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Earth Day 2023

Earth Day 2023





In recognition of EARTH DAY, 2023, we have curated a group of video interviews and stories from the ArtSpeak archives from prominent people in the arts, who help raise awareness and offer solutions for CLIMATE CHANGE and SEA LEVEL RISE, which are particularly threatening to Miami and South Florida.

Beginning March, 2020, the videos below were recorded via Zoom. Click on any video link (below the images). You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.



Xavier Cortada Blends Art & Science


XAVIER CORTADA‘s science-art practice is oriented toward social engagement and the environment. For example, he created art installations in the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change. In 2007, as a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writer’s Program Fellow, Cortada used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years.  In 2008, he planted a green flag at the North Pole to reclaim it for nature and launch an eco-art reforestation effort.



Michele Oka Doner: A Woman of Nature


MICHELE OKA DONER is an internationally renowned artist whose career spans four decades. The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, furniture, jewelry, public art, functional objects, video, as well as costume and set design. Whether large scale architectural objects or intimately scaled objects, Oka Doner’s work is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, from which she derives her formal vocabulary.



Photo: Dana Hoff.

Zero Net Energy By David Rifkind


The built environment accounts for the lion’s share of climate changing carbon emissions, whether as energy consumed by buildings, or by cars moving through our cities’ streets, or as habitat lost to development. To be better stewards of the Earth, we need to ask how we can reduce the amount of resources used to construct and operate our built environment.



Barbara de Vries:  Designer, Book-Maker, Activist, & Former Model   


At the age of 17, BARBARA DE VRIES launched a significant international modeling career. Later, as a freelance designer and creative director, de Vries worked on projects for Ralph Lauren, Dim, Petit Bateau, Go Silk and Pantone.

She first spotted plastic trash on the beaches of Eleuthera in 2006, and became passionate about combating ocean plastic pollution. De Vries founded “Plastic is Forever,” collecting plastic trash from the ocean and converting it into jewelry.



Ioannis Varnava: Poro City, Alton Road, Miami Beach

Buoyant City by Alastair Gordon


Everyone has a plan to save Miami, ranging from Dutch water  experts to Danish architects, Harvard grad students, Swiss urbanists, New York engineers, not to mention all the hydrologists and climatologists from around the world who’ve been weighing in on the subject of sea-level resiliency and climate change. Meanwhile, Miami continues to build higher and higher towers in flood-prone areas as if waiting for something, some deus ex machina, to come to the rescue and make it all right.




Lynne Buchanan: Photographer, Writer, Environmental Activist


LYNNE BUCHANAN, a former longtime Florida resident, is a photographer and writer currently based in Asheville, North Carolina. Her work is focused on raising awareness about changing ecologies due to human impact and climate change.  Most recently she is the author of Florida’s Changing Waters: A Beautiful World in Peril, which was published by George F. Thompson Publishing in 2019.



Raymond Elman: “Bicycle with Seaweed,” 2011, 40 x 30 inches, oil & digital collage on canvas. Courtesy of William McCall Gallery, Miami Beach.

Rising Waters


THE ADMIRAL by JAMES R. GILBERT was published in 2014. The novel portrays what Earth may be like at the end of the 21st century, when climate change and rising sea levels have dramatically altered Earth’s surface. This excerpt from The Admiral contains an edited narrative of how the Earth changed during the 21st century, as experienced by one extremely wealthy visionary who saw the coming collapse of human civilization and created Akkadia, a floating, remote and reclusive mid-Atlantic community of aging yachts to safeguard his family and preserve much of mankind’s accumulated art and knowledge.



Gretchen Scharnagl: Artist, Environmental Activist


GRETCHEN SCHARNAGL allows her environmental interests, social concerns and personal narrative to blend, using mostly found, gift, or repurposed materials in her work from drawings to installation.



Michael Klare: Author, Educator


MICHAEL T. KLARE is an author, educator and public speaker who studies issues related to war and peace. Klare also studies resource competition and international affairs.  He is the author of The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change.