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The Flowers Are Burning…Oceans A Rising An Art and Climate Justice Exhibition: Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann

Feb. 05, 2020
Category: Performance

The Flowers Are Burning…Oceans A Rising
An Art and Climate Justice Exhibition
by Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann (Both alumnae)

April 16 – June 25, 2020
Honoring the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 16, 5-8 pm

Holy Wisdom Monastery
4200 County Road M
Middleton, WI 53562

Gallery hours
“The Flowers Are Burning: Incandescent Watercolors by Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann” is a collaborative art and climate justice project that has been traveling on exhibition since 2015.

“The Flowers are Burning…Oceans A Rising: An Art and Climate Justice Exhibition” is the current chapter of this collaboration’s evolution. The artists have focused their new body of work on the consequences of over-heated seawaters and acidification on our Oceans.

Opening on April 16, 2020, this traveling art exhibition comes to Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. These collaboratively created watercolors were co-painted by Klebesadel and Neumann, bringing images from the Ocean, speaking the stories that are being lived out underwater. This art exhibition is part of their environmental project for communities on climate change and climate justice. They ask their audience to reach into their hearts, engage with the painful reality of noticing what climate change has endangered…is there something they love in harm’s way? What are they moved to do in response?

The opening reception for the public is Thursday, April 16, from 5-8 pm.

The artists have created a website ( that provides education, resources, art/science collaboration and activism….and HOPE for facing the increasing threat we all face. Their mission is to engage people to focus on what they love and care about that is threatened by climate change, inspiring them to think about what they are moved to do. Engaging from the heart is central to their purpose, moving beyond the despair that climate change evokes….to feel the grief and travel that territory beyond the pain towards acting on behalf of what is loved. In this way, love is a source of power and an agent of change.

This exhibition is a part of the University of Wisconsin- Madison Nelson Institute’s Earth Day @ 50 – Arts Initiative which serves to shine a spotlight on the power of artistic expression in connecting people, transforming perspectives, and igniting action during the “Year of the Environment”.

The Year of the Environment, which runs from April 22, 2019 through April 22, 2020, is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It is also an invitation to communities across Wisconsin, the country, and the world to not only commemorate this milestone, but to reflect upon and be inspired by the global environmental awareness and progress that has occurred during the past 50 years.

Mary Kay Neumann
Helen Klebesadel

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