Join Me in a Challenge: The Climate Artivism Cycle

Winter is a good time for me to stew in my own ideas, after the holidays are over and the cold weather really sets in. Well, sort of. This year it’s been a mish-mash of cold and warm, with not much snow and lots of ice and rain. But still, the ideas were bubbling.

I’m still creating art based on maps of recent extreme weather events, but I’m working more in three dimensions, and with mixed media and textures. I’ve sent off a couple pieces of artwork to elected officials and received responses back. I always feel a little ho-hum when I receive a generic, form response letter. Does anyone care? Who even reads our letters? But, there’s always a chance that someone out there gets a little brain worm (the good kind) from something they read or see. Maybe my art moves them or helps them remember what I’ve written. Maybe it sits on some staffer’s desk, or they give it to someone else. Maybe it gets recycled.

I want to keep going. We need to keep going. How do we keep going? How do we help keep each other going, as activists and artists, as people who care?

Here’s one way I keep myself going, and I’ve laid out the simple steps for any other climate change or environment-focus artists and activists who would like to join in:

The Climate Artivism Cycle

  1. Create a small piece of artwork related to climate change, environmental justice, or another eco-issue you care about.
  2. Write a letter to an elected official, corporation, or anyone you’d like to communicate with about climate change. Send it to them along with your artwork. Check the websites of environmental orgs to find easy form letters for current legislation and issues of interest.
  3. Did you get a response? If so, use that response in your next piece of artwork. Here’s where you can get creative—rip it up and use it with other materials in a collage, paint directly on the paper, or if it was an email, take a screenshot and make some digital art!
  4. If you didn’t get a response, you can always use your original letter as a medium.
  5. Repeat. 🙂

Want to share your work? Use the hashtag #ClimateArtivismCycle on Instagram, and/or tag me (@jennlaurafox) in your post. I’d love to see what you all come up with.

And here’s my latest piece, just waiting to be uploaded to the gallery: Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana | Aug/Sept 2021 | 115 fatalities and $75.25B in damage.

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:

so much has been destroyed

I have to cast my lot with those

who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,

reconstitute the world.

ADRIENNE RICH
(taken from All We Can Save)

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