"Piecing Together a Changing Planet" Traveling Art Exhibit

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Date: August 9, 2016
Contact: Kelly Taylor, 410-629-6077
Contact: Liz Davis, 410-629-6087

Berlin, MD: Twenty-six art quilts created by 22 Florida artists will be featured in a traveling art exhibit opening at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Bateman Center on August 15, 2016 in partnership with Assateague Island National Seashore. The Piecing Together a Changing Planet art quilt show highlights a few of the many ways that America's national parks are being impacted by climate change, water pollution, air pollution, and other human-caused phenomena. The exhibit will be display from 9 am - 5 pm daily through September 15, 2016.

On Monday, August 15th, a free gallery opening and reception will be held at the Bateman Center from 6-8 pm. At 6 pm guest speaker Dr. Steven Pawson, Chief of the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center will present "Vital Signs of a Changing Planet: NASA's observations and computer models of the climate system". Refreshments will be available immediately following the presentation. 

The artworks were all created by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a 3000-member national organization dedicated to promoting the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. Far from utilitarian quilts traditionally used as bed coverings, art quilts focus on aspects not only of stitching and piecing, but also of layering, "thread-painting", and graphic design. The resultant pieces are often literally and figuratively three-dimensional: showy pink lady slipper orchids pop off the forested background, visually transporting the viewer to Great Smoky Mountains National Park;icy glaciers melt down into an ocean of bleached coral heads, tying two drastically different impacts of climate change together in one compelling piece. 

Maya Schonenberger, the exhibit's curator, said that "the artists' goal was to help open people's eyes to the beauty of nature that surrounds them, and share their concern for its loss." Melani Brewer, one of the exhibiting artists, hopes that "our art will serve as a call to action to for viewers to take steps to protect our planet." 

Meeting in Copenhagen in October of 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the "warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen." Many of these observed changes are especially apparent in America's national parks. 

The national tour of Piecing Together a Changing Planet is made possible by SAQA and Biscayne National Park, with financial support from the National Park Service's Climate Change Response Program, the South Florida National Parks Trust, Les Bouquinistes Book Club, and an anonymous donor.  

For more details about the exhibit, visit the show's website at www.NationalPark ArtExhibit.com, or contact Kelly Taylor at 410-629-6077 or e-mail us. The Herbert S. Bateman Center is located at 8231 Beach Road Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.  

Last updated: August 11, 2016

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