Santa Fe’s ‘Vision Shift!’ Art Exhibit Illustrates Growing Role of Arts Community

From ‘Vision Shift!’ site

It’s another example of a growing trend in the arts community to “create meaningful social change,” as sponsors put it, on climate change.

By the name “Vision Shift! Art in the Age of Climate Change,” the seven-and-a-half-week-long exhibit in Santa Fe, N.M., includes art, photography, and sculptures by abstract expressionist painter Charles Strong.

“I felt that climate change needs to be communicated at a real grass roots level,” Strong said in a statement explaining how some of his art will become part of a Santa Fe Art in Transit bus project. “The buses really appealed to me. We all need to work together and get everybody thinking about this problem.”

The overall Vision Shift! project will involve more than 100 works of art to be exhibited at six different Santa Fe locations. “Arctic Melting,” for instance, is a glass sculpture done by a group of Native American students.

No wallflowers, the organizers and artists involved in the effort say they hope “the ingenuity of art can out- maneuver the corporate machine that is strangling us” by breathing new life into ventures powered by the sun, wind, and land rather than by fossil fuels.

From ‘Vision Shift!’ site

“Now, more than ever, we need our poets, musicians, actors, and singers – all our creative people – to speak loudly, to help decipher our situation and find remedies,” said program facilitator Mariel Nanasi.

The Yale Forum in recent updates has documented some of the increased climate change communications efforts under way by museums, and among visual artists generally. A major Yale Forum feature scheduled to be posted within the next month will focus in particular on the role of the music community in informing citizens – and in particular youths – about climate change and potential “solutions.”

Some communications experts see the arts moving steadily but incrementally toward filling some of the climate change communications voids being created as traditional “mainstream” or “legacy” news media, such as metropolitan daily newspapers and news weeklies, continue scaling-back in the face of sagging advertising revenues and fierce online competition.

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