Art that Matters to the Planet 2024: Clarity

Art that Matters to the Planet: Clarity, explores the role of art and artists in protecting freshwater ecosystems (including lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, and freshwater wetlands) across the country, and all of the life they support (including fish, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals).

Artists play an important role in helping to protect our natural resources. Art that Matters to the Planet: Clarity features artists who have partnered with environmental organizations, scientists, naturalists, and writers. With their work, they highlight the unique and fascinating worlds of freshwater ecosystems across the country.

Through the exhibition, we explore textiles that celebrate the biodiversity of Chicago wetlands, discover photographs that give us a sneak peek into the life supported by Florida springs, and are invited to reflect on our own relationships with water. Through the eyes of the artists featured in Art that Matters to the Planet: Clarity, we become immersed in a deeper understanding of and appreciation for freshwater ecology.

Through the exhibition, we hope to show the ways in which art can help us preserve and sustain the natural world, including actions taken by and on behalf of artists to address environmental issues. As part of Art that Matters to the Planet: Clarity, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute is partnering with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy for a special project to help restore the banks of the Chadakoin River. You can learn more about the project HERE:

Since the founding of Jamestown, its Chadakoin River has been a lifeline for the community – powering industry, providing clean water, and nurturing healthy habitats for fish, wildlife, and agriculture. However, the lower part of the Chadakoin River (the 3.5-mile section of the river from Warner Dam to the Falconer Village line) was neglected for decades, posing risks to human health and properties.

Working with artists Kaycee Colburn, Sara Baker-Michalak, and Basia Irland, RTPI and CWC will invite community members to plant seeds along the bank, aiding in CWC’s efforts to protect and restore our county’s most valuable aquatic resources.

Art that Matters to the Planet is our annual juried exhibition. Each year’s theme is informed by a title from the Peterson series of Field Guides, and the theme is expanded on by natural history writings and environmental science. The 2024 theme is informed by the Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fish, and expanded will explore freshwater ecosystems across the country, and all of the life they support.

Featured artwork: Lindsay Olson. Calumet Region II. 2023, textile.

Art that Matters to the Planet: Clarity is proudly sponsored by Shults Auto Group and M&T Bank.