My painting Inevitable Inferno pictured here recently received a 3rd place award at a local juried art show. The juror was artist Michael Strand who is a potter, a professor and an activist. The show was called “Impact: Art as a Catalyst for Social Change”. I love activist art and have been doing it for years, because it occurred to me a long time ago that art was a great way to communicate ideas and concepts to people in visual ways. Some people react to information better visually, rather than hearing or reading something, or listening to a lecture. Visual art is a great way to get ideas across. I hope the local art center, the Paramount, has many more activist art shows.
I started out with activist art shows several years ago when I started Antiwarartists.com. Back during the early 2000’s I was primarily an anti-war activist using art and to a lesser degree doing real life protesting, and to a larger degree, political podcasting. That was all extremely time-consuming, especially the podcasting (which was like a weekly radio show) so I gave it all up to concentrate more on making art. It was very stressful at the time to be immersed in politics. I was realizing that protesting war was kind of useless since it’s the biggest industry the US really has and is probably our biggest “job creator” (not just the military itself but contractors and weapons makers, not to mention government employees related to the war industry.). I doubt the US will ever stop going to war, as a result, unless they find something to replace it with. So I began to become much more interested in an issue I felt I and everyone can directly do something positive about — the environment, and even climate change.
Thus slowly began my environmental art career. I still do regular art too, art that is not necessarily “environmentally” themed, but most of what I do now is about environmental issues, one way or another. I love painting storms, and wildlife and nature in general too. I’m just not that interested in art for art’s sake (art for no reason) as much as I used to be anymore. I like art with a message more. On the other hand, I have a growing interest in abstract art and think I will do more of it as time goes by.
The message here: climate change is causing more extreme wildfires, and will continue to do that unless we do something. The deer is not happy with our selfish ways.
In this painting, you can see both environmental art work and abstract art with the background. It’s the best of both types of art that I love to do, and I’m pretty happy someone “got it” and gave it an award.