creative Climate Award reception showcased a total of 37 climate change inspired artworks ranging from paintings, performance art, films, music, theater pieces to paintings. An article written by Bill McKibben, “What the Warming World Needs Now Is Art, Sweet Art” challenged the notion that scientific facts and intellectual knowledge about climate change was enough. He argued that we must incorporate our imagination’s in order to bring forth a signigicant change and understanding involving climate change. Thus the Creative Climate Award was created in order to give artists a platform to showcase climate change in a creative and innovative fashion.

The works of art are meant to shed light on the impact humans have on the environment. The artists behind the pieces have been concerned with climate change and the environment for most of their lives. It is this genuine respect and concern for the environment that elevates and differentiates the pieces from any other art show or gallery.

‘Prthvi Akhyayika’
By Evelyn Vas
A Bharatanatyam dance piece on the melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

Film: ‘GONG-GI’
So Young Shelly Yo
A short film concerning a dystopian society where the air pollution has gotten so detrimental that the people are trapped inside of their homes

Live musical performance
Jason Davis
A combination of jazz and chamber music with field recordings and people speaking about their feelings and observations toward climate change.

This years recipient of the Creative Climate Award, Allison Maria Rodriguez, showcased a 3-channel video installation featuring her time spent on the Galapagos Islands. She has been interested in the impact that humans have on the environment since she was a young girl. Her main focus recently has been on species extinction and her trip to the Galapagos Island is something she had been planning for years. She visited in 2016, spending about three months photographing the region, interacting with the animals and people.

When asked about her expectations and the reality of visiting the Galapagos Island she had to ponder for a minute. She replied; “I expected it to impact me as an artist, to bring forth creativity but I did not expect it to influence me so much as a person. As I was taking photographing and recording I began to realize that I was also affecting the atmosphere and negatively contributing to the environment as well.” In her article; “Confronting Earth’s Trauma” Allison mentions that there is a tension between the exploitation of the natural world and the desire to preserve and sustain it.

She also incorporated herself in the video installations, something she had no intentions of doing at first. She mentions that it is important to be aware of one’s own actions as well. “A human figure (me) moves within the landscape as both a guardian of collective memory and as an embodiment of present-day eco-consumerism.” Allison’s piece also showcases the fact that even as she is attempting to bring awareness to the environment by doing so she may be interacting with it in a negative way.

This certainly won’t be the last time hearing from Allison, she mentions she is currently working on multiple projects featuring her passion to bring awareness to climate change and animal extinction. Allison continues to grow and expand as an artist with every project she undertakes, the same can be said for the other featured artists in the Creative Climate reception. While the artist is the one putting together the piece to bring aareness to climate change it is them who is impacted the most in this journey.

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