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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

Adriana is one of the most inspiring artists I know whose passion around the climate crisis really does invite one to stop and think creatively about how to make a difference individually as well as collectively. Learn more and be inspired through her own words and images shared in this guest post.

Adriana Prat stands next to her work, Breaking Free.

I am so thrilled and honored to write in Cynthia’s blog! I first met Cynthia years ago at the Riverside Gallery during one of our group exhibitions and since then I have always admired the poetry and poignancy of her blog posts, her empathy and humbleness, and the beauty and sensitivity of her photographs. I am delighted to have more opportunities to interact with Cynthia and her beautiful art lately through the i3C Artists Group we both belong to, and that I will talk about further here.

Pollution and the Gold

I am a non-representational artist who intuitively creates mixed media paintings, while mostly meditating on the urgency of the environmental crisis, its impact, and the adaptation all ecosystems must go through to survive. I work driven by my emotions and by the physicality of the art materials, open to happy accidents and chance, and with a strong thirst for color and texture.  

Exploiting Beauty

During my early days in Argentina, I spent hours drawing or building craft projects. My father, an environmentalist ahead of his time, influenced me into value nature and the other species, and to be curious about the world that surrounds us. This early life experience impacted my decision to study science. After I moved to US, a more introspective life reconnected me with my old love for artmaking and I became an artist who worked part-time but with passion and determination, even while working full-time in science and raising a family that was always supportive of my life choices.

Topographies of the Exploitation of Our Land II

Because I lived much of my early life under a military dictatorship in Argentina and later as an immigrant in the US who could not vote, it was not until I became a full-time artist and a US citizen that I was able to speak up through my art. I am focused in using my art to bring awareness and action for the urgent environmental crisis.

Change is on its Way

Like in other aspects of life, I face a dilemma of what materials to use in my art practice that are better for the environment. In the spirit of refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing and/or recycling, I paint mainly on corrugated cardboards from packaging materials, or on rejected, found surfaces, like canvases I find on the curb, or I thrift, and I push myself to consume only a small amount of new art materials. I believe the climate crisis resolution is an ethical and moral obligation we have for our future generations and for the other species that share our beloved planet Earth. By finding more sustainable ways to produce my art, I feel I move in the direction of halting my environmental impact in the world.

Your Brain on Climate Crisis News

Informed by my science background, my abstract work frequently resembles topographies that can be imagined either on a microscopic or a macroscopic scale. At a microscopic level, they are evocative of the cells of organisms I have studied and manipulated during my scientific research days, and of the metabolic paths and intracellular structures I have analyzed and investigated.

Andriana standing next to various works.

At the same time, while I paint, I find myself exploring these forms or topographies at a macroscopic level and they seem reminiscent of maps, geographies, or even our planet, in its constant struggle to survive due to the constant human-induced exploitation. Some of my works evoke the explorations found on vintage maps, much like itineraries of digging expeditions set to exploit the vital and finite natural resources (water, fossil fuels, gemstones, etc) found underground. In some of my paintings, the textures and marks I introduce delineate approximate concentric maps that evoke how some of the land’s ecosystems, the coastlines, for example, are changing due to ocean water raising. As global warming continues with the consequent water rising, some islands, lands are doomed to disappear…  

Treasure Island

You can see more of my work on my website www.agprat.com or my Instagram account @agprat.art.

As part of my curatorial activities, I am actively curating the i3C (inspiring Change for the Climate Crisis) Artists Group and its exhibits. The i3C Artists Group has currently over 20 multidisciplinary artists (and counting…) from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada. The i3C artists’ diverse backgrounds and art practices enhance our shared commitment to the topic of the environmental crisis and our mission to inspire action to help resolve the environmental crisis. The group’s exhibits are conceived as an evolving and ongoing project, with iterations in different venues to continue spreading the i3C artists group’s mission. The group’s art processes and visions vary: some artists explore the impact of consumerism by reinventing reclaimed materials, or by creating a dialog with humanity’s waste and pollution; some celebrate the natural beings and their interconnection, pointing to their unique beauty or vulnerabilities; and some address the effects of climate change in our communities or global ecosystems.

You can check out the i3C Artists Group’s website (www.i3CArtists.com) or our Instagram account @i3cartists to get inspired and to know more about the group’s events in art centers, gallery spaces, and other venues.

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What an honor to be part of the group exhibit, Inspiring Change for the Climate Crisis, on view at the UVA Gallery at the Arthaus in Allston. The successful show will close this Friday with a vegan ice cream social. Regular ice cream and other treats will be available as well. Open to the public. RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vegan-ice-cream-social-closing-of-inspiring-change-for-the-climate-crisis-registration-416660271087

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One day I stood before a giant globe atlas with a friend in elementary school. We liked to spin it round and round. That day, and I’m not sure why, he stopped the globe and pointed at a place. He looked at me and said with a smile, “That says nigger. That’s what my mama told me.” I squinted at the spot (I needed glasses) and then I said to him, matter of factly, “No. That says Niger. I think your mama got it wrong.” His smile faded. And then we went out to play.

One day in high school computer class (Pascal!) I sat next to a friend whom I’d known since elementary school. We were both geeky. I wore a short skirt and one of my first pair of pantyhose. I almost felt grown up. He kept rubbing my knee. I was beginning to think he might like me. I didn’t know how to giggle but I did smile at what he was doing. I guess he noticed because he said  all of a sudden, “Cynthia, my mother doesn’t like black people. She wouldn’t let me bring you home.” I simply said, “Okay.” And in my mind’s eye I remembered his mother and my mother talking cordially at a parent-teacher meeting.

One day not long ago I stood in a place where I was tasked to welcome strangers. Two men walked in, one wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Nazi symbol and the other wore a t-shirt that said, white people are the best people. I did not feel very welcoming but to be welcoming was my job. In the end, on that day, the gentlemen and I conversed about everything except what they wore on their shirts and the color of my skin. We went our separate ways both still existing and having to live with each other in this world.

All of these things happened to me before Trump was voted in as President. I don’t blame Trump for racism, conservatism, alt-right, Breitbart and all the other ugliness in this world. I blame him for fanning the flames of hate. I hold him accountable for the blinders he chooses to wear about what he has done and his active willful ignorance about the scale of the harm he will do to this nation and the world with his cabinet choices.

He has become the President of a flawed, great nation. That nation will not fall with his presidency but it may fracture in ways not even conceived of yet. Will I hold him, Pence and others accountable? Yes! But I will also hold myself and others accountable if we do not take every opportunity, each day, no matter how seemingly small, to become better educated, informed, engaged and active world citizens.

One day …

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In the words of Rebecca Solnit, “It’s very important to say that hope is not optimism. Optimism is a sense that everything’s going to be fine no matter what we do. Hope is something completely different. The kind of activist hope I believe in is that, although we don’t know what will happen, that uncertainty still means there’s grounds for intervening even without being sure of the outcome.

An excerpt from a very thought provoking piece that is well worth a read: https://blog.longreads.com/2016/12/22/we-have-to-resist-rebecca-solnit/#

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