California College of the Arts + Climate Change
California College of the Arts (CCA) faculty members Kim Anno and Christine Metzger believe that art can be a powerful tool in the struggle against climate change. Together they attended the December 2011 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, where as the only attendees representing an art institution, they were hardly wanting for attention.
“When people found CCA at the conference, they were ecstatic,” Painting + Drawing faculty member Anno reports. “Hundreds of delegates came by and wanted to know about what we were doing. Artists and designers are key communicators at the crossroads of environmental issues.”
Anno, whose own acclaimed video work addresses the plight of port cities affected by rises in sea level, notes that CCA is at the institutional forefront of integrating Art + Design into environmental sustainability issues. “We have the Eco-Tap courses, inspired faculty, field studies across all disciplines, and sustainability task forces and policies,” she says.
Critical Studies professor Metzger agrees. At CCA, her instructional focus is on environmental science, which she views as complementary to Art + Design. “We are wrestling with environmental and world problems of monumental proportions,” she says. “Designers can create objects, machines, and aesthetics that make a difference in people’s lives and in our environment.”