Climate Change Muse at Anderson Gallery Opening

Kevin Lata
Contributing Writer

After a ceremonial crowd indulgence of cheese, wine and crackers, a large gathering of art enthusiasts huddled around each of the featured artists at Anderson Gallery’s opening night of their fall exhibit, Forecast, as they talked about their work.

The showcase, which highlights the deleterious effects human overconsumption is having on our environment, began with Blane De St. Croix, eminent artist and Head of Sculpture at Indiana University,  explaining the inspiration for the pieces he creates.

He goes after “important geopolitical issues that haven’t had a fair dialogue.”

“For very complex issues you must go to a place and talk to the people to understand it,” he said.

This line of thought has brought him to the Arctic, the US/Mexico border, and Mongolia among many others.

“If you want to be part of the conversation of low-impact you have to use low impact materials,” said De St. Croix.

He keeps to this ideal in his sculpture “Dead Ice,” which was created partly using foam manufactured from recycled plastic.

Adrien Coleburg, whose work is inspired by her expeditions through the Amazon with climate change scientists, is driven by her curiosity to understand the world.

She likes maps. The bright red, yellow, and green hues that dominate her work reflect that. The value in maps is that they strip reality down to its bare essentials, she explained.

“You don’t add things to make a map, you remove them,” she continued, “Making maps is a process of extraction”.

In the course of three days, using only a surgical scalpel, she constructed a dizzying geometric display of artistry, canvassing one of the gallery rooms.

Julie Heffernan was the last artist showcasing her work. After earning her MFA at Yale she found herself in Berlin, funded by a Fulbright scholarship.  At the time, her art was driven by feminist ideals, but long 16 hour days at the studio left her exhausted by the day’s finish. It was in this fatigue that fuzzy images began pouring into her head, which she later learned was called image streaming.

This experience allowed her to realize how much she was attempting to force art into creation. She threw out everything she was working on and started trying to bring these “blurry negatives into focus.”

One of her works was inspired by a walk she took in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. Several days after the devastating storm hit, she found once fallen trees transformed into neatly arranged stacks of firewood. She was shocked by the incredible way that we’re able to “ice over the consequences of our consumption.”

In that work she carved the Koch Brothers and Jared Dimon’s names into a tree to document their legacy of destruction.

“It’s important that business interests are held accountable,” she said.

Carving their names in that tree is her little way of combating the environmental destruction dished out by big business in the name name of profit.

This exhibit will be on display through December 7th. To see these sculptures and paintings for your self, come anytime between Tuesday and Friday from 10am to 5pm or Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.


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