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UNH art community collaborates on climate change exhibit

The 3S Artspace, at 319 Vaughan St. in Portsmouth, is currently home to “Rise: Climate Change in Our World,” an exhibition of art from UNH students, alumni, faculty and staff. The exhibit opened up to the public on Oct. 21 with a reception, and will ultimately run through Nov. 12.
The exhibit was collaborated on by 3S Artspace, the UNH Department of Art and Art History and NextGen Climate NH, an environmental advocacy organization.
According to Art and Art History Department Chair Craig Hood, the department has been preparing this exhibit for over a year. The pieces of artwork, however, have been finished since last spring.

Art on display in “Rise: Climate Change in Our World.”
Art on display in “Rise: Climate Change in Our World.”

Hood said that the project was originally initiated by NextGen Climate NH, who had approached the department in hopes to publicize climate change prior to the presidential election, and do it in a unique way through art. Moving forward from there, professors in the department included a project associated with climate change in their syllabi for the semester, and alumni and staff were contacted to contribute their works as well.
“How would climate change inform the creative process?” was the question proposed to the art department and the students participating in the collaboration.
Hood shared the notion that the students working on the climate change projects were all receptive of the idea, and the project didn’t require the students to portray climate change in a negative light. “When we went into the project, we thought we’d see climate deniers or political statements. We did not see anything like that,” Hood said. “We saw 100 percent expressions of concern. It’s a generation of students that care about the environment.”
An exterior view of 3S Artspace. The Portsmouth gallery will be home to the exhibit through Nov. 12.
An exterior view of 3S Artspace. The Portsmouth gallery will be home to the exhibit through Nov. 12.

In the press release published by UNH on Oct. 18, Hood claimed that the exhibition is an “unprecedented undertaking by the art department.”
“We think the topic is important, of course, and hope this sort of collaboration with groups and institutions outside the university community will become a more regular occurrence for our programming in the future,” Hood said.
With that in mind, Hood said that the department is going to try to do something similar to this exhibition in the future. As of now, the idea that has been circulating is an exhibition of students’ artworks on the topic of social justice.
In regard to Friday’s opening reception, Hood said, “It was very exciting for the students. Most students’ art had not been at a venue like 3S, which is a notable venue in the region. We’re grateful for the amount of people that attended. It’s a fun, exciting thing that I think has generated a lot of talk.”
When visiting the gallery, people are asked to think about and join the conversation on climate change, as each artist offers a different and unique perspective in what climate change is doing to the natural world.
The gallery is free and open to the public until Nov. 12. The 3s Artspace gallery is open from Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturday 12–5 p.m.

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