Since 2009, McColl Center has demonstrated its commitment to environmentalism through an annual residency program that provides artists with time and space to investigate ecological issues in collaboration with city organizations and community members. We believe that art and artists can advance the dialogue around environmental concerns and be catalysts for positive change.
In our third floor gallery, we present We Are the Storm, the work of our like-minded colleagues at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, a decentralized network of artists working in print and design, and CultureStrike, a migrant-led organization that works with a national network of artists to change public sentiment around migration.
Working together, Justseeds and CultureStrike forged partnerships between artists and environmental-justice organizations to create a portfolio of limited-edition prints that highlights the disproportionate effect of climate change on marginalized communities, including migrants and people of color. The prints serve as a reminder that the health of the environment is inseparable from the social and economic well-being of all people.
“As climate disasters continue to wreak havoc on communities around the globe, climate deniers increasingly dominate mainstream debates,” says Justseeds. “Their perpetuation of myths about the effects of global warming and climate change stands in the way of social and environmental progress towards a more balanced way of life on our planet—and point to an urgent need for art and culture that can inspire people and educate them about the truth.”
We Are the Storm is evidence of the enduring power of printmaking as a tool of communication and protest. At the heart of this portfolio is the belief that art has the power to move the climate conversation in a new direction by lifting up the voices of marginalized communities and engaging artists who might not otherwise have seen themselves, individually or collectively, as agents of change. We Are the Storm draws inspiration from the work of groups that are at the frontline of organizing in impacted communities to achieve environmental safety and justice. The prints also focus on what groups are doing to mitigate the accelerating effects of a changing climate, such as more frequent extreme-weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing global temperatures.
Featured artists: Agana, Micah Bazant, Kevin Caplicki, Thea Gahr, Thomas Greyeyes, Nicolas Lampert, Fernando Marti, Colin Matthes, Mazatl, Nicolas Medina, Roger Peet, Gilda Posada, Jesse Purcell, Pete Railand, Favianna Rodriguez, Julio Salgado, Meredith Stern, David Tim, Rommy Torrico, Mary Tremonte, Erin Yoshi, Bec Young.
Image: Pete Railand, Occupy Sandy (detail), 2015. Courtesy of CultureStrike.