Two-day free event will focus on environmental crisis
“Climate + Art = Change,” a free live and online show and sale to benefit the Community Environmental Council and the Sierra Club, Los Padres Chapter, will take place Oct. 23 and 24 at the Community Arts Workshop, 631 Garden St.
Awards and recognitions will be presented at a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 23.
Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment, along with the Climate Reality Project, are presenting this two-day special art exhibit and sale in Santa Barbara, according to Doreen White, who is spearheading the event.
“I decided that art can be a bridge to greater concern about climate change. People read the science, but it doesn’t have the same impact. Part of my urgency to do this art show and increase climate awareness is my anguish at what we are doing to our youth,” she told the News-Press.
“Not just that we are possibly leaving them a distressed Earth, but that we are doing it with the expectation that they will fix it. Not only do they feel anxious about climate change, but they are feeling like they are responsible to fix it. We need to do all we can to take some of that pressure off of their shoulders. A recent study found that 70% of youth have climate anxiety.”
More than 130 paintings will be on display in the Assembly Room, with 75 SCAPE artists showcasing the climate-themed show now heightened by the recent climate report from the United Nations: Code Red for Humanity. “A report from the esteemed scientific body states human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways,” Mrs. White said.
The local chapter of Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore, will present a series of climate-related panels.
A past president of SCAPE, Mrs. White became a member of Climate Reality after attending three days of training with Mr. Gore in Los Angeles in 1918.
“During the pandemic shutdown, I went through old files and found articles from the 1990s. Climate change is really a crisis now. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe,” said Mrs. White.
She said she is looking forward to the speakers at the event to learn about what individuals need to do for solutions.
“I drive a Prius now and recently ordered an electric VW. We have solar panels on our house and try to limit errands and use of plastic, but I know I can do more.”
Among those scheduled to speak are Dr. Roland Geyer, professor at UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science, on “Living on a Planet in Peril,” at 2 p.m. Oct. 23. He will also participate in the panel on wildfire with Kevin Taylor, chief of the Montecito Fire Department; Pat McElroy, retired chief of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department; Leila Carvalho, UCSB professor of geography; and Nic Elmquist, wildland fire specialist of the Montecito Fire Department.
Erin Maker, environmental program manager for the city of Carpinteria, will be part of the sustainability panel, “Climate Programs in Our Community,” with Garrett Wong, Santa Barbara County climate program manager; Alelia Parenteau, Santa Barbara City energy and climate manager; and Cindy Moore, Goleta sustainability coordinator.
Mrs. White will have four oil paintings in the show, two of which are reminders of her personal tragedy — “Battle Weary” and “After Thomas.”
“We lost our family home on East Mountain Drive in the Thomas Fire,” she said. “It was built in 1920, a wonderful old redwood house that had been in our family for 100 years. It was too hard to defend. It broke the firefighters’ hearts to lose it.”