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November 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Bellingham’s ‘Vanishing Ice’ exhibit blends climate politics, art

"Adelies, 2008" by Alexis Rockman, an artwork of oil on wood, is part of the "Vanishing Ice" exhibit in Bellingham. (Collection of Robin and Steven Arnold)

“Adelies, 2008″ by Alexis Rockman, an artwork of oil on wood, is part of the “Vanishing Ice” exhibit in Bellingham. (Collection of Robin and Steven Arnold)

Get in the latest conversation about global warming, through art, with a trip to Bellingham to see the Whatcom Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit, “Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012.”

Promoters describe the exhibit, which opened Sunday, thusly:

“Showcasing the beauty and attraction of Earth’s frozen frontiers through 90 works of art from 12 countries, ‘Vanishing Ice’ frames a unique body of art within the context of climate change. This cultural perspective reveals the importance of alpine and polar landscapes in shaping Western consciousness about nature, and helps inform the environmental challenges faced today.”

Featured works range from Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen’s image of a lonely Greenland village perched above a sea of icebergs to American master Thomas Hart Benton’s “Trail Riders” oil painting of the snowy Canadian Rockies.

The show has become a catalyst for cultural and climate-related events in Bellingham. Along with the museum, 24 partner organizations are offering more than 80 programs and events related to “Vanishing Ice”  through May 2014. There is talk of the exhibit becoming a traveling show through the Smithsonian Institution.

If you can’t make it soon, you can check out the “ice cam,” which will keep an eye on the progress of a work of conceptual art called “Melting Ice,” a 10-foot-square ice cube installed in the museum courtyard Friday by artist Jyoti Duwadi. (Hmmm. Watch this space for opportunities to watch paint dry as well.) (But I bet you clicked on it.)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments | More in Northwest, weekend getaways | Topics: art, Bellingham, museums

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