February 13, 2018

Springing Forward into Spring

Vanishing Ice, photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

As Minnesotans, when we hear vanishing ice we think the long dark night is over and winter has finally gone. We are excited to break out our shorts and enjoy the 40-degree weather. However, when the Inuit people of Baffin Bay hear about vanishing ice they see their livelihood disappearing. With sea temperatures rising and the ice caps melting huge ice sheets that were a part of the landscape and transportation routes are disappearing at an alarming rate. Even though here in Minnesota we may not clearly see it, climate change is in our lives every day. Many of us try to ignore it, but we can see and feel its effects through our recent whiplash winters with temperatures ranging from freezing to 40 all within a few days.


Eugene Park and Kelly Munson
Graphic visualization installation. Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Here at the Weisman, we are exploring the issue of climate change through our exhibition Vanishing Ice. Originally conceived in collaboration with the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, the exhibit is comprised of various artists from many different backgrounds, geological locations, and time periods. What brings all these artworks together is their portrayal of ice in the polar regions and its rapid decline. Through painting, drawing, photography, and video, each artist captures a glimpse of the ever-changing arctic landscape. By documenting the earth’s changing ice caps, we can better understand how climate change is affecting the earth.


As the audience and engagement intern and member of WAM Collective, the museum’s student group, I will be spending my spring semester working on a variety of programs and initiatives that engage our campus community with Vanishing Ice. On February 23, 2018 you are invited to join us for Thoughts on Ice, an afternoon of films, food and conversation with  University of Minnesota Professor and Arctic Explorer, Aaron Doering, and team members from the Herbivorous Butcher. Activities will include a guided tour of the exhibition, food tasting and panel conversation between Doering and the Herbivorous team on the connection between climate change, food production systems and the future of humanity.


On April 25th, we will be hosting our annual design showcase in partnership with the College of Design. The global fashion industry is one of the most resource-intensive industries in the world. Considering the enormous ecological footprint of harvesting raw materials, manufacturing them into textiles, and shipping them across the globe – the impact of the fashion industry on the environment is hard to ignore. Emerging designers are reimagining this process by creating  ready-for-the-runway garments that considers every stage in the life of their design, from fiber and textiles through to consumer use, to eventual disposal and beyond to reuse and recycling. By shining a light on the ecological cost of the fashion industry, our aim is to rethink textile production methods and practices for the future of fashion and for the future of the planet.


We can’t wait to see you at our events this semester!


LAURA STAMM is in her fourth year at the University receiving a degree in both art history and art. Her artistic style is minimalistic through use of bold color along with mix media materials in her drawings and paintings. Most of her free time is spent with her dog Freja.

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