The Flowers are Burning: An Art and Climate Justice Project by Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann
AN ART & CLIMATE JUSTICE EXHIBITION
Mary Kay Neumann and Helen Klebesadel have created an Art and Climate Change Project called The Flowers are Burning. The project consists of an art exhibition of incandescent watercolor paintings that considers the search for beauty and strength that sustains us in the face of adversity. The flowers are metaphors of power found in unexpected places. Mary Kay and Helen exhibit both individually and collaboratively created artworks in which the energy of flowers burning with beauty AND power is illuminated.
These are the questions that burn for us. All of the subjects that we paint, we love. Catastrophic wildfires are sweeping through California during a record- breaking drought. Bees, birds, and sea stars are disappearing along with other species. These are only a few concrete problems we face today in a world of rapidly changing climate that is largely human created.
How do we respond to the grief we feel without turning away in despair?
"Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom.” -Rumi
All of us have something we love that is in peril in the world. We need clean air, clean water, safe soils, and complex ecosystems in balance that support and sustain life. It doesn't matter what it is you care about most deeply about, or even whether we agree on what to do about the challenges we face. We can all agree that we are in this together and that we all want to save what we love and care deeply about. Think about what you are moved to take action to protect.
At our exhibition, we provide a place for our audience to sit, to ponder, and to write or draw. Blank books are available to record those stories of what people notice are endangered or missing. We ask for ideas about action(s) people want to take in creating a more beautiful world that promotes protecting what they love. We extend an invitation to share resources, websites, and organizations that work towards involving people in everyday activism.
In creating this website, we have only begun to capture other efforts, organizations, projects, and events aimed at making positive change. What else would YOU like to see us share? Please send us links and share resources with us so we help others find them, too. We especially seek connections to efforts related to building coalitions aimed at taking actions, small and large, on behalf of the planet and all the creatures that inhabit it.
Most importantly, start or continue to take action in little and big ways everyday to help create a world we can all live in, so those things we care deeply about can still hold their place in the balance of things. Help us grow that flame of hope, fueled by the care for that which we love.
Decide what you love enough to do something to save it.