CHICAGO — The DePaul Art Museum will explore the impact of humans on the environment with “Climate of Uncertainty,” an interactive exhibition that opens Jan. 10 and runs through March 24. The museum is free and open to the public every day.
An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the museum, located at 935 W. Fullerton Ave., just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop.
“Climate of Uncertainty” features 12 artists engaged in long-term projects that address humans’ role in environmental degradation, said Laura Fatemi, associate director of the DePaul Art Museum who organized the exhibition. Seven photographers document issues ranging from the destructive effects of extractive industry to the effect of careless waste disposal on animal populations. Several artists use installations to provide audiences with a participatory and immersive experience on deforestation and the enormous consequences of large-scale damming. Other media included in the exhibition are sculpture, printmaking and mixed media.
Works in the exhibition reveal ways that individuals, industries and governments have exploited, abused or depleted natural resources and explore alternative approaches to environmental issues by challenging the viewer to imagine a more hopeful future.
“One of the greatest challenges that society will likely face in the coming decades and century is how to strategically plan for and adapt to the uncertain effects of climate change,” Fatemi said. “It’s unusual for an art museum to take on a subject that is so technical, but the premise of this exhibition is that artists—whose tools for communicating are visual, emotional, visceral and intuitive—can help build a public movement and engage audiences using a fresh vocabulary.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, a number of programs featuring leading scholars, environmental activists and artists will be held at the museum to encourage a dialogue on the topics. Programs include:
● Sustainable Business Conference, Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a curator’s tour at 5 p.m. The conference will introduce the concept of sustainability to the value creation process of for-profit firms. Keynoters, panelists and presenters from industry, policymaking organizations and think tanks will discuss avenues through which ideas may be developed for profitable projects that are mindful of the environment and social challenges of our time. Organized by the finance department in DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business, the conference will include speakers from Northern Trust, Hancock, New America Foundation, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Chicago Metropolis 2020, Interface, Haworth, Boeing, Eli Lilly, Biohabitats and E2.
● The Art and Science of Climate Change, Jan. 30, 6 to 8 p.m. A panel of speakers will discuss climate change through the lenses of their academic disciplines. Mark Potosnak, assistant professor, environmental science and studies at DePaul, will introduce the science of climate change. Barbara Willard, associate professor in the College of Communication, will focus on how the public perceives climate change and outline methods for more effective communication. The economic implications of climate change and potential policy responses will be covered by Christie Klimas, a lecturer in environmental science and studies at DePaul. Chicago photographer Terry Evans will discuss her project, “A Greenland Glacier: The Scale of Climate Change.”
● Coal Country and Beyond, Feb. 27, 6 to 8 p.m. A panel of policymakers and environmentalists will address the impact of coal burning on global warming and efforts to solve the problem, including the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign for clean energy. Chicago photographer Daniel Shea will discuss his long-term project documenting the coal industry, from extraction through production cycle, the landscape, and the people living in southeast Ohio.
● Technologically Enhanced Nature, March 6, 6 to 8 p.m. How is our view of nature affected by a technologically imaged world? In an informal conversation, Chicago artist Allison Grant will ground the question in multiple visual sources, while DePaul environmental scholar Randy Honold will approach the question through philosophical inquiry.
A full list of programs and events related to the exhibition is online at http://museums.depaul.edu/news/calendar/
This is the DePaul Art Museum’s second year in its new home. The museum is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu.
Watch video preview of Climate of Uncertainty.