News / Edmonton

International conference to exhibit art focused on climate change

The art exhibit is one community event out of several leading up to the CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference

Brad Fehr, Sean Caulfield and Nick Davies at the Shaw Conference Centre talking about why art is important in relation to the subject of climate change at the upcoming CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference.

Kevin Tuong / Edmonton Freelance

Brad Fehr, Sean Caulfield and Nick Davies at the Shaw Conference Centre talking about why art is important in relation to the subject of climate change at the upcoming CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference.

Science, art and activism will come together in an exhibit called ‘Arts for Change’, a community event taking place in Edmonton as part of the Cities IPCC Cities and Climate Change and Science Conference in March.

The conference is the first of its kind in Edmonton, where international elected officials, scientists and UN representatives will gather to discuss the latest scientific research and how cities can address global change.

Leading up to the conference, the city announced a number of free events as part of a Community Series for the public to take part in. The art exhibition features works of students and professional artists on subjects of climate change.

Sean Caulfield, a professor in the department of art and design at the University of Alberta, says it’s important to have art as a part of this conference to explain issues around climate change.

“I think art plays an important role in challenging people to think, to bring people together and to engage the public in different ways than other kinds of languages can,” he said. “I think it really plays the vital role in this kind of dialogue.”

Caulfield says art and science combine all the time, as he himself has done a lot of work joining scientists with artists.

The Community Series, announced by the city on Tuesday, consists of free events that will take place leading up to and during the conference taking place in March.

Caulfield brought two student artists with their artwork to the city's announcement of the Community Series, to showcase what the public can expect.

One of the artists Brad Fehr, whose paintings were inspired by the Fort McMurray forest fires, said he hopes their art can add some perspective to the conference.

“I think if you think of art as a pool cue it can knock a few balls around and change the dimensions of how these experts (and) policy makers think,” he said.

'Art for Change' will take place at MacEwan University, Art Gallery of Alberta in the days leading up to the event and at the Shaw Conference Centre the day of the conference on March 5.

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