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Climate Change as Art: The work of Melissa Fleming by ClimateYou Editor Abby Luby

Artists and scientists have a lot in common, even though their respective passions may seem at opposite ends of the creative spectrum. When literature, music, or visual work is inspired by science, or vice versa, it’s a true melding of both worlds that foster innovation and the unconventional with often incredible results.  If you are a visual artist passionate about climate change, what would your work look like? How would you use your sense of aesthetics to reflect what you know about global warming and what would your message be? One such artist is Melissa Fleming who explores the myriad of ways art and science interact. Fleming is also an environmental communicator who reports on issues related to weather and climate change on her blog The Weather Gamut. Her artwork has been exhibited and collected internationally and is, what she refers to as “largely an exploration of the transient and often unseen aspects of the natural world.”

On Saturday, April 7 at 2 pm, Fleming will be giving a presentation entitled, The Art and Science of Climate Change, at the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh, NY, where Fleming is showing pieces from her Under Glass series in the current group exhibition entitled Anthropocene,  curated by  Virginia Walsh. Fleming will discuss the basic science of climate change and explore how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions; she will also highlight the metrics from her recent national poll that shows art to be a powerful tool to broaden a public conversation on climate change.

Her “Under Glass” pieces are elegant and powerful; they give us a strong sense of how both art and science require our perceptive scrutiny whether it’s examining objects or data. For this show Fleming has placed a piece of wood and a piece of coal under Victorian-style glass domes with engraved labels such as “Energy” or “Memory.”

Ann Street Gallery  104 Ann Street in Newburgh

Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and – 1:30 – 4 p.m.
Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Newburgh Last Saturday until 8 p.m.


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