Mixed-media art exhibition in Lake Worth Beach probes effects of climate change, marine life
Local visual artists at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County in Lake Worth Beach are probing the effects of climate change for the "Visualizing Climate Disruption" art exhibition — rising temperatures and sea levels, seagrass depletion, and the destruction of coral reefs.
Jason Bregman, who studied landscape architecture, is a partner and designer for the Marine Living Structures Initiative at the Michael Singer Studio, alongside long-time collaborators Singer — who is an experienced sculptor — and Jonathan Fogelson, who has a background in industrial design.
Bregman displayed underwater photos, a video of divers, and an artificial reef module prototype at the exhibit. And he revealed to WLRN how artificial reefs can improve the biodiversity in the coral reef ecosystems. WLRN is among exhibition sponsors.
“And that prototype really is the first step in exploring ways we can create artificial reefs that right now are currently employed in the intercoastal waterway,” Bregman said. “We’re also trying to get them deployed in the ocean — that actually help with coastal resiliency by creating a kind of a framework for the growth of corals and other marine organisms.”
The three-part modular system, installed near Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, is made out of 70% recycled material, such as oyster shell, recycled glass, and 40% less carbon intensive than normal concrete.
For more than three years, Bregman said the Reef Institute has been testing over dozen of their materials in a laboratory in West Palm beach "to see which corals and snails and hermit crabs adapt to it best."
And the Singer Studio also works alongside biologists and engineers at Palm Beach County's Environmental Resources Management department.
The art show in Lake Worth Beach puts the inner-workings of earth on display. From various installations mixed-media to paintings and photography, the free exhibition features more than 40 works by 17 artists from January 27 through April 8.
Multi-disciplinary artist Michelle A M Miller is illustrating a series of 12 monochromatic drawings incorporated with beeswax, casein paint and paint made from crushed oyster shells.
The piece is suspended off of the white wall, casting shadows behind the complex shapes. Miller said the climate, like art, is a complexity worth exploring.
“Art is just one answer to a question in a world of infinite possibilities,” Miller said. “And I think that’s a beautiful model for tackling climate change. I think it will require an ocean of ideas all moving toward the same goal.”
"We are a costal community. We experience these changes — king tides, floods, these are parts of our community."
The works, Jessica Ransom, the curator and council’s director of artist services said in a statement, "engage audiences to consider topics such as the plight of endangered species, shrinking habitats, pollution, and coastal resiliency.”
In addition to WLRN, the art exhibition is sponsored by Frances and Jeffrey Fisher and Florida Weekly. Partners include Cox Science Center and Aquarium and The Reef Institute.
IF YOU GO: The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County unveiled the "Visualizing Climate Disruption” on January 27. The exhibition runs through April 8. The address: The Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building
601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460.
Current gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m. Learn more here.