Environmental Art Exhibit at Local College- a photo essay

Bill McKibben once said, “We can register what is happening with satellites and scientific instruments, but we can register it in our imaginations, the most sensitive of all our devises? …Art, like religion, is one of the ways we digest what is happening to us, make the sense out of it that proceeds to action.”

From March 9th to April 13th, the Central Connecticut State University Art Gallery hosted the exhibit “Earth Fire Water Air: Elements of Climate Change.” Aided with the help of retired art history teacher, Elizabeth Langhorne, the exhibit displayed a wide variety of different forms of art relevant to how environment is changing.

Replicating coats used by the Inuit tribes, climate engineers Scott Schuldt and Cecelia Bitz created a wearable canvas anorak. The beading designs show graphs of increased global temperatures and the animals of endangered species, such as norwhals, polar bears and different types of birds. The beads also show the chemical formulas for certain pollutions, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide.)
This model sculpture is of a “SunFlower” developed by the Mueller Redevelopment Art Project in Austin, Texas. These “SunFlowers” are used as solar panels, but with a more artistic and creative design.
Hand painted in 2010 by Julia Samuels, this piece depicts electrical rigs and windmills. The painting is entitled “Iowa Has it Figured Out.”


Created by Mags Harries, this interesting balance sculpture is called Rising Water. Made in 2015, the dimensions were supposed to symbolize trash and water by using rubber boots, rope and a goldfish bag filled with water.


Located in the Water section of the exhibit, “Glisten” was created by artist Resa Blatman.
Blatman created lazer cut panels and added oil paints and glitter to give it that “iceberg” affect.


The Regeneration Bee is a detachable bike trailer with a huggable sculpture of a bee, It was created by Emily Peterson to teach children about ecology and bees.


Ghost Bee 1 was created by Joseph Smolinski in 2015 as a response to the diminishing bee population.
It was created using a 3D printer and used PLA plastic with resin coating.


The “Art Bike” was donated to the exhibit by an anonymous New Britain resident.
Underneath the bike is a poster of a map of the CT FastTrack. This piece was used to
Located in the “Fire” section of the exhibit is the Cherry Blossom painting by Alexis Rockman in 2015. The painting, created from watercolor, ink and gouache on paper, was in response to the dwindling bee population. Humans need bees to pollinate crops for harvest.


This piece and the two paintings below this piece were created by the artist Janet Culberston in 2008. The three paintings were a part of a series entitled “Storm.”


Austin Brett, a freshman theatre major at Central, said “I liked this piece the best because it looks like a glitter highway. Symbolically they’re driving into the storm they created from gas emissions and pollution.”



A colorful piece displaying Godzilla in the background, but a pelican covered in oil from a spill.



Same creator as the glitter iceberg, Blatman created this piece “Trouble in Paradise” in 2015.
Blatman used latex paint on Mylar and PVC, and added silk and plastic flora for affect.



The True Cost of Coal Banner hangs in the art exhibit. Created in 2010, this silk tapestry showcases animal evolution, machinery and technology, pollution and then the rebirth of a cleaner environment,
Professor Ted Efremoff and students Zach Hanna, Rolan Muniz and Michelle Thomas from CCSU’s Art 465/565 Social Practice and Environmental Art course created the Salvage Ark
The boat is completely made out of recycled materials, including water jugs and crates. The sail even has an artistic design showing the graph of increased CO2 levels.
During the opening of the exhibit, there was a live canary in the bird
Elementary school kids from New Britain created magnetic designs with environmental meaning.


The art exhibit featured local and national artists, as well interactive features such as laptops that displayed graphs and audio recordings of historic environmental speeches. The closing reception is Wednesday April 12th from 4-7p.m. in the 2nd floor art gallery of Maloney Hall.


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