Survey Says… Art Can Help Broaden the Public Conversation on Climate Change

Art and science are two different disciplines, but it is exciting when they work together. This week, I will be presenting a poster titled “Art Can Help Broaden the Public Conversation on Climate Change” at the 105th Annual Conference of the College Art Association in New York City. This is the same presentation that I made at the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society last month, where it received a positive response and sparked a number of interesting conversations.

Building on the qualitative aspect of my talk, “The Art and Science of Climate Change”, this poster project quantified the influence climate-art has on people’s opinions. As Lord Kelvin said, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it…”

Using Survey Monkey, I conducted a national poll where participants were asked comparison questions about the influence of traditional graphs vs. artistic interpretations of climate change. The graphs were sourced from the IPCC’s fifth assessment report and the artwork came from both photojournalists and conceptual artists.

When compared to a graph, the different styles of art received different reactions. On average, however, a significant number of the participants (34%) related more to the issues of climate change via art than through traditional charts and graphs. Overall, 64% of participants said art had changed the way they thought about a subject in the past.

These results show art to be a powerful tool of communication that helps to broaden the public conversation on climate change. They also highlight the fact that a variety of visual outreach methods are needed to reach the entire population on this critical issue that affects us all in one way or another.

The survey shows art can help broaden the public conversation on climate change. Credit: The Weather Gamut.

Love of Winter

Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday when images of cupid and hearts abound. But for me, it is George Bellows’ Love of Winter that always comes to mind as we mark the mid-point of what is usually New York City’s snowiest month of the year.

A longtime personal favorite, this 1914 painting captures the spirit of those who embrace the season. Filled with the blurred movement of skaters on a frozen pond and accented with spots of bright color that pop against the snow, it conveys the joy of being out in nature on a cold winter day.

While Bellows is better known for depicting scenes of boxing matches and urban life, art historians say he enjoyed the challenge of painting the varied lighting conditions produced by a snow-covered landscape. In fact, he wrote a letter to a friend in January 1914 complaining about the lack of snow in NYC that winter. He said, “There has been none of my favorite snow. I must paint the snow at least once a year.” Then, about a month later, his wish for snow was granted and this picture was created.

Love of Winter is part of the Friends of American Art Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Love of Winter”, 1914 by George Bellows. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago

Survey Says… Art Can Help Broaden the Public Conversation on Climate Change

The Tri-State Weather Conference is this weekend and I will be presenting the results of a survey I organized this summer on a poster titled “Art Can Help Broaden the Public Conversation on Climate Change.”

Building on my talk, “The Art and Science of Climate Change”, I was curious to know if climate-art was influencing people’s opinions. Therefore, moving from the qualitative to the quantitative, I conducted an online poll of 300 people from across the US using Survey Monkey. Participants were asked comparison questions about the influence of traditional graphs vs. artistic interpretations of climate change. The graphs were sourced from the IPCC’s fifth assessment report and the artwork came from both photojournalists and conceptual artists.

When compared to a graph, the different styles of art received different reactions. On average, however, a significant number of the participants (34%) related more to the issues of climate change via art than through traditional charts and graphs. Overall, 64% of participants said art had changed the way they thought about a subject in the past.

These results show art to be a powerful tool of communication that helps to broaden the public conversation on climate change. They also highlight the fact that a variety of visual outreach methods are needed to reach the entire population on this critical issue that affects us all in one way or another.

survey_pie_a

The survey shows art can help broaden the public conversation on climate change. Credit: The Weather Gamut.

The Creative Climate Awards – An Art Exhibition on Climate Change

The Human Impacts Institute is bringing art and science together in an effort to expand public understanding of climate change. In a group exhibition called The Creative Climate Awards, artworks of various mediums explore the challenges of this pressing issue.

This annual event, according to organizers, “uses the arts and creativity to share knowledge, broaden the climate conversation, educate, and incite action.” The show features artists from around the world, including: Ellen Alt, Ed Ambrose, Carolina Arevalo, Vikram Arora, Julie Bahn, Danielle Baudrand, Anna Borie, Laura Brodie, Kenneth Burris, Yon Cho, Alejandra Corral de la Serna, Michael Fischerkeller, Melissa Fleming, Rachel Frank, Kathryn Frund, Shelley Haven, Martin Kalanda, Kaiser Kamal, Julian Lorber, Heather McMordie, Dominique Paul, Peim, Fariba Rahnavard, Clark Rendall, Alexandros Simopoulos, Britta Stephen, Shira Toren, Lars Vilhelmsen, Joyce Ellen Weinstein, and Ana Gabriela Ynestrillas.

The exhibit runs from September 27th to October 27th at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), 1 East 42nd Street, NYC. The opening reception is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27th from 6PM to 8PM. This event is free and open to the public.

For a full list of events during the course of the exhibition, please click here.

"Energy: 300 Million Years" from the Under Glass series by Melissa Fleming. Credit: Melissa Fleming

“Energy: 300 Million Years” from the Under Glass series by Melissa Fleming. Credit: Melissa Fleming

Celebrating Fifth Blogiversary

It is hard to believe, but today marks the five-year anniversary of The Weather Gamut.

Initially begun as a way to both deepen and share my knowledge about weather and climate change, this blog has allowed me to expand on my interests and concerns in ways that I never thought possible. Building on the topics discussed here, I have developed and delivered a number of public talks and made several media appearances. Blending all this with the art side of my life, I recently conducted a national polI about art and climate communication. I will be presenting the results of this survey at the upcoming Tri-State Weather Conference.

Also, through writing this blog, I have met many wonderful people working in this fascinating field. I am grateful for all their support and encouragement.

Overall, it has been a fun and educational five years! Looking ahead, I am excited to continue this rewarding journey.

As always, thank you for reading!

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Climatic Visions: An Art Exhibition on Climate Change

Art and science have joined forces at the New York Hall of Science in an effort to expand public understanding of climate change. In a group exhibition called Climatic Visions II, photographs and collages explore some of the challenges of this pressing issue.

On display in the Le Croy Gallery, the exhibit features artwork by Cristina Biaggi, Melissa Fleming, Isabella Jacob, and Doris Shepherd Wiese. Co-curated by Audrey Leeds and Marcia Rudy, the exhibit runs from July 30 to October 30, 2016 and is free with general museum admission

The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th Street, Queens, NY 11368.

"Exit Glacier, Alaska" from the series "American Glaciers" by Melissa Fleming. Image credit: Melissa Fleming.

“Exit Glacier, Alaska” from the series “American Glaciers” by Melissa Fleming. Image credit: Melissa Fleming.

Speaking Event: The Art and Science of Climate Change

Climate change is a complex scientific subject with a plethora of data-rich reports that detail its causation and diverse impacts. But, not everyone responds to facts and figures or charts and graphs. That is why art can help broaden the public conversation and help create new pathways to understanding this critical issue.

On Friday, April 15th, I will be giving a presentation that I developed called The Art and Science of Climate Change at New York University (NYU). Blending my two passions, it introduces the basic science of climate change and explores how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions.

Please contact me to arrange a presentation for your school or organization.

Speaking Event: The Art and Science of Climate Change

Climate change is a complex scientific subject with a plethora of data-rich reports that detail its causes and diverse impacts. Not everyone, however, responds to facts and figures or charts and graphs. That is why art can help broaden the public conversation and help create new pathways to understanding this critical issue.

On Sunday, February 28th, I will be giving my presentation, The Art and Science of Climate Change, at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve Art Gallery in Westchester County, NY. Blending my two passions, it introduces the basic science of climate change and explores how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions.

Currently on view in the gallery is Climatic Visions, a group exhibition in which I am showing images from a number of different projects, including my ongoing series American Glaciers. Audrey Leeds curated the show, which runs through March 7th.

If you are in the area, please stop in and say hello. The program begins at 3:30 PM.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve Art Gallery
125 Phelps Way
Pleasantville, NY 10570

Please contact me to arrange a presentation for your organization.

Speaking Event: The Art + Science of Climate Change

Climate change is a complex scientific subject with a plethora of data-rich reports that detail its diverse impacts. Not everyone, however, responds to facts and figures or charts and graphs. That is why art can help broaden the public conversation and help create new pathways to understanding this critical issue.

On Monday, February 15th, I will be giving my presentation called The Art and Science of Climate Change for the Park West Camera Club at Soho Photo Gallery in NYC. Blending my two worlds, it introduces the basic science of climate change and explores how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions.

If you are in the area, please stop in and say hello. The program begins at 7 PM.

PWCC
Soho Photo Gallery
15 White Street
New York, NY 10013

Please contact me to arrange a presentation for your organization.

Speaking Event: The Art and Science of Climate Change

Climate change is a complex scientific subject with a plethora of data-rich reports that detail its diverse impacts. Not everyone, however, responds to facts and figures or charts and graphs. That is why art can help broaden the public conversation and help create new pathways to understanding this critical issue.

On Monday, November 16th, I will be giving a presentation that I developed called The Art and Science of Climate Change at The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. Blending my two worlds, it introduces the basic science of climate change and explores how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions.

After the talk, there will be a reception for the group art exhibition, Visualizing Climate Change in which I will be showing images from my ongoing project on American Glaciers. The show runs through November 23rd.

The lecture begins at 6PM and the gallery reception runs from 7PM to 8:30PM. But please note, to attend the talk you must RSVP via email to: isd@cooper.edu. Seats are limited. No RSVP is required for the exhibition reception following the talk. If you are in the area, please stop in and say hello. This event is co-sponsored by the SciArt Center.

The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design
​7 East 7th Street, Room 715
(Between Third and Fourth Avenues)
New York, NY 10003

Please contact me to arrange a presentation for your organization.