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To address climate change, we need to change culture. Art will play a significant role. Art’s influence is subjective and emotional, a complement to the objectivity of science. Art is a powerful tool that affirms cultural beliefs, values, and our understanding of humanity’s relationships in societies and the natural world. But artists also create work that presents new ideas to challenge the status quo. In the community art creates, society shares these different — sometimes profoundly different — ways of looking at the world. This webinar is led by artists whose work makes us feel differently about climate change – the first step toward engagement, consensus, and sustainable change. 

PANELISTS:

Paul Villinski

Sculptor

Paul Villinski is an American sculptor widely known for transforming littered cans from the city streets into large-scale, abstract installations of life-like butterflies. Over three decades, his wide-ranging work has engaged themes as diverse as memory, childhood, addiction and recovery, flight, nature, sustainability, and transformation. With a lifelong concern for environmental issues, his work frequently re-purposes and “re-cycles” discarded materials — the detritus of contemporary life — exploring the possibilities and narratives embedded in the “worthless,” to surprising and poetic ends. An avid pilot, metaphors of flight and soaring — whether physical, psychological, or spiritual — often appear in his work. A graduate of The Cooper Union, Villinski’s work has been exhibited and collected throughout the United States, including a recent mid-career survey, “Farther,” organized by the Taubman Museum of  Art, Roanoke, Va. He lives and works in Queens and the Catskills with his partner, painter Amy Park, and their young son, Lark.

Courtney Mattison

Ocean Conservationist and Ceramic Artist

Courtney Mattison hand-crafts intricate and large-scale ceramic sculptural works inspired by the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face. Her work has been commissioned internationally for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance ship. Her exhibition history includes solo shows at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters. In 2020, the U.N. Postal Administration published Mattison’s work on a stamp to commemorate Earth Day. Born in 1985 and raised in San Francisco, Mattison received a BA in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and an MA in environmental studies from Brown University with thesis credits at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Her work has been featured by Smithsonian Magazine, Good Morning America, Oprah Magazine and the BBC. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Mary Mattingly

Visual Artist

Mary Mattingly is a visual artist. She founded Swale, an edible landscape on a barge in New York City. Docked at public piers but following waterways common laws, Swale circumnavigates New York’s public land laws, allowing anyone to pick free fresh food. Swale instigated and co-built the “foodway” in Concrete Plant Park, the Bronx in 2017. Mary Mattingly’s work has also been exhibited at Storm King, the International Center of Photography, the Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and the Palais de Tokyo. Her work has been included in books such as the Whitechapel/MIT Press Documents of Contemporary Art series titled “Nature” and edited by Jeffrey Kastner, Triple Canopy’s Speculations, the Future Is… published by Artbook, and Henry Sayre’s A World of Art, 8th edition, published by Pearson Education Inc.

MODERATOR:

Nora Lawrence

Senior Curator, Storm King Art Center  

Nora Lawrence is Senior Curator at Storm King Art Center. Since joining the Art Center in 2011, Ms. Lawrence founded a yearly exhibition program devoted to emerging and mid-career artists (Outlooks), and created a partnership between Storm King and Shandaken Projects that established Storm King’s first-ever artist residency. She has organized and co-organized exhibitions for Storm King, including Kiki Smith River Light (2020), Outlooks: Martha Tuttle (2020), Mark Dion: Follies (2019), Outlooks: Jean Shin (2019), Indicators: Artists on Climate Change (2018); Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir (2018); David Smith: The White Sculptures (2017); Outlooks: Heather Hart (2017); Dennis Oppenheim: Terrestrial Studio (2016); Outlooks: Josephine Halvorson (2016); Lynda Benglis: Water Sources (2015); Outlooks: Luke Stettner (2015); Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition (2014); Outlooks: Virginia Overton (2014); Thomas Houseago: As I Went Out One Morning (2013); David Brooks (2013); and Storm King’s 2012 exhibition, Light and Landscape, which was a finalist for the International Association of Art Critics award for Best Project in a Public Space. Prior to joining Storm King, Ms. Lawrence worked in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, where she worked on a number of exhibitions, including Ernesto Neto: Navedenga (2010), which she co-curated; Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008); and Focus: Picasso Sculpture (2008) among others. She has also worked at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City.

Ms. Lawrence has authored and co-authored several publications, including the upcoming Phaidon monograph on Lynda Benglis; Mark Dion: Follies (2019); Indicators: Artists on Climate Change (2018); David Smith: The White Sculptures (2017); Dennis Oppenheim: Terrestrial Studio (2016); Lynda Benglis: Water Sources (2015); Mark di Suvero (2015); Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition (2014); Monet’s Water Lilies (2009); Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008); and Armando Reverón (2007), and contributed an essay to the award-winning MoMA volume The Modern Woman (2010). She has received grants for her work from the Luce Foundation, CASVA, and the Office of Contemporary Art, Norway, among others. She is on the Advisory Council for the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, a Visiting Critic in the MFA program at Columbia University, and has taught courses at MoMA, the School of Visual Arts, and the University of Southern California. She holds a BA from Pomona College, an MA in art history from the University of Southern California, and an M.Phil. in art history from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.