September 19, 2023

A New Partnership Fosters New Possibilities Postcards from a Climate Resilient Future, Artist Mareika Glenn

Pigments made with the fragments of bones, and rocks found while wandering along Johnson Creek. A packet of native wildflower seeds and a QR code with instructions on how to plant a meadow. A QR code that turns your phone's camera into an augmented reality projector, inviting you to explore artwork more deeply. These were a few of the concepts explored in the Postcards From a Climate Just Future project. 

The project, funded with a small Emergent Learning Grant from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, brought together artists and a diverse cross section of community members to imagine what a positive vision for the future could look like; a future where the community has addressed the climate crisis with creativity and focus on justice. The project was a collaboration between the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability and CETI, a Portland based non-profit with a people centered focus on technology, art, interdisciplinary collaboration and creative visioning for a positive future.   

“The ideas and solutions to the climate crisis exist in our community,” said Nandini Ranganathan, executive director of CETI. “But, people need to be given permission to imagine wild solutions both big and small and through dialogue hone in on what matters and what works, these spaces give me hope for our future.”

Postcards from a Climate Resilient Future, Artist Rebecca Watkins“Climate work can be both dry and devastating to comprehend,” said John Wasiutynski, Director of the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability. “Art breathes new life into the conversation and allows us to occupy terrains of new possibilities that might otherwise stay hidden.”

To create the artwork CETI connected five local artists and local high school students, community members, and professionals, in a series of workshops. The data and ideas collected at the workshops sent the artists in different directions.

Explore the artwork: Postcards from a Climate Resilient Future (10.72 MB)

What's Next?

The partnership with the County inspired CETI to apply for a prestigious National Foundation for the Arts grant which they received in the summer of 2023. The grant will allow CETI to keep working with artists, community members, and the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability to develop more artwork that envisions solutions to the climate crisis and imagines a world where those solutions are implemented.

The County and CETI will use part of the award to create a public mural, and artwork will help to inform the creation of the Climate Justice Plan that is currently being co-created with community based organizations.