By Elisa Elorza, CVA Gallery Manager and Art and Design Faculty

The CVA Gallery is pleased to announce it’s fall 2023 exhibit, Within the Anthropocene, featuring encaustic, fresco, sculpture and graphic design work by Monmouth University professor emerita Karen Bright.

This exhibit opens with very literal representations of climate change through a series of infographic prints derived from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and the United States Naval Observatory data. However, climate change is only one among many of the changes we are grappling with in the 21st century. As we often have in challenging times, we need the arts to help expand our consideration of these changes.

Bright’s encaustic work, such as After the Elephants and Monarch, address issues related to, but categorically different than, climate change, such as the increasing rate of mass extinction events due to the actions of humans. Her sculptural series, Still Water, created specifically for this exhibit, investigates ideas of water as the source and a great destroyer of life. All challenging pieces, but necessary for our time and future.

With this exhibit, we seek to create a space, and the possibility, that we can learn to live with these difficult ideas in a way that can help us foster a warranted sense of hope. A Community Healing Room will be incorporated in the gallery during this exhibit. It is offered as a respite, a place for reflection about how we imagine the health of the planet, our bodies and minds. We can see similar practices in the Hall of Remembrance that James Ingo Freed designed for the U.S. Holocaust Museum; The Contemplative Court in the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and the Brooklyn Museum’s Healing Room designed by their teen staff for the immigration focused exhibit Guadalupe Maravilla: Tierra Blanca Joven.

Within the Anthropocene is an opportunity to expand our imagination to consider a new, just and sustainable interrelationship between nature, planet, humans, non-human animals. We invite you to join us for our opening reception in the CVA Gallery on November 2 at 5:00pm. Additional programming is posted on the CVA Gallery webpage.