CSU selects Canary Project for Visiting Artist and Scholar Residency

Two artists dedicated to producing works related to climate change will participate this spring in the Visiting Artist and Scholar Residency Program offered by Columbus State University’s Art Department.

Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris organized The Canary Project in 2006 to photograph landscapes around the world that have been affected by global warming.  Since its founding, The Canary Project has expanded its initial undertakings to support a variety of artists working at the intersection of art and ecology. As they diversify their programming to reach a broader audience, Sayler and Morris remain committed to deepening their outreach. The Canary Project is believed to be one of only two organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to producing art about climate change. What sets The Canary Project apart is the commitment of Sayler and Morris to work collaboratively with other artists and organizations and to reach as many diverse audiences as possible.

This spring semester, Columbus State will be a part of The Canary Project’s outreach efforts as Saylor and Morris establish residency here. They will teach a class on “Art and Activism,” as well as engaging in a workshop with the community. As part of their work at CSU, Sayler and Morris intend to address misconceptions about climate change and the need to mobilize society to build a more sustainable future. They believe art has an important role to play in this process, particularly when executed in collaboration with other disciplines. According to Sayler and Morris, the significance of art’s role in addressing the threat of climate change is its capacity to penetrate beyond perceived notions, to speak across language barriers, to generate media attention, and to create a lasting visceral impact.

At the end of the semester, an exhibition at CSU’s Illges Gallery will showcase the collaboration between artists, students, and community. The installation piece will include objects taken from around the university and presented in a gallery setting, as well as a photo mural documenting the impact of climate change. A public reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 6, with a gallery talk by the artists at 6 p.m. The exhibition will be on display from April 6-24.