Art and Climate

For the last five years, The Encaustic Art Institute, based in Santa Fe, has been hosting a juried national exhibition called Global Warming is Real.

Here is this year’s overview. Artists were invited to interpret the theme in their encaustic work.:

THEME: Global Warming is REAL. As nations and economies shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pollution levels and human patterns change in ways that were detectable by satellites. As all types of social, economic, industrial and urban activity suddenly shut off, nature took advantage and showed improvement in the quality of air, rivers, less noise pollution, and undisturbed and calm wildlife. COVID-19 may have temporarily lessened our carbon footprint, giving us a view in to what our individual affect on Global Warming constitutes. At the same time, Climate Change is becoming more visible and tangible through increased fires, glacier melting, and warming oceans.

I found out this morning that my entry, below, was accepted. Yay! This encaustic/mixed media work called River of No Return.

Lyn Belisle, River of No Return 2021

This was my accompanying statement:

This work, called River of No Return, suggests extreme negative impacts – droughts, floods,  famine – on populations whose vulnerability to Global Warming put them at extreme risk. The looming climate change is catastrophic for third-world countries that rely more directly on rivers, rain, and oceans for their agriculture and survival. The colors of ash, bone and rust in the work serve as metaphors for the decline and corrosion that will affect every lifeform on our planet,not just people in industrialized countries.

I am really curious to see how the theme will be interpreted by the others in the exhibition, which opens virtually on July 10.

In the meantime, here’s a link to a thoughtful, sometimes disturbing, online exhibition called Resilience in the Age of Climate Change.

In this exhibit by Art Works for Change, thirteen visionary artists and architects consider the consequences of climate change, including excess heat, drought, flooding, extreme weather events, food insecurity, displacement, and the loss of biodiversity. Through their work, we can visualize the challenges of a warming planet, and discover opportunities to overcome them through innovation and resilience.


We’ll have plenty of time to ponder resilience during the days of heat and drought – hope all of you are well and finding time to create safe space for yourselves.

16 thoughts on “Art and Climate

  1. Congrats … I do hope the Museum will be open when we head to Santa Fe in October … it would be wonderful to see this in person, as well as your piece in the permanent collection

  2. Very interesting work, go Lyn!
    As I am here sitting in the baking NW- It was 115 Sunday while many of you live in this temps, we do not. The Oregon of my youth rain 9 months of the year, rarely pushed 80, it was really wild if it broke 90, maybe once a summer 100. High’s in 90’s are now a norm. It’s taking it’s toll on tree’s, fish, water, snow packs, wildfires are now starting in March, there are no words for this. NW whales who depend on Salmon are starving. As I am in my late 50’s with grown kids in their middle 30’s I fear what they are going to see. I have started voiding going into the woods for fear of fire, as many just throw their trash everywhere and leave camp fires burning. Food for thought if you didn’t know this already 1 lg tree, gives air for 7 people and shades water keeping it cool for fish. But we on a rapid race to cut everyone of them down. Not to be a Debbie downer but this is a NOW –

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