Presented by Asia Society and the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards aim to foster climate change awareness through the imagination and insights of an upcoming generation of visual artists. This important award offers three winners $15,000 and honors in Washington, D.C. on the occasion of Asia Society’s COAL + ICE exhibition.
Gad’s work centers around the material lime and “examines how CO2 levels and the acidification of the sea are intertwined with the lifecycle of the mineral,” according to the Frankenthaler website. Working within the medium of sculpture, she works only with lime which is contained in every material she uses such as oyster shells, lapis lazuli, and cement. In so doing, Gad tries to highlight lime's "diversity and its willingness to bind with different versions of itself.”
Vivas works with film, using the medium to slow “everything down…to halt our constant, modern need to produce, to be busy, to be faster.” In a still from her film, Elision, we see a “diver, dressed in toxic green.” In this piece, the artist brings many questions to the forefront such as: “How does the shifting environment affect our psyche? In what ways do melancholy and mourning enter our daily emotional lives? Will we choose to rescue ourselves?”
Jeré wants to bring issues of race and marginalization into the center of the discourse around climate catastrophe. The artist seeks to “include different perspectives on the issue of climate change so that we can see how impactful it is to not just a few of us but all of us. We have a responsibility as humans to preserve the natural world because we belong to it, as interconnected parts of the whole.” Importantly, Jeré wants to insist that “artists … should be mirroring the urgency of climate change on our planet. There is no neutral position when it comes to climate change, as its effects are ubiquitous.”
In the work of each of these important artists, we see the importance of investigating the climate catastrophe we live in. With such prizes as the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards, these issues begin to receive the attention they deserve.