Love & Turtles: Reflections on the Art, Change, and Creativity (ACC) research project, and initial analyses of exhibition-collected “pebbles” on climate change

Dr. Zoë Meletis, Dr. Mark Groulx, Michelle Connolly, Carleen Paltzat, Scott Brown, George Harris, and Carolyn Holmes
January 26, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm


UNBC, Room 8-164
3333 University Way
Prince George , BC

What happens when you raise questions about climate change in unusual ways, in un-conventional places? We address this question by presenting on exploratory climate change engagements conducted in Prince George, BC. We detail project components and initial analyses from the Art, Change and Creativity (ACC)* project (2015-17), a project conceived by a multi-disciplinary team with two UNBC Undergraduate Research Experience award recipients (Paltzat and Brown). ACC goals were to employ creative engagements, discussions, and activities, and to include groups often marginalized in climate change consultations (youth; the general public; artists and art-interested people). Our co-curated exhibition CHANGE embedded climate change information within an art exhibition that saw 4000+ Gallery visitors. Some NRESi audience members attended and contributed “pebbles”: written responses to questions raised on a participation wall. In this presentation, we share initial analyses of pebbles collected in response to the question: What can you do? (about climate change). We compare the pebbles and patterns within them to dominant Web and social media-based messaging about climate change, and related changes that we should make. We discuss expected (e.g. drive less; reduce waste) and unexpected suggestions (e.g. love and turtles), and reflect on insights from this arts-based climate change engagement.

*The ACC included a partnership with the Two Rivers Gallery, and was funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the University of Northern British Columbia.