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The art of climate change: The birth of a Kickstarter project

This is part of the project/exhibit: Teaching kids about climate change through art
This is part of the project/exhibit: Teaching kids about climate change through art
Dorsi Diaz

The whole idea had been swimming around in my balanced right and left brain for quite sometime, nameless and without a face. For a good year I had been pondering how an artist like me who writes about climate change and teaches art could put something cohesive together that would cover all three.

And then the name came to me in December of 2013: "The Art of Climate Change".

Fighting with the analytical part of my brain which is sometimes at war with the creative side of my brain, it was a real stretch to figure out how these 3 seemingly unrelated topics could come together however in one "art" piece. How could I weave a cohesive piece together using all these "elements"?

First a little background on me and how the project "evolved":

I have been a working artist my entire life. I happen to be one of those very fortunate people who have actually been able to make a living with my creative skills. Not always easy or prosperous, but I have managed to do it.

I have also been the climate change reporter for 5 years here at the SF Examiner (and at other online writing sites like HubPages as well). A voracious learner, I happen to be highly curious about many things.

With that said, 10 years ago, I became interested in climate change when I read an obscure little news piece about a fish die-off in the S.F. Bay Area. From that article I started researching and what I discovered was like a who-dunnit trail marked with good guys, bad guys, lies, deceit and cover-ups galore. I managed to find classified documents on the Internet (and if you are wondering if am a hacker, no I'm not, I just have some good sleuthing skills). What I had "accidentally" stumbled on worried me, concerned me and also made me an instant research fanatic on the subject of climate change. Within weeks I had hundreds of articles filed away in my little bookmarks bar.

The light-bulb moment for me was when the trail led to an article about methane gas that greatly alarmed me. Since then, methane, and the pursuit of learning about it, became very important for me. I somehow knew, intuitively, that methane would be the big game changer when it came to climate change.

So 10 years passes - and I become an activist. I talk to everyone who will listen about climate change. I write about it, I bug people about it, I pursue the art of it through the lens of my camera and the art I create. I tell kids about it, I explain the growing problem we have. I teach about it.

And I also start to ask myself some serious questions about climate change: If I just do art, I am not getting the entire message out. If I just write, I am getting the message out but not to enough people and not visually enough! If I just tell a story, there won't be enough science in it to make it plausible, or believable, so what to do? How, how do I weave all these things together to get this important message out to the public in a visual way that they can understand climate change?

The thinking continues and my project acquires its name first : The Art of Climate Change. I buy the domain name and keep thinking as the name swirls around in my head... what will that art "be" I ask myself?

The light-bulb moment arrives soon after: The Art of Climate Change will be an art exhibit!

But not just any exhibit where you stand and admire artwork, but one that would make you think, interact and react to the growing problem of climate change. Something interactive where people would use all their senses to learn about climate change - and most importantly, an exhibit that offers hope: One that combines the science with a need for solutions and a call to action.

So a little over 2 weeks ago, "The Art of Climate Change" was born. The website is www.TheArtofClimateChange.com and the exhibit will run for 4 weeks in June at The Sun Gallery in Hayward. My long-term dream for this exhibit is that it will become a travelling exhibit where each city can engage their own community to learn about climate change and create ideas and solutions to add to the original exhibit foundation.

The project has many parts to it, which makes it especially engaging. It brings many of the puzzle pieces of climate change together in one tangible place. It is also is bringing together creative minds from all over the world through art, music, words and science. As I like to say at this point of the project, "It sort of vacuums people up."

"The Art of Climate Change", has now grown and morphed into something I never dreamed it would within just a few weeks. Needing funding to drive my project, I have decided to launch it as an official Kickstarter project in the month of February, 2014. Kickstarter, by the way, is a site that many artists and creative people use to fund important projects, also known as crowd-funding and/or crowd-sourcing. People donate money to help the artist "launch" or "create" their project.

This art piece "aka the project", will be different from any other art I have ever done, and it is one that combines all my greatest skills in one package. It has now propelled me into being a "social artist", which is an artist that creates a social message through shared human community. "People" and the connecting of people are now my new "medium."

In the next article I will tell you about all the wonderful people and ideas that have joined with me to be a very important part of this project. In a short time I have an unbelievable line-up of talent and resources. For more info on how this project morphed into what it is, you can check out my website at www.DorsiDiaz.com where I documented the first few days after "the birth" of "The Art of Climate Change."

This project is not about me, it is about all of us. Climate change affects us all. There is no "Planet B."

*You can contact me at my personal website: www.DorsiDiaz.com for more information on how you can be involved or for more news about the project. The official website is under construction here at: www.TheArtofClimateChange.com

Dorsi Diaz on Twitter

The Art of Climate Change page is also on FaceBook here.