Contemporary Arts Center reminds us to ‘Remember Earth?’

Exhibit focuses on the perils of the environment
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 11:52 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The latest exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans urges us to “Remember Earth?” which explores art pieces aimed at bringing awareness to our environment in peril.

Performance artist Quintron creates music from the environment.

“I’m a musician and electrician and this is called the Weather Warlock.” The instrument can provide a calming song on a beautiful day and harmony from chaos. He said, “I wanted it to really seem like it was God playing this,” Quintron said.

The Weather Warlock is composed of weather instruments that typically measure wind, temperature, rain and light. It translates its findings into harmonious sound.

Quintron said, “Like looking at a fire or the reflection of moonlight on a lake or something where it’s shimmering with this weird randomness, but it’s still moving at the same time.”

The song displayed in the exhibit was captured as Hurricane Ida smashed through Southeast Louisiana.

Quintron said, “It makes me feel more understanding of what we’re sharing this Earth with.” The hope for all exposed to the Contemporary Arts Center 9th Annual Gulf South Open Call Exhibit.

George Scheer is the Contemporary Arts Center Executive Director. “Certain ways we’ve gotten used to talking about things and we’ve hit some roadblocks artists open us up,” said Scheer. “The show inspires deep thought on all parts of the environment from the air and water to migratory birds whose numbers have dwindled in the region.”

Scheer said, “This conversation on the environment and everything else is happening around the world and New Orleans is fortunately and unfortunately, the center of so many complex challenges. And the artists here are brilliant and have an incredible understanding of the complexity of the world that we live in.”

The curator chose 54 artists representing five states out of a field of 400 entries.

“It’s about how we can understand and express differently and through that expression, hopefully, at a civic level kind of come to understand who we are and where we are,” said Sheer.

“So this is a piece that brings up the fact that the storm chasers, the people who are dealing with the work and repairing the city continuously, are Latin American immigrants are often forgotten,” said Jose Torres-Tamas about his spoken word short film that highlights environmental injustice.

Torres-Tamas said, “There are so many misnomers. So I, as a performance artist, my job is to break through the propaganda and expose those lies.”

Painter Cheryl Grace said, “I just hope we don’t have a future where all we have left is our Earth as it used to be as a curiosity.”

Grace’s paintings harken back to the Victorian Era when people saved precious samples under glass. She said, “What it might look like on our planet when we have to ‘Remember Earth’ when things don’t look like they do as it slowly fades away from us, especially in the Gulf South.”

Renee Royale said, “I feel like the Earth has been responding to us for a long time and we are feeding it a lot of garbage and we’re not thinking about the consequences in a way that can be visibly seen until it’s too late.”

It’s a multimedia, multisensory take on our world. Royale said, “It creates a different response because it is a feeling and because it is something that doesn’t require language. An easier, digestible format for something that is really overwhelming. An opportunity for us to begin to have more progressive conversation.”

“Remember Earth?” Closes Sunday, Sept. 25.

It’s the first in a Contemporary Arts Center series called “Intersector” focusing on the cross-section of art and civic engagement.

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