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Art exhibit on climate change, cosponsored by Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Jan. 12–Feb. 8

An innovative environmental art exhibit, Paradise Lost: Climate Change in the North Woods, will be on display at Olbrich Botanical Gardens from January 12 through February 8. The exhibit is a joint project of the UW-Madison Center for Biology Education, the Department for Forest and Wildlife Ecology and Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

Climate Change in the North Woods is free and open to the public daily from January 12 to February 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Twenty artists, seven scientists, and six educators met in May 2006 to learn about climate change and the role that art might play in increasing public awareness of the issue. The result, Paradise Lost? Climate Change in the North Woods, is a free environmental art exhibit that addresses how Wisconsin’s North Woods may be affected by global warming. Local scientists believe that by 2080, the Wisconsin climate will become more like Arkansas. Madison’s mean summer temperature, currently 67 degrees Fahrenheit, will likely rise to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s coniferous North Woods may gradually transition into an oak savannah, a forest type currently found much further south.

Paradise Lost? includes paintings, drawings, quilting, sculptures, weaving, batik, mixed media, poetry, essays, and music. Scientific information is intermingled, creating a stimulating, thought-provoking exhibit that blends art and science, and encourages everyone to take action to help minimize global warming.

Themes of the exhibit are Consider Climate Change – human impacts on climate, past records, and expected changes; Celebrate the Cold – Wisconsin’s unique northern ecosystem and elements of its beauty and function that we stand to lose with a warmer climate; and Alter the Course – actions we can take, individually and collectively, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve Wisconsin’s North Woods paradise.

Paradise Lost? is coordinated by the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Center for Biology Education, the UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, the Center for Limnology, and by the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. The project was made possible by a grant from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, with additional supporting grants from the Madison Arts Commission, including additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Bruning Foundation, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

For more information call 608-246-4550. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue. Visit Olbrich’s website at www.olbrich.org.

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