November Forum: Sustainability & Art

November 4, 2018

Art and sustainability intersect in many ways. Art permeates our culture and can serve as a platform to talk about issues like climate change as well as the spaces and cities which hold these artworks.   At one interface, an artist’s media choice and material sourcing can implicate connections to nature and convey valuable messages on sustainability. As energy efficiency and space usage becomes more critical, the built-environment which holds art (e.g. museums, galleries) seeks to reconcile current energy-related issues. Museum alliances have been created to collectively issue goals, while academic institutions are researching the status of museums and ways to create sustainability progress. On a larger scale, art institution sustainability goals interconnect with the sustainability goals of a geographic area.   At the November forum focused on Sustainability & Art, we will hear from artists, academia, and the American Alliance of Museums about their work, and the steps of museums and cities to create a more sustainable art world. We invite you to join us and to think about ways art can move you or your community towards speaking out about an issue of importance and ways your art community can become more sustainable.   Date: Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Place: ThoughtWorks, Inc. 99 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016   Our speakers will include: Sharon Gaber, American Alliance of Museums, Environment and Climate Network Chair Emily Rea, Artist Raphael Gernath, Master’s in Urban Studies/Affairs, SciencePo Andrew McWilliams, Tech/Video Artist   Register here!   We highly encourage attendees to register in advance, as fees increase at the door. If registering at the door, credit/debit card is strongly preferred.     SPEAKER BIOS:   Sharon Gaber is presently the Manager of North American Passive House Network.  She has a background in museum studies for decorative art and has managed many diverse antique furniture galleries in NYC over the past 15 years. Through her work with interior designers and architects she became aware of the immense impact that sustainable design and products could have on the industry. Determined to create positive traction in the industry she went on to create her own consultancy to help cultural institutions become more sustainable. She is a LEED AP, a NYS real estate agent and is currently the Development Chair of the Climate and Environment network at the American Alliance of Museums.     Em Rea is a British-American artist (b. 1991, Bryn Mawr, PA, they/them), whose work explores the memory, and history of place and self through research-based sculpture, site-specific installations, and photography. They work with experimental media ranging from latex and pine rosin to grass and soil; from their childhood sidewalk to national real estate listings. They received their BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and have exhibited work in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Philadelphia.   For the last three years Em has worked as an instructor at the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California where they also served as Senior Designer for Creative Growth Magazine. This summer Em was an artist in residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Massachusetts, RAIR(Recycled Artists in Residence) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and This Will Take Time in Point Arena, California. Em has recently renested in Philadelphia and is a first-year MFA student at the University of Pennsylvania.     Raphaël Gernath earned a masters in urban governance from the Urban School of SciencesPo (Paris). He has worked on urban development projects in Paris and Mumbai (India), focusing on issues such as access to housing, infrastructure planning and sustainability in cities. At the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai, he helped draft policy proposals for inclusion in the city’s Development Plan, and while in Paris he conducted research work with the Société du Grand Paris, an urban planning body. Working with government agencies, think tanks and community-based organizations has allowed him to see how it is through collaboration between diverse actors that the greatest learning opportunities arise.   Raphaël resides in New York City, where he has worked as a real estate paralegal with an emphasis on affordable housing projects. He is currently a program manager with NYC’s Department of Youth & Community Development. His passions are in sustainable planning and inclusive urban design and he hopes to use his international background to positively impact policy-making in cities around the world.     Andrew McWilliams is a New York-based artist and technologist, founder and director of ThoughtWorks Arts and a founding member of His recent art projects explore links between climate change, perception and society, while his advocacy is centered on support and incubation for climate action in the tech industry.   Andrew has exhibited work at SPRING/BREAK as part of Armory Week in New York, HarvestWorks Digital Art Center in New York, Currents New Media Festival in New Mexico, and at the AlphaVille Festival of Post-Digital Culture in London. He has been awarded residencies at the Jaaga Residency Program in Bangalore, the I-Park Foundation in Connecticut, and has been nominated for a Creative Climate Award by the Human Impacts Institute in New York.   Andrew has spoken at TEDx 2017 in Lithuania and Creative Tech Week in New York. His work and programs have been written up in ForbesFast CompanyThinkProgressClot Magazine and Technically Brooklyn.