Cape Cod National Seashore to Showcase National Touring Exhibition of Art Quilts Opening Reception and Climate Change Presentation Slated for June 2

Close up image of art quilts with colorful orange and black butterflies, and a beige sandcastle against a blue sea
Twenty six art quilts will be on display at Cape Cod National Seashore from late May to late July. They depict climate change effects on national parks.

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News Release Date: May 18, 2016

Contact: Dani Crawford, 508-255-3421 x 0305

A juried show of twenty-six art quilts created by 22 Florida artists will be featured in an art exhibit opening at Cape Cod National Seashore's Salt Pond Visitor Center on May 27. Piecing Together a Changing Planet 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. On Thursday, June 2, a free gallery opening and reception will be held at the Salt Pond Visitor Center at 6:30 pm, followed by a 7 PM program, Oceans and the Paris Climate Agreement —Are They Too Big to Fail? The program will be presented by Richard Delaney, President and CEO at the Center for Coastal Studies, and co-founder of the Global Ocean Forum. Mr. Delaney has endeavored to put oceans on the international agenda for over 30 years, and he attended the historic Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

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. "Stories of how artists have played a crucial role in environmental protection are legion," said Gary Bremen, a park ranger at Biscayne National Park who helped coordinate the exhibit. "The arts convey beauty, fragility, and urgency in ways that touch the heart and soul, thus opening the mind as well."

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 Park Ranger Dani Crawford at 508-255-3421 ext. 0305. Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at 50 Nauset Road, Eastham, at the intersection of Route 6.

Last updated: May 18, 2016

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