Dates: June 21 – August 11, 2022
Location: Silver Center for the Arts (114 Main Street, Plymouth NH)
Summer Building Hours: Silver Center is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10am-4pm. Enter through the door on Court Street. *The building is also open during scheduled performances.
MWM invited submissions for a juried art exhibition focused on seasonal change and climate change. Presented alongside Watching the Seasons Change,
When we think of the seasons changing, often we think of spring to summer, summer to autumn and so on, but this pattern becomes more complicated as the markers of change disappear. The cycles we anticipate shift. As the seasons change in the northeast, we all expect certain signs: the bright red of the sugar maple, the crackle of frozen puddles under foot, the sweet smell of fresh growth as the snow melts, the burble of the brook under a thick canopy of leaves. What will our autumns look like when it is too warm for the sugar maples? What will it sound like as our maples are replaced by oaks that hold their leaves much later? What will winter be without frozen ponds? How are we adapting to these changes? This exhibition seeks artistic responses to these changes as well as reflections on how the seasons themselves are changing. Click here to see information about the jurying process.
Juror: Zachary Miller (Chickasaw) is the Andrew Mellon Cultural Heritage & Indigenous Knowledges Fellow at Dartmouth College. Zach has previously served as an Andrew Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico and as a guest curator at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art in Fort Collins, Colorado. Miller received his BFA in painting and printmaking from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2015 and his MFA in printmaking from Colorado State University in 2018. Zachary’s diverse interest in visual culture informs his participation in both local and international art communities. Zachary’s research engages with contemporary curatorial practice and community-based projects through the lens of an Indigenous visual artist.
Walk Through the Exhibition
Rachel B. Abrams
The frazil collages and extinct polynyas cyanotypes examine the transformation and loss of glaciers and sea ice, repositories of climate data. Seasons in the near past unquestionably meant the development of sea ice and the growth of glaciers. With the anthropogenic forces we have imposed upon climate systems, Seasons have been separated from traditional ecosystem services. Winters no longer translate to snow and ice accumulation; often when snow is present, rain follows, creating a drastic change in both the ecology and relationship between the flora and fauna that have long adapted to snow covered ecosystems. With less snow and ice, more heat is absorbed, further forcing the loss of Seasons, eventually resulting in the potential loss of what we once knew as Winter.
This work explores the idea of perpetual mud season. In New England, “Mud Season” is well known as a brief period where many roads are impassable as melting takes place. With a changing climate, we will see warmer winters. The ground will no longer freeze and we will watch our persistent snowpack fade away. At the same time, a longer mud season emerges, blurring the transition from winter to spring. There would be wide-reaching effects of a perpetual or longer mud season in New England from tourism to forestry and agriculture. This work is created from an assemblage of found images that show one-point perspective of muddy rural roads associated with mud season in the region. The layering creates a visually obscured or “muddy” image.
Betty Flournoy Brown
This painting is a work created on location in the Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire. It reflects the earth’s change through color, gestural line and shape emphasizing the impermanence of our environment.
196 nations in the world adopted the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change in 2015. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Warnings about the earth warming have been made for many years, documented by NASA, and sited at climate.nasa.gov
“Why is the sky dark at night?” has been a question scientists tackled for hundreds of years and finally came up with an answer in the early 20th century. The mysterious night sky has always been one of my favorite things to observe and I began understanding light as a superobject. When I brought it under the lens my art practice, I began to see the effects light and environmental pollution began to have on the night sky. I recorded these observations in this series of paintings Bright Black.
Weather patterns are shifting at a rate that don’t coincide with our memory and sense of place. As a result, we all feel homeless in areas in which we grew up because they are no longer recognizable. Winters are either more or less dramatic; we get glimpses of Springs we remember.
This work addresses the stunning visual drama that occurs as climate change impacts wildfire activity across the western United States with unprecedented rates of burning. These increasingly fire-conducive climate conditions are predicted to worsen at an increasing rate with devastating effect throughout the 21st Century. The inherent beauty of a moving wildfire across the landscape depicted in these still-frame image/images belies its power, fury and devastation.
David Edward Harmon
I regard my work as reflecting an abstract take on climate change. As weather changes in a heartbeat, painterly gestures reflect atmospheric effects. Satellite photographs have informed my vision of the earth. The use of the circle symbolizes the planet. Frequent storm activity and what it has done to our planet is devastating to say the least. Since 2020, I have lived and worked as an art professor at Northern Marianas College on the Polynesian archipelago of Saipan and had seen firsthand what the devastation Typhon Yutu (2018) had done to the Chamorro and Carolingian peoples living on this island. Weather has my respect, yet sadness at what havoc has wrought to our planet due to humankind’s negative impact on our earth through climate change.
This body of work was created whilst I was teaching art in Saipan, an island in the North West Pacific Ocean near Guam. Climate change has greatly affected this Pacific Ocean island and this body of art was created to reflect my feelings towards this shift, which is becoming extremely dangerous to the ocean, sea life, and islanders’ way of life due to climate change. Let me be clear that my work is not political but I am expressing my emotional response to this problem.
Sun eaters, pollen seekers highlights native pollinators and the native plants that they consume, nest, pupate, and metamorphose on. The paintings are healing icons that celebrate seasonal cycles and the importance of planting native in the face of mass extinction and climate change. I grow the plants I paint, collect and share their seeds. Seeds are sown in winter for cold stratification to germinate, the plants sprout in spring and are put in the ground in late summer to return annually.
In Sun eaters, pollen seekers (ode to oak and goldenrod) the powerhouse pollinator plant goldenrod is shown with early summer buds, late summer blossoms and winter seeds. Color shifts in the Fibonacci spirals represent oaks’ color transition through seasons.
Sun Ho Kim
Many factors make us feel the seasonal changes. For me, the Moon is one of them. Like the seasons, its ever-changing shapes and brightness often stimulate my senses and imagination. The moon also has many different names in different seasons. By naming, reaffirming, and remembering those names, I think that human beings have made their lives and the seasons have been passing and cycling. More often than not, by looking at the moon with the feeling of the change of season, I supplicate for my wishes to the moon, as our ancestors may have done and that’s how I started to work on this piece.
This work focuses on the dichotomy of awareness of climate change versus action taken to prevent it (or lack thereof). The permanent consequences of humanity’s actions and inaction are depicted. The subject—a nuclear plant in a barren landscape printed in blacks, greys, and reds—juxtaposes organic form and texture with an image of pollution and a poisoned environment. The floral patterning, usually a symbol for the spring season—a season of new life—is disfigured by the bleak representation of a possible future spring, one devoid of color. The monotype method of printmaking used is meant to reflect the inability for nature to ever be the same as it was. The material is a combination of cotton paper, paper flowers, and industrial printouts of articles describing nuclear risks and disasters. This mix of paper is held together by a thread showing the delicate balance between nature and human impact.
In my work, I explore the tragic entanglement and indissoluble interdependency of natural evolution and cultural development. My work is inspired by the sensual opulence of colors and forms of cultural landscapes and natural sceneries, emphasizing their deep vulnerability in context of the tapering climate crises. I am interested in the iterating seasonal changes, and I follow the ambiguous transitions between organic evolution and cultural formation, between recurrent emergence and inevitable decay.
I refer to the accelerating transformation of social natural conditions and the open future of the human way of life. In doing so, I pursue the fragility and vulnerability of our life and environment, as it is currently being particularly tangible in the context of the multiple political, ecological and climatic crises of the present.
My current project, “shroud for an ancient sea”, is a collection of site-responsive shrouds, which vary from expansive textiles to experimental vocal performances, acting as momentary surface layers that point to the complex records of deep time within the geo-anthropic landscape. marseille tidal gauge aria is a vocal shroud composed from tide level data collected over the past 130 years from a tidal gauge in the bay of Marseille, France. I converted each yearly average tide level into an individual note within my vocal range and set the resulting atonal composition to a poem from Rasu-Yong Tugen’s book, Songs from the Black Moon. I perform the piece operatically, drawing on the genre’s propensity for magnified human emotion; the rising sea levels in the bay can be heard in the increasingly higher pitches of the aria.
For the past five years, I have worked as an ornamental gardener in Northeastern Ohio. We are active from the very beginning of spring when the air starts to turn just slightly warmer to the bitter end of the year before the snow starts to accumulate. I’m seeing the seasons change and shift through my time working outdoors. The winters have become harsher and longer which is starting to shorten the growing season. The summers are becoming increasingly hotter which stresses plants and increases our water consumption. Both extremes of the seasons encourage people to spend more time indoors to seek shelter and comfort. My work is about seeking shade and looking through windows.
This work stems from research on endangered New England plant species. As seasonal plants, these endangered species are affected by climate change and human impact that threatens their survival. The work showcases realistic and abstracted endangered New England plant species, slowly fading away.
I have been drawing the Holyoke Mountain Range for 36 years. The main peak has a shape I can never get right the first many times I draw it. I always have to find it again, each drawing. The search is what give the drawing its inner life. Both the day and seasonal light changes on the mountains constantly, and I go after that with curiosity. I love when the mountain turns red in November, showing how the light from the sky falls at a lesser or sharper angle throughout the months warm enough to work outdoors.
Field Guide is an outdoor installation of quilts draped over local creek beds and farm hills of Watauga County, NC, and composed in space, framed like portraits. The surfaces are printed on, with additional hand-painted elements using oil pastels and acrylic paint. Foregoing expectations of how these objects of comfort are commonly displayed, the viewer recognizes their abstraction and strangeness in the remote spaces.
The quilts, begun in the fall of 2019, are a manifestation of the necessity for self-comfort during an extended period of isolation and vulnerable housing situations. Documented against a backdrop of a thawing season, this performative act is an attempt to recall memory as a place and an effort to establish personal agency during transitional times. The quilts explore self-comfort becoming metaphors for security, presence, and labor.
The documentation secures a momentary event, providing hard evidence of a season always in flux. Serving as both a shroud and an object of comfort displaced from a familiar setting, the images present an exercise in composition and emotional comfort.
Seasonal weather patterns in our environment are imploring us to take notice with each change of the rainfall and wind, long bouts of increased drought and flooding of homes and businesses, sweeping fires taking habitat with it while charring acres of land and the massive and severe storms across states. Wildlife patterns and human migration are being forced to shift and adapt, planting and growing crops is challenging. Our climate temperatures are changing. The constant signs are many and affect the creativity of my sculptures to reflect the shifts of the seasons.