On Friday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m., the Uncovered Art Show opened up in Mead Witter and Esch Hurvis in the Warch Campus Center to kick off their latest show entitled “How We Cope in Our Climate Changed Home.” There were four points of interest throughout the room: a stage to showcase musical performances, an installation of student art, a collaging table and a buffet. It was a causal event, where students and community members could walk around and socialize with one another without feeling any pressure to focus on anything in particular. While not all the art on display was completely relevant to the ongoing conversation about climate change, there was definitely an underlying theme of talking about the planet. At the collage table, many students made plant-themed pieces; the majority of the art hanging from the wall hinted at the climate in some way, shape or form; on stage, the student performers sang songs that had a certain element of mournfulness to them, such as brothers senior Jack Murphy’s and freshman Michael Murphy’s cover of The Beatles’s “Don’t Let Me Down.” Of course, there was no requirement for students’ art to be centered around climate change in order to be a part of the show, but rather, as sophomore Mads Layton put it in her informational article about the show a few weeks before it happened, to “find a time and a space to process the emotions surrounding the ongoing climate change crisis.” This sentiment is what the Uncovered Art Show group is more generally about, even outside of their latest installment: creating a brave space for students to appreciate one another’s work without the intensity of a recital or an official exhibit.
This installation was especially unique because of its inclusion of a collage table. There was a sign up on the wall among the pieces that were submitted to the show in advance that read, “YOUR ART HERE: make something at our craft table, then pin it up here!” It gave students the chance to showcase their talent even at the very last minute, and also served to break down the wall between the featured artists and the observer, implying that nobody should feel left out from the opportunity to create and present their art. The actual craft table itself served to bring people together, as it could accommodate a small group, where students sat, talked and joked with one another.
The entire vibe of the show was encouraging on a small and large scale. By encouraging one another to create art, the show suggested that we are encouraging each other to do good in the world; by doing good in the world, we are helping to cope with climate change. It is something that feels so out of hand, out of anyone’s control, but the least we can do about it is get together in a space where we can talk and think about it instead of refusing to acknowledge the growing problem.
Before the event had ended, senior Christina Sedall, one of the organizers, made an announcement about an upcoming climate-centered event, the Climate Action Festival. This coming Friday, Feb. 7, in Warch, there will be student booths as well as a performance by Chicago artist Nola Adé. Be sure to attend and look out for the next Uncovered Art Show in the months to come.