I’ve always been concerned about our environment and the destruction we are causing to our planet and its inhabitants, but last year my awareness was stepped up several notches. It started in the summer when I was asked to sculpt the artwork for the Young Readers Edition of “Our Choice”, Al Gore’s latest book outlining a plan to solve the climate crisis. What an incredible honor! Then I read the Kind Diet and became vegan (loving animals so much I can’t bare to think of them suffering, but in this book I also learned that it takes 6 bathtubs full of water to produce one tiny hamburger- what a direct impact eating meat has on our planet!). THEN I was invited to participate in EARTH: Fragile Planet, an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York, curated by Greg Manchess and Jack Unruh with co-curators Tara Jacoby and Kate Feirtag. ‘EARTH’ is divided into five categories: air, earth, water, energy and wildlife. I chose air as the focus of my piece because an image had instantly popped into my head and I knew I wanted to make it. A few weeks later the lovely Anelle Miller, Executive Director at the Society, called and asked me if I’d go to Materials For the Arts to hunt for supplies and found objects to use in my piece for the show. I was so excited not only to discover this amazing place in Long Island City where you can literally spend all day picking out free materials, but also to make recycled art from items that would normally end up as waste. I had a great time roaming the endless isles rummaging for supplies with the awesome illustrator Eric Lewis who makes flowers from garbage! Luckily, our adventure was all skillfully captured on video by Brandon Keiffer and will be made into a documentary that will be shown at the exhibition. So, I brought all my materials home from our day out at Materials for the Arts and dumped them in a corner where they sat for 3 months as I had other deadlines to meet. Every now and then I’d go over to the box of stuff and freak out a little wondering how I would make something from such a bizarre collection of objects. Finally, last week I was able to carve out two days to work on my piece so I wanted to share my in-progress work with you. I’ll post the end result once I’m finished. Enjoy and I hope to see you (yes, you!) at the opening!
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