By GABRIELLE AHLBORN
Capital News Service
LANSING — With art ranging from giant mobiles to miniature paintings, artists from across the country are collaborating to face the climate crisis with a new exhibit in Metro Detroit.
“Environmentally Speaking” is a three-part exhibition that aims to remove the despair from climate conversations and asks the public to consider the legacy they want to leave.
It is at the Janice Charach Gallery at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield. It runs until March 3.
The project includes a gallery of visual pieces in a variety of mediums, a live dance performance and community engagement pieces that invite the public to participate in writing letters to the Earth.
“This show is based in hope, in love and in resilience,” co-curator Leslie Sobel said. “This is not a show saying the world is doomed and you should just crawl under your bed and hide. It’s a show about positivity and how the solutions for these issues are rooted in hope and action.”
“Environmentally Speaking” was inspired by the artists’ experiences and the recent book “All We Can Save” by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson (Penguin Random House, $18).
“I held my first grandson, and immediately I was like, we have got to do better,” co-curator Laura Earle said.
Earle, a Metro Detroit-based artist, was led to climate advocacy through her previous work that addressed social inequality.
“I encountered some of the food deserts that we have here in Detroit, and I realized immediately that there’s a huge overlap between social justice issues and environmental issues,” she said.
Many of the 14 self-selected artists are a part of Earle and Sobel’s book club of eco-feminists.
“We started meeting weekly, reading a chapter of “All We Can Save” and discussing it. In that process, we looked at each other and said this is a show,” Sobel said.
The curators invited interested artists to showcase their work.
“It’s like a contemporary version of a Parisian salon where anybody who’s interested can be in that space and have those conversations, and then you can see the influence of those conversations on the work,” Earle said.
Tracey Easthope of Ann Arbor is one of the creators in the exhibition. Her paintings focus on celebrating climate solutions with the goal of bringing joy to the future.
“I started drawing these costumes, and I imagined people wearing them in parades with music and bands and having fun talking about all the solutions that we already know are out there,” she said.
The exhibition encourages people of all ages to attend and engage in conversations about positive impacts on the climate.
“The idea was to invite people to be part of this celebration of transforming the world,” Easthope said.
The exhibition is free and open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Gabrielle Ahlborn reports for Great Lakes Echo