What do you do as an artist, as opposed to what you do as a scientist, and how do you deliver information? I’m delivering information, but I’m also talking to you about my work. I’m talking about how it works visually.
Diane Burko, painter and photographer
What motivates artists and scientists to observe and investigate our environment? How do creative professionals in both fields make visible largely invisible processes, such as wind patterns and air quality? What methods and instruments have been used to sense shifts in our climate over time?
See our environment—its vitality and vulnerability—with fresh eyes. The art in
Sensing Change invites us to consider the local, global, and cultural implications of living in our changing world by presenting new visions of the threats, opportunities, and upheavals we face. Inspired by scientific investigation, historical accounts, and direct observation, the art in this exhibit explores not only daily shifts in our environment but also long-term climate change.
We all have stories to share and observations to record about the world around us. By connecting to our local environment what narratives do we tell? What actions do we take?
Learn more as you watch video conversations with the artists and oral histories with atmospheric scientists, or as you explore historical context through instruments in our collections.
About Sensing Change
In 2013, the Chemical Heritage Foundation launched
Sensing Change, a year-long initiative to explore the interconnections between art, science, and our changing environment. Along with an exhibition highlighting the work of eight contemporary artists, we conducted interviews with nine scientists whose work intersects with issues surrounding climate change. These interviews remain as part of our oral history collection. Sponsors
It takes many generous supporters to make a large-scale project like
Sensing Change a reality. We would like to express gratitude to
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Dow Chemical Company
Public Health Fund
Daniel Dietrich Foundation
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Additionally we acknowledge
U.S. Trust for companion programming and event sponsorship. Partnerships
We wish to acknowledge the participation of the following organizations in the
Sensing Change exhibition and related programs:
Air Management Services
The Association for Public Art
Avenue of the Arts
The Center City District
City of San Jose, Office of Cultural Affairs
Clean Air Council
Delaware Valley Green Building Council
The Franklin Institute
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The Philly Rising Collaborative
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
The Wilma Theater
Even among scientists you have to be engaged at a personal level. If you make that connection with these visuals—oh, there’s something interesting and it affects me, it’s the air I’m breathing—then you’re drawn in a bit more to the conversation that way.
Murray V. Johnston III, professor of chemistry, University of Delaware