Byers receives grant for artwork featuring glaciers and climate change

Posted on January 4th, 2018 by

Byers conducting research at Grinnell Glacier for her new art exhibit opening at the Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis on February 3.

Associate Professor of Art, Betsy Byers, has been awarded the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council Professional McKnight Mid-Career Artist Grant for her work focusing on climate change and the rapidly melting glaciers at Glacier National Park.

The award allows Byers to further raise awareness on issues of climate change through her artwork,  helping to mend the disconnect she says sometimes occurs between her practice and societal concerns. The exhibit will be shown at the Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis beginning February 3, and features several different mediums including acrylic, oil, and watercolor.

The highlight piece will be a 24-foot long painting inspired by the Grinnell, Salamander, and Gem Glaciers in Glacier National Park. The three glaciers used to be one, but due to climate change and increased melting they are now several separate glaciers. This work will be Byers’ largest to date, and the size plays an important role in the piece’s impact. “I intended the scale of this massive piece to be overwhelming in order to immerse the viewer in the awe and sublime of the ice,” she says. Also included in the exhibit will be several smaller works that give a more detailed look at specific parts of the glaciers.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be 7-10 p.m. on February 3, and Byers will give an artist talk at 1 p.m. on February 25. She feels the works will speak to Minnesotans, in particular, as many will understand the importance and power of water in daily life. “My hope is that the work will encourage conversations about climate change and what we can do to create awareness about the accelerated loss of our glaciers,” she says. The exhibit  runs through February 25.

 

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