Activism through Art: A Talented Creator’s Exhibit to Call Us To Action

human / nature is featured at 22 North Gallery in Ypsilanti

In a world with polar bears stranded on melting ice caps and sea turtles ingesting plastic debris, we can’t help but feel an overall sense of doom and gloom for the Earth. The temperatures are rising along with heaping landfills, and it almost feels like there’s no coming back from this. Laura Earle is challenging that idea. Based out of Detroit, Earle is using her skills in artistry to convey how important environmentally conscious living is.

Cede, made by Ann Smith encourages viewers to, “step outside of a comfort zone to acknowledge a bigger picture where we are not always the hero of our own story.” Image courtesy of human |nature.

“Given the critical nature of the climate crisis, it’s important to keep this issue front and center, building awareness and encouraging people to do what they can to help heal the environment,” said the activist. 

In order to bring attention to this problem, she will be hosting an art exhibit titled, human |nature on June 3rd through the 24th at 22 North Gallery (22 North Huron Street in Ypsilanti). 

On Friday, June 3rd, there will be an opening ceremony from 6pm – 9pm.

Earle will be just one of many featured artists. Marc Snyder, Jason Kimble, and Ann Smith will also be providing their own artistic creations for the exhibit.

Marc Snyder, a native from Greensburg, PA will debut a set of 4” x 12” prints called, Seeds and Bombs. Each was meticulously handmade through carving designs into blocks and applying them to paper with ink. Together, the prints will make a diptych, also known as a collage on two hinged surfaces.

Laura Earle is the founder of Laura Earle Design where she creates her own artwork in Farmington Hills. She spoke on the kind of work featured in this exhibit. “Many take a tongue-in-cheek view of the irony of our situation, others invite a more collaborative and playful approach to appreciating the dynamic balance present in nature, and what we can do to support it. All the work is nuanced, complex and thought provoking.” Photo courtesy of Laura Earle.

Jason Kimble and Laura Earle recently teamed up to make a domino-style game by the name of Battle for the Planet in which people can interact with the art by playing as a series of characters who are good or evil. Elementals and Destructors work against each other to either save the world or destroy it. Kimble and Earle also created a set of environmental impacts as kinetic sculptures, which is art that needs movement to convey an effect.

Ann Smith from Plymouth, Michigan has provided the exhibit with waste materials she has found herself. A particular piece called Cede features a leg and foot sculpture made out of debris to demonstrate how to “step outside of a comfort zone” and to understand that “we are not always the hero of our own story.”

Marc Snyder created Seeds and Bombs for this exhibit. He explains it as, “two systems, one healthy and one broken. The healthy system is the spiraling maple seeds. There is a joyful quality to the image, and a celebration of the random and unpredictable. The broken system takes the maple seeds and turns them into bombs, replacing the seed itself with spark plugs. They become heavy and fall straight to the ground.” Image courtesy of human |nature.

When asked to summarize the experience of human |nature, Nan Plummer, a 22 North Gallery partner, said visitors will “confront aspects of their own responsibility in the face of the climate crisis and encounter hopeful ideas about constructive action and belonging.” This artistic display plans to bring hope that despite the huge effects global warming has, individual efforts to sustainability and green living will turn our bleak future around.

human |nature runs June 3 –  24 at 22 North Gallery located at 22 North Huron St.,  Ypsilanti.

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