Mana Contemporary’s Debuts New Exhibit ‘Confronting the Enormity of Climate Change’

Jersey City art gallery, Mana Contemporary, has announced the debut of a new exhibit “Implied Scale: Confronting the Enormity of Climate Change” that is focused on motivating mobilization toward reversing the climate crisis. The exhibit opens on April 22 and closes on July 22. It will include a series of virtual and in-person events featuring the world’s leading scientific minds on climate change.

mana contemporary entrance

Implied Scale features five artists including Catherine Chalmers, Zaria Forman, Jeff Frost, Ted Kim, and James Prosek. Their work will reflect the current climate crisis but also communicate the depth of the issue in ways that inspire action. “These artists impart the gravity of the situation and also inspire one’s innate awe at the complexity of the planet’s ecosystems and arouse a commitment to change without invoking feelings of complete despair,” the press release stated.

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“Mana Contemporary has always been more than an art gallery, it’s a place where art, education, and culture converge to encourage thought-provoking discussions among our guests and communities,” said Ashley Harris, Head of Marketing, Arts and Culture for Mana Culture, a division of Mana Common. “Implied Scale reminds us all that even the smallest of changes may greatly affect our planet’s future and our individual responsibility in combating climate change.”

The artists and works on view include:

Catherine Chalmers – the engineer and artist’s in-depth study of ant colonies has resulted in a series of fascinating films that illustrate both their successful cooperation in action and also the destruction they incur when the species turn against each other. The ants are a visionary metaphor of society, showing collaboration that works towards the greater good and the dystopian possibilities that may appear when compassion and communication break down.

Zaria Forman – large-scale pastel drawings of glaciers allow viewers to experience the wonder of these massive icebergs, while simultaneously apprehending what their thaw will eventually mean on a global scale. The immersive installation highlights Forman’s documentation of her travels to the most remote regions of the world, making grave comments on climate change.

Jeff Frost – Artist Jeff Frost trained as a firefighter to create “California on Fire” (2019) a film that is a daunting consideration of the recent California wildfires and uses the five stages of grief to organize the chaotic and dismal effects of climate change into an examination of what it means to experience loss.

Ted Kim – the Alaska-based illustrator offers a created on-site, large-scale mural over 150 feet in length. Kim’s drawing style, influenced by comics, lends a lighthearted aesthetic to the themes that are often prevalent in his work: an envisioned, dystopian future of a world decimated by environmental decay that nonetheless retains elements of faith in human cooperation and ingenuity.

James Prosek – A site-specific installation of murals and works on paper in the artist’s signature silhouette style will transform the lobby of Mana Contemporary Jersey City. The murals encourage contemplative meditation on biodiversity, nurturing one’s sense of interconnectedness with the natural world while also questioning one’s mortal desire to name, classify, and contain.

Throughout the run of Implied Scale: Confronting the Enormity of Climate Change, Mana Contemporary will host a series of virtual panels and conversations by these and other artists, along with scientists, environmental activists, and public officials. Additional events and community programs will take place at Mana’s Chicago and Miami locations. The events are meant to stimulate dialogue and insight into real-world changes.

Confirmed events include:

Actors from Witness {April 7, 6PM – 7PM} – This panel focuses on how artists allow viewers to experience landscapes and nature imagery they may not be able to visit in person and, with the thoughts of climate experts, may become inspired to move from passive witness to active agents of change. The discussion is moderated by Robin Bell, Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, with artists Zaria Forman & Jeff Frost and Caroline Juang, atmospheric Science and Modern and Future Climate PhD candidate at Columbia University.

Current Effects {April 15, 6PM. – 7PM} – A discussion on the effects of climate change on existing ecosystems and how artists and scientists help make viewers aware of their larger, more holistic connection to the world. The panel features artists Catherine Chalmers & James Prosek with Ruth DeFries, Professor of Ecology and Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and moderated by Sandra Goldmark, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre and Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action at Barnard College.

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Resource Use and Reuse {April 19, 7PM. – 8PM} – A focus around the Mana Contemporary Chicago community, this discussion will highlight the circular economy and how artists and organizations are taking creative, sustainable approaches to material use and reuse. The panel features Barbara Koenen, Founder & Executive Director, Creative Chicago Resource Exchange; Ryan Jackson, Managing Director, Open Books, and Eleanor Ray, Executive Director, The WasteShed; moderated by Claire Pentecost, Artist, and Professor in the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Climate Scientists, Culture and Local Government – The Frontline of Combating Climate Change {April 22, 2PM – 3PM} – This panel will bring together local leaders, leading climate scientists, urban planners, and artists to discuss how working together, at the local level, can help to plan for, and address key, issues such as education of skeptical populations, resiliency measures, and response planning. Moderated by Mana Group’s Chief of Staff Theodore Ward, the panel includes Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop; Miami Mayor Francis Suarez; Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientists and Professor of Political Science, Texas Tech; Bronson Johnson, Director of Infrastructure Delivery, Sidewalk Labs, and Prof. John E. Fernández, Director of Environmental Solutions Initiative, MIT. Visit Mana Contemporary site for registration.

Community Climate Day {April 24, 11AM – 5PM} – Mana Contemporary Jersey City welcomes community members to join for a socially distanced, in-person event that includes a view of the exhibition, a natural dyes workshop, a Birds of Prey experience alongside food, drinks, and music. Visit Mana Contemporary site for registration.

All events are open to the public, complimentary.

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Victoria is HG's Editorial Assistant and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.