Grounded: Environments in Flux

January 21 - May 31, 2020

On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans rallied in support of the environment to commemorate the first Earth Day. Inspired by the anti-war protests of the previous decade, Earth Day activists—including millions of college students—organized marches to support a variety of environmental causes, resulting in the passage of landmark legislation and the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency a few months later.


Grounded: Environments in Flux celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day with a selection of works from the permanent collection that invited visitors to ponder humankind’s relationship with the planet both past and present while looking toward the future. The photographs and prints on view offered a range of responses to the poetry and power of nature as well as the prosaic reality of a threatened ecosystem resulting from modern interventions. Facts and statistics, some of which were provided on the schematic timeline featured in this exhibition, tell only part of the story. As creative individuals who actively respond to the world around them, artists help visualize the interdependence of all living things and the flux and flow of care that we direct to the Earth and to one another.


Artists featured included Nancy Azara, Betsy Damon, Mark Dion, Steve McCurry, Ana Mendieta, Catherine Opie, Rachelle Puryear, Jerry Uelsmann, and Carrie Mae Weems. Grounded was curated by summer intern Melissa Leaym-Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in art education, with Assistant Director Joyce Robinson.


Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.


Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Palmer Museum of Art temporarily closed on March 17, 2020, and remained closed through the rest of 2020.