Artists | ART/ACT:educate


Jaakko Pernu

Jaakko Pernu is a Finnish sculptor and environmental artist living in the city of Oulu. He has been working with natural materials since 1988 creating large scale installations from tree branches and tree trunks found on site, expertly woven together, responding to the landscape. Many of Pernu’s works derive their inspiration from his early life, growing up in rural Eastern Finland. As a child, Pernu helped his father construct wooden boats. He observed his father’s technique of manipulating wood to create sweeping, elegant shapes, and this is evident in his distinct environmental sculptures.

Tags: Sculpture

Zaria Forman

Zaria Forman is an artist who spreads awareness of climate change through her pastel drawings. She travels to remote regions of the world to collect images and inspiration for her work. She has flown with NASA on several Operation IceBridge missions over Antarctica, Greenland, and Arctic Canada.

Tags: Cartography, Climate Change, Drawing, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Photography, Science, Woman

Jordan Weber

Using utilitarian materials, Jordan Weber produces sculptural social objects and spaces that speak to ways in which racially oppressed peoples are restricted physically, geographically, and socially. Adapting to the architectural spaces they inhabit, his works attempt to create inclusive environments where visitors might test or practice forms of sustainable urbanism. These public works are often modified to specifically fit their environments—whether an arts center, private home, museum, or public space. “I always want to expose elements within the work that are relatable to people in my community,” says Weber. “I like to have these ‘openings’ within the work—those elements people can relate to—so they can feed into the psychology of the work.”

Tags: Agriculture, BIPOC, Black, Climate Change, Environmental Science, Food Access, Outdoor Equity and Inclusion, Plant Science, Science, Sculpture, Social Justice

Xavier Cortada

The Underwater HOA was a socially engaged art project created by Xavier Cortada in 2018 and is a precursor to The Underwater. Based in the Village of Pinecrest, the Underwater HOA (or Underwater Homeowners Association) utilized elevation-marked street paintings and yard signs to warn residents about their vulnerability to sea level rise and engage them in problem-solving via monthly “HOA” meetings.

Tags: Air Quality, BIPOC, Climate Change, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Environmental Science, Science

Jo Brown

UK-based illustrator Jo Brown documents the discoveries she makes during outdoor excursions in her colorful Nature Journals. Featured in her portfolio are careful renderings of carnivorous plants, tiny insects, and indigenous birds. Brown uses a combination of fine-nib pens and colored pencils to capture her subjects in splendid detail. Much like scientific illustrations, she often includes close-up shots of specific components, such as minute insect eggs. Along the edge of the drawings, Brown adds educational jottings of the flora and fauna, including the Latin name of each species.

Tags: Biology, Climate Change, Drawing, Ecology, Environmental Science, Illustration, Plant Science, Science, Woman

Andy Goldsworthy

Nature artist Andy Goldsworthy, who followed in the footsteps of the Land Art movement, produces sculptures that are specific to their location in both natural and urban settings. His artworks ultimately question the fragility of the earth, as he uses nature as his canvas to create artworks of unparalleled beauty. Goldsworthy’s approach to art is that his creations need to exist in conjunction with nature, with this peaceful and organic approach evident in his work.

Tags: Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Natural History, Philosophy, Photography, Science, Sculpture

Marilyn Propp

Marilyn’s current work, Notes from the Sea, reflects the clash/coexistence between the industrial and the natural worlds. Industrial debris, machine parts, and marine life are entangled or morph into one another; a vision of the future where accommodation is the result. Handmade paper and relief prints are her primary media.

Tags: Biology, Drawing, Ecology, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Painting, Woman

image of pink cloth surrounding an island with trees

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, are artists noted for their large-scale, site-specific environmental installations, often large landmarks and landscape elements wrapped in fabric, including the Wrapped Reichstag, The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Running Fence in California, and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park.

Tags: Sculpture, Woman

Image of large moving sculpture on beach with blue sky and tan sand.

Theo Jansen

Theo Jansen is engaged in creating new forms of life: the so called strandbeests. Skeletons made from yellow plastic tube (Dutch electricity pipe) are able to walk and get their energy from the wind. They have evolved since their inception in 1990 and have been divided into 12 periods of evolution. Their properties determine this period. You will find the most important types of strandbeests at geneology. “By developing this evolution, I hope to become wiser in the understanding of existing nature by encountering myself the problems of the real Creator.”

Tags: Engineering, Science, Sculpture

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1967. Moving seamlessly from his early photographs to sculpture, immersive environments, large-scale public interventions, and architectural projects, Eliasson uses simple natural elements—light, color, water, and movement—to alter viewers’ sensory perceptions. Predicated on the idea that “art does not end where the real world begins,” Eliasson’s work lives in the active exchange between his creations and the viewers.

Tags: Climate Change, Ecology, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Engineering, Environmental Science, Science, Sculpture

Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson describes herself as a painter working across multiple mediums to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. Dyson’s abstract works are visual and material systems used to construct fusions of surface tension, movement, scale, real and finite space. With an emphasis on the ways black and brown bodies perceive and negotiate space as information, Dyson looks to spatial liberation strategies from historical and contemporary perspectives, seeking to uncover new understandings of the potential for more livable geographies.

Tags: Architecture, BIPOC, Black, Ecology, Food Access, Painting, Sculpture, Social Justice, U.S. History, Water Access, Woman

Tarrise King

Tarisse has her Aboriginal inheritance from her father, who was from the Gurindji clan in the Northern Territory. The Gurindji people were drawn into the public gaze during the 1960s and 1970s when the Wave Hill strike by Aboriginal workers on the cattle station, led a landmark case and the first successful land rights claim in Australia. While the features of the extreme climate are represented in her artwork, Tarisse King’s paintings mostly reflect the road trips she made between Darwin, Katherine and Adelaide, where her father lived. This journey of 3,027 km through the heart lands of Australia, revealed the expanses of changing landscape and gave Tarisse King the isolation and time to develop a unique perception of the land.

Tags: Cartography, Climate Change, Environmental Science, Indigenous, Painting, Social Justice, Woman, World History

Taloi Havini

Born in Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Taloi Havini currently lives and works in Brisbane Australia. As both an artist and curator, Havini’s work is often a personal response to the politics of location exploring contested sites and histories connected within Oceania; employing photography, sculpture, immersive video and mixed-media installations.

Tags: BIPOC, Indigenous, Natural History, Ocean Health, Photography, Sculpture, Woman, World History

Nancy Holt

Nancy Holt was an American artist most known for her public sculpture, installation art, concrete poetry, and land art. Throughout her career, Holt also produced works in other media, including film and photography, and wrote books and articles about art. With her novel use of cylindrical forms, light, and techniques of reflection, Holt developed a unique aesthetic of perception, which enabled visitors to her sites to engage with the landscape in new and challenging ways.

Tags: Science, Sculpture, Woman

Spiral rock jetty in a lagoon with beach in background

Robert Smithson

Born in Passaic in New Jersey, Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938—July 20, 1973) is an artist who expanded what art could be and where it could be found. For over fifty years his work, writings, and ideas have influenced artists and thinkers, building the ground from which contemporary art has grown. An autodidact, Smithson’s interests in travel, cartography, geology, architectural ruins, prehistory, philosophy, science fiction, popular culture, and language spiral through his work. His best known Earthworks piece titled, “Spiral Jetty” (1970), is pictured here.

Tags: Cartography, Drawing, LGBTQIA+, Natural History, Photography, Science, Sculpture, World History

Ethan Estess

Ethan Estess’s work tells stories about environmental science topics, from marine plastic pollution to tuna conservation. He focuses on appealing to the basic emotions of the viewer so they can understand the scientific concepts at play and internalize the gravity of humanity’s impact on the global ecosystem. He’s inspired by the biodiversity of life on Earth, found objects, motion, and the interactions between the “human” and “natural” worlds.

Tags: Biology, Ecology, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Plastic Consumption, Science, Sculpture

Hannah Demma

Hannah Demma is an avid outdoorswoman, outdoor educator, and lifelong Nebraskan. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017, with an emphasis on printmaking and her Masters in Fine Art at her alma mater in 2022. Her mixed-media approach to art speaks to aspects of science and nature both familiar and strange, and mines the environment for inspiration, examining the intersection of the imaginative and the biological, of the creative and the empirical. Her process stirs the imagination and sparks excitement for exploration and adventure.

Tags: Biology, Climate Change, Drawing, Ecology, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Painting, Plant Science, Science, Sculpture, Woman

Image of woman in gallery space with blue and white wall hangings all around

Ann Holsberry

Ann Holsberry is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Paris. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA) and the de Saisset Museum of Art (Santa Clara, CA), among other venues. She has held residencies at Kala Art Institute, Los Medanos College, and Le Cent Charenton and Domaine des Grands Devers (France). Her art has twice been selected for the City of Emeryville Art In Public Places Program, and is in collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the UCSF Cancer Treatment Center in San Francisco. Holsberry is a recipient of two Berkeley Civic Arts Grants: 2018-2019, and 2021-2022. Raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Holsberry received her BFA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia, and MRP and JD degrees from Cornell University. She practiced environmental law for 13 years before focusing on art full-time. Her work can be seen at Pierogi Gallery in New York City.

Tags: Biology, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Painting, Woman

Katherine Wolkoff

Katherine Wolkoff’s exhibition, “Taken from a Cat,” calls attention to dwindling North American bird populations due to climage change. The exhibition features photographs of Elizabeth Dicken’s handwritten bird tags that describe how the birds died. Wolkoff says that the tag with the absence of the bird calls attention to the crisis of dwindling bird populations. Some of her other work, such as photography of deer beds, also calls attention to animals through absence.

Tags: Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Photography, Science, Woman

Leah Wilson

Leah Wilson is a visual artist and writer who lives and works in Eugene, Oregon. A 2012 artist residency at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades introduced Leah Wilson to ecologists working on long-term studies and field research. Attracted by the enduring focus of inquiry, she is now an episodic lifetime artist in residence at the Andrews Forest. The place and the scientists continue to shape and influence her artwork. Wilson’s interaction with the forest and its community led her to realize that science in general, and ecology in particular, seek to identify patterns (and changes in patterns) over time.

Tags: Climate Change, Digital Media, Ecology, Environmental Science, Painting, Photography, Plant Science, Science, Sculpture, Woman

Cartography with red, yellow, green, orange and blue against black

Jess Benjamin

Jess Benjamin’s artwork focuses on water usage in the Great Plains area: a regional concern that is related to the phenomenon of global drought and overconsumption of natural resources. As the daughter of a Nebraska farmer and rancher, Benjamin has witnessed the drought-like conditions in the Midwest throughout her life. Below the Midwest lies the greatest underground water reserve in the world, the Ogallala Aquifer.

Tags: Agriculture, Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Science, Food Access, Science, Sculpture, Water Access, Woman

Calida Rawles

The paintings of Calida Rawles merge hyper-realism with poetic abstraction. Situating her subjects in dynamic spaces, her recent work employs water as a vital, organic, multifaceted material, and historically charged space. Ranging from buoyant and ebullient to submerged and mysterious, Black bodies float in exquisitely rendered submarine landscapes of bubbles, ripples, refracted light and expanses of blue. For Rawles, water signifies both physical and spiritual healing as well as historical trauma and racial exclusion.

Tags: BIPOC, Black, LGBTQIA+, Outdoor Equity and Inclusion, Painting, U.S. History, Woman

Hagit Cohen

Israeli-born artist Hagit Cohen is interested in creating immersion environments that promote an awareness of the dichotomy between the fragility and strength of nature. By focusing on close investigation of natural elements, she brings the viewer closer to the understanding that we are a part of nature and that we need to care for it as we care for ourselves. Hagit works primarily with digital images, constructing visual scenes with photographic images and objects of ritual. She lives and works in Berkeley, CA, where she hikes the hills often.

Tags: Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Science, Photography, Science, Sculpture, Woman

Maya Lin

Maya Lin is known for her large-scale environmental artworks, her architectural works and her memorial designs. Her unique multi-disciplinary career has “resisted categories, boundaries and borders” (Michael Brenson). In her book Boundaries, she writes I see myself existing between boundaries, a place where opposites meet; science and art, art and architecture, East and West. My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings.”

Tags: Architecture, BIPOC, Climate Change, Ecology, U.S. History, Woman

wall sculpture in blue and yellows, depicting abstraction of climate change theme

Nathalie Miebach

Nathalie Miebach explores the intersection of art and science by translating scientific data related to meteorology, ecology and oceanography into woven sculptures and musical scores/ performances. Her main method of data translation is that of basket weaving, which functions as a simple, tactile grid through which to interpret data into 3D space. Central to this work is her desire to explore the role visual and musical aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of complex scientific systems, like weather.

Tags: Climate Change, Ecology, Engineering, Environmental Science, Science, Woman

black and white image of silhouetted person standing in room with rain falling in sheets

Random International: Rain Room

Rain Room can be seen as an amplified representation of our environment. Upon entering the installation, visitors are simultaneously exposed to and protected from the water falling all around. Although the sound and smell of the rain are intense, its touch remains absent leaving visitors dry within a continual downpour as they navigate the space. Human presence prevents the rain from falling, creating a unique atmosphere and exploring how human relationships to each other and to nature are increasingly mediated through technology. In Rain Room a seemingly intuitive relationship develops between visitor and artwork, man and machine.

Tags: Engineering

Kate MacDowell

Kate MacDowell creates porcelain sculptures that “highlight both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value. I see each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.”

Tags: Air Quality, Ceramics, Climate Change, Ecology, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Language Arts, Science, Sculpture, Woman

Image of Latinx woman with short brown wavy hair,in red glasses with eyes on her shirt and artwork all around her.

Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social justice activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom. Favianna leads art interventions around the United States at the intersection of art, justice and cultural equity.

Tags: Agriculture, BIPOC, Climate Change, Digital Media, Drawing, Ecology, Food Access, Illustration, LGBTQIA+, Latinx, Outdoor Equity and Inclusion, Social Justice, Woman

Juniper Harrower

Specializing in multi-species entanglements under climate change, Dr. Juniper Harrower works at the intersection of ecology, art, activism and policy. She uses rigorous science methods and a multimedia art practice to investigate human influence on ecological systems while seeking solutions that protect at-risk species and promote environmental justice.

Tags: Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Science, Science, Woman

Laurel Roth Hope

Laurel Roth Hope lives and works in Northern California. Prior to becoming a full-time, self-taught artist she worked as a park ranger and in natural resource conservation. These professional experiences influenced her current work, which centers on the human manipulation of and intervention into the natural world and the choices we must make everyday between our individual desires and the well being of the world at large.

Tags: Ceramics, Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Science, U.S. History, Woman

image of stone man with is head in the sand on the ocean floor

Jason deCaires Taylor

Jason deCaires Taylor creates dynamic sculptural installations on the ocean floor to promote ocean conservation and address the perils of climate change. Working in marine concrete, he combines the traditions of Land Art with the sensibility of street art, producing ever-changing works full of surprise, compassion, and wit. In installations such as “Silent Evolution,” deCaires Taylor transforms statuesque portraits of local communities into artificial reefs that directly support the ocean life upon which those communities depend.

Tags: Ceramics, Climate Change, Ecology, Energy/Fossil Fuels, Environmental Science, Ocean Health, Photography, Plastic Consumption, Science, Sculpture, Waste

Allison Janae Hamilton

Allison Janae Hamilton (b.1984) is a visual artist working in sculpture, installation, photography, and video. She was born in Kentucky, raised in Florida, and her maternal family’s farm and homestead lies in the rural flatlands of western Tennessee. Hamilton’s relationship with these locations forms the cornerstone of her artwork, particularly her interest in landscape. Using plant matter, layered imagery, complex sounds, and animal remains, Hamilton creates immersive spaces that consider the ways that the American landscape contributes to our ideas of “Americana” and social relationships to space in the face of a changing climate, particularly within the rural American south.

Tags: Agriculture, BIPOC, Black, Climate Change, Ecology, Food Access, Language Arts, Outdoor Equity and Inclusion, Photography, Sculpture, Social Justice, U.S. History, Woman