Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tipping Points

Tipping Points: Artists Address the Climate Crises 
December 8th - February 5th, 2016
Gallery Bergen, Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road, Paramus NJ 07652-1595

Resa Blatman, Diane Burko, Nancy Cohen, Matthew Friday, Mary Mattingly,
Itty Neuhaus, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Joan Perlman, Caroline Rothwell,
Rebecca Smith

On June 23, 1988, James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies testified before a Senate committee that he could state with "99 percent confidence" that a recent, persistent rise in global tem​perature was a climatic sig​nal he and his colleagues had long been expecting. Hansen was willing to say what no one had dared say before. "The greenhouse effect," he claimed, "has been detected and is changing our climate now."

This statement was made 27 years ago and many in the science community believe that we have now passed a critical tipping point in terms of irreversible effects on the planet’s eco systems due to climate change. The Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate  report stated with confidence that precise levels of climate change sufficient to trigger a tipping point, defined as a threshold for abrupt and irreversible change, remain uncertain, and that the risk associated with crossing multiple tipping points increases with rising temperature.

Tipping Points: Artists Address the Climate Crises will take place at Gallery Bergen timed in conjunction with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11th. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations from all the nations of the world.

In a 2005 article, “What the Warming World Needs Now Is Art, Sweet Art,” Climate activist and author Bill McKibben, founder of, wrote that although we knew about climate change, it wasn’t part of the culture yet. An intellectual understanding of the scientific facts was not enough – if we wanted to move forward and effect meaningful change, we needed to engage the other side of our brains. We needed to approach the problem with our imagination. And the people best suited to help us do that, he believed, were artists.

Artists can use their skills and imagination to address the issue of climate change and work towards this cause is now being seen in unprecedented numbers. The artists in Tipping Points use a variety of mediums including painting, photography, video, sculpture and drawing. Some have been partnering with scientists and environmental organizations. Others have been researching and documenting changes in glaciers and diminishing ice on trips to far northern regions of the planet; including boat trips to the Artic and Antarctic. Some take a more poetic and imaginative approach to confront the seriousness of the issue and single biggest challenge of our time.

Some hope for a technological breakthrough or miracle solution, while others believe that adaptation and fortifications can be built to mitigate harm. Science deniers in the political system clearly have their heads in the sand. The intensity of the power struggle over climate change, believers vs. non believers, has only grown over the years since this 1988 statement by Michael McElroy, Professor of Environmental Studies, Harvard University: "If we choose to take on this challenge, it appears that we can slow the rate of change substantially, giving us time to develop mecha​nisms so that the cost to society and the damage to ecosystems can be minimized. We could alternatively close our eyes, hope for the best, and pay the cost when the bill comes due."

And in a recent New York Times Dot Earth article: “Year by year, the great transition away from the world’s risky carbon-based path to progress is said to be just around the corner. This year’s Emissions Gap report from the United Nations Environment Program, aiming to energize Paris climate talks next month, was released today with this headline”:
Unprecedented Momentum for Climate Agreement in Paris, But Achieving 2 Degree Objective Contingent upon Enhanced Ambition in Future Years
“The message? You’re doing great, world, but raise your ambition some more and we’ll really get on track toward a safe climate.” – Andrew Revkin, New York Times November 6, 2015
The ambitious and visionary artists in Tipping Points are helping to raise awareness though their ideas and images to reach people on a level that science alone seems to be failing at. They are pointing the way towards new thinking and new possibilities regarding the future of life on the planet.
For further information and images please contact:
Amy Lipton, Curator, Gallery Bergen,,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Climate Wars

Rarely do I share my political views on this blog. Okay, maybe I do with climate change. Let me say this: We are entering the era of CLIMATE WARS and it is a concern.

The Syrian refugee crisis began with the drought :

Drawing one of the strongest links yet between global warming and human conflict, researchers said Monday that an extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. Henry Fountain, NY TIMES, March 2, 2015

And the conflict is a struggle to control the limited resources we need:

This coalition and meddling in Syria came about immediately on the heels of discussions of an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market.

What can you do the help with the changes in our world:

Check this out:

Read this:

Please start asking your political leaders on their views of the climate.

Start contributing to the conversation. Even the Pope has something to say about climate change.

International Sculture Conference in Phoenix

I am back from another invigorating International Sculpture Conference (ISC) in Phoenix.  

The main reason why I went to this conference was to check out the Museum of WalkingAngela Ellsworth , the co-founder of Museum of Walking, is a multidisciplinary artist who lead the 3 hour, 8 mile walk. I loved meeting her, and the other walkers, and talking about this artform  of walking. It was super inspirational and reconnected me with the more performative aspects of my practice. I feel another project is in the works...

I really wanted to meet and network with others who are interested in as walking as an art form. I am so glad that did. As many of you know, I spent three weeks in the Arctic Circle walking (click here for that recap)! Many of the things that I have collected on my walks, have turned into sculptures - tree limbs, boats, plastic bottle caps. There is a real aesthetic appeal in the discarded and overlooked. However, the walk with Angela was about the walk - not the collecting of objects. In that regard, it resembled the hikes on Svalbard (seen below). 

The walk didn't just end with this group expedition. The next day, I hiked Superstitious Mountain to check out the  petroglyphs. 

There were other reasons to visit Phoenix - to see my husband's sister and her husband. They lead us on this amazing hike to the mountains.

Some other highlights of the conference were:

Bentley Gallery:

detail of Rebecca Campbell's Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

Rebecca Campbell's Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads: Gold

Gianfranco Ferré's Collections

Cornelia Parker's Mass (Colder Darker Matter, 1997)

Tom Friedman's Circus, 2006

Alfredo Jaar, The More Things Change, 1990

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Museum of Arts and Design

So on Monday, I delivered a large 48" x 48" piece to the Museum of Arts & Design for the annual fall gala to be held on Nov. 3rd. Here's a link to the Paddle Auction if you are interested:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gallery U in Westfield Exhibits New Wooden Sculptures Made With Salvaged Wood From Hurricane Sandy

Gallery U in Westfield Exhibits New Wooden Sculptures Made With Salvaged Wood From Hurricane Sandy

October 26, 2015 at 2:02 PM

Gallery U, a combination of a fully functional art space and shopping boutique located at 439 South Avenue West in Westfield, NJ, is proud to present an exhibition of small works just in time for the holiday season. The exhibition includes various styles and mediums such as pastel, watercolor, oil, acrylic, photography, encaustic, mixed media, needle point, etc. “Piccolo: A Group Exhibition of Small Works” will be on exhibit from November 6 - 30, 2015. A public opening reception is scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2015, from 6-8 PM. All are welcome. 
“Piccolo” will feature new work by artist Laura Petrovich-Cheney who recently closed a solo exhibit of larger works at Kean University Galleries. Laura has been creating sculptures—in the tradition of quilt making—with salvaged wood from Hurricane Sandy and we are pleased to be exhibiting some of her new smaller pieces.  We will also be including new works from photographer Michael Endy’s new “Polaroid Jersey” series that includes iconic images of NJ from the Polaroid era. 
Over 50 other pieces of art representing 30 artists, both established and emerging, will be also be exhibited including work by Dorothy Bellew (South Plainfield), CJ Berzin (Branchburg), Mike Brennan (Whitehouse Station), Laura Brown (Westfield), Virginia Carroll (Westfield), Beth Colletti (Westamption), Diane Gallo (Summit), Michelle Greco, Christine Johanns (Jersey City), Lauren Kaiser (Montclair), Martha Kelly (Point Pleasant), Avi Kiriakatis (Kenilworth), Harriet Kushins (Livingston), Cathleen McCoy Bristol (Maplewood), Charlann Meluso (Berkeley Heights), Tricia Miho (West Orange), David Nicolato (Verona), Shalini Prasad (Scotch Plains), Phyllis Raffelson (Cliffside Park), Ana Paula Rodrigues (Newark), Lynn Ronan (Midland Park), Leona Seufert (Garwood), Takenya (Livingston), Brad Terhune (Nutley), Jenn Tiongson (Plainfield), Kerrie Ann Wandlass (Cranford), Kristen Zachares (Montclair), and others. "Piccolo" is curated by Robert P. Langdon. 
Gallery U is an extension of Universal Institute, a rehabilitation facility that services adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The venue serves as a vocational training program whose goal is to introduce people with TBI back into the work force and community. Clients at Universal Institute take part in all aspects of running Gallery U. Vocational, occupational and cognitive therapies are conducted in the back workrooms. Working at Gallery U provides an opportunity for adults with TBI to rejoin the workforce, engage with the community, learn new skills, and experience the transformative power of art through exposure to existing art and creation of their own artwork. Gallery U Boutique is located at 439 South Avenue West in Westfield, NJ.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Philly shows

I am pretty excited to announce that two of my pieces will be displayed in Philadelphia for November.

1834 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

When I am 64, 48" x 48" , salvaged wood, 2014

Opening reception: Friday, November 6, 2015, 6-9 pm

Exhibition: November 6 – 27, 2015
Our hours are as follows:
Tue-Thu  11am-9pm
Fri-Sat  11am-7pm
Closed Sunday and Monday

 Old Enough to Know Better Exhibition 
Crane Arts, Gallery 105
1400 N American Street, Philadelphia PA 19122
Blocked Out, 36" x 24.5" salvaged wood, 2015

RECEPTION: Thursday, November 12, 20156-9pm
Exhibit dates: Nov. 12-28, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My 12 step program to new graduates

I was recently asked to give some advice to new art graduates. It was fun to do and I thought that I would post that advice here.

  1.  Build your credentials as an artist by getting into exhibitions, entering competitions, or applying for fellowships – but don’t take rejection personally. Keep submitting.
  2. Start your email list while you are in school. Maintain it regularly.
  3. Maintain your website and/or blog regularly. If you haven’t posted on your blog in two months, close it out. Update images and your copyright year should be current.
  4. Maintain your resume regularly. Keep a record of all your exhibition cards, posters and reviews in a binder for your reference.
  5. Set up a studio hours like a job. Never call out sick from your studio hours. Invite people for a studio visit
  6. Remember people’s names and be gracious! When someone likes your art or meet a curator/fellow artist, follow up with a “nice to meet you” email or note card within a couple of days. The art world is small so be nice.
  7. Treat your art with respect. Use good mats, frames, wrap it professionally when it’s delivered to a show. Take pride in your work. 
  8. Hire someone to take professional images of your work. This is especially important when you have a solo or small (2-3) group show. Take pictures of people looking at your work.
  9. Decide on your vision for yourself and commit to making it happen by writing it down. It may take months or years – but figure out - ask yourself: where do you want to be in one year, five years, and ten years.
  10. Don’t make excuses for not having time or being too busy. Just make the priority for your artwork. Everyone only has 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  11. See as much artwork as possible – museums, galleries, and local co-ops. Go to your artist colleagues’ openings often and regularly.
  12. Don’t be financially illiterate. Develop a budget and build up a cash reserve – develop your money management skills. Being stupid with money is still being stupid.