The Waco Friends of Peace/Climate is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Climate Change Art Exhibit and to answer frequently asked questions about the show.

Is there actual interest in a climate-themed art show in Waco? Yes. A study from Yale University in 2018 found that 75% of Wacoans believe global warming should be taught in schools, and 81% support funding of research on renewable energy.

Where is the show located? For 2019, the exhibit is being held at the charming Waco Winery Tasting Room & Rooftop Patio, 708 Austin Ave., Second Floor, Waco. Parking is available on Austin Avenue and in two parking lots behind the Hippodrome.

When can one view the exhibit? The show runs from Aug. 28 until Nov. 2, 2019. Waco Winery hours are 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon until midnight Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday. The exhibit is closed Mondays.

Is there an admission fee? Admission to the climate change exhibit is free. Wine, soft drinks and food are available for purchase from the Winery.

But what if I’m hungry? Fortunately, the establishment recently began food service. The menu includes salads, baked brie, hummus and tapenade, cheese and charcuterie, shrimp cocktail, an assortment of pizzas and several tempting desserts. One may now enjoy a pleasant afternoon of strolling through the art while sampling the winery menu.

How many entries are displayed this year? We are pleased to note that the exhibit grew to 64 pieces of art for 2019. A wide variety of media is represented, from charcoal to acrylics to photography to mixed media to sculpture.

And just who entered the exhibit? Since anthropogenic climate change is ultimately a danger to everyone, we chose to build an inclusive, community-wide show. Thus, the event includes well-known local professionals, such as Susan Sistrunk and John Ciaburri, to talented amateurs, to high school students, to a class of preschoolers. Not to forget one mysterious artist named “Little Fish.”

If I understand and accept the science of climate change, why should I attend this art exhibit? Good question. Scientific comprehension of climate change is crucial, but the data may seem somewhat cold and distant. Our hope is images of this exhibit will inform, disturb, amuse, anger and alarm visitors, and ultimately inspire them to act.

But realistically, can the exhibit alter the course of climate change? Yes. There are many actions inspired individuals may take to decrease their personal greenhouse-gas emissions, especially in the areas of electricity purchase, mode of transportation and diet. The show provides business cards for each attendee listing 15 key steps individuals may take to fight climate change, along with information on working with local climate activists.

Is the hugely popular artists’ reception being repeated this year? Yes, from 6 until 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Winery. Visitors may carefully study all the art, vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award, enjoy live music by stellar guitarist Frank Exum, learn from a short scientific program, observe the awards presentations, win a door prize and enjoy complimentary wine, soft drinks, delicious snacks and tasty desserts. The entire evening is free, but early arrival is recommended due to space limitations.

Since the outlook for climate change is so dire, how do we avoid despair and surrender? The required transition to 100% renewable energy use is a Herculean task, but the World War II transformation of the U.S. economy for war goods production in a matter of months affirms that we can succeed.

In conclusion, we invite all to join us at the 3rd Annual Climate Change Art Exhibit in September or October to better visualize the challenge and resolve to contribute to the solutions. As one great leader of the climate movement has observed: “The will to act is a renewable resource in itself.”

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Alan Northcutt is a Waco physician and director of the local climate action group Waco Friends of Peace/Climate.

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