The Flinn Gallery presents Hazardous Beauty, an environmental art show that examines the collision of consumer culture with the natural world.

A plastic water bottle. A plastic bag. Ubiquitous plastic packaging, each used for a few minutes yet has a life expectancy of hundreds of years in our world’s environment.

Opening March 15 through April 25, 2018, Hazardous Beauty features artists Alejandro Durán and Willie Cole who creatively interpret the environmental problems of plastic pollution and explore the impact from our increasing disposable culture. The Opening Reception on March 15 from 6-8 pm is open to the public.

Brooklyn-based and internationally-recognized, multimedia artist Alejandro Durán creates beautiful yet disquieting installations and photographs from the plastic pollution that washes ashore along the sandy beaches of Sian Ka’an, an UNESCO World Heritage site in Mexico. 

Durán explains how ocean currents and storm paths deliver a fresh-crop of trash daily from all over the world. Over the course of his project, Durán collected international debris from 58 countries. “Every time I return to Sian Ka’an, it seems that the problem grows worse,” Durán said, “It can definitely elicit a feeling of hopelessness, but it also inspired a desire in me to do something about the situation and spawn change.”

A native of Newark, world-renowned artist Willie Cole transforms ordinary discarded objects, such as water bottles, shoes, and bicycles into innovative works of intrigue. Working with New Jersey shoreline communities and school districts to collect thousands of plastic water bottles, Cole created installations of a 15’ sea bird and a 15’ towering tornado. 

Hazardous Beauty will exhibit three large-scale sculptures, including a vintage Cadillac built from 3,000 bottles. Cole reflects on the relationship between water, life and the bottle, “Water is a symbolic life force, yet comes in a bottle that has devastating effects on the environment.”

“Through aesthetically-pleasing art and educational programming, Hazardous Beauty aims to inform, inspire, and ultimately induce change,” said Curator, Ellen Hawley. 

During the course of the six-week exhibition, the gallery will present several free public programs: an Artists Talk; the Art Lounge; and a documentary film screening A Plastic Ocean. In addition, a panel discussion “Plastic and Microplastics in our L.I. Sound” will be held on April 7 from 2:30-4:30 pm at the Library’s Cole Auditorium. Moderated by Greenwich Conservation Director, Denise Savageau; and an esteemed panel of scientists and conservationists will present the global problem on a local level. (see event details)

The Hazardous Beauty exhibit and its events are proudly sponsored by Anomaly Factor Productions – a media content production and distribution company that raises awareness for social impact related to environmentalism, education, women and girls, and mental health.

Ellen Hawley is Curator for the Hazardous Beauty exhibit and its corresponding events. Shari Michael and Lillian Lum are assistant curators for the exhibit. The Flinn Gallery is a non-profit, education-oriented exhibition space that presents six exhibitions a year from September through June. The Gallery attracts close to 10,000 visitors annually. Art commissions help support the community programs of the Friends of Greenwich Library.

All are free and open to the public.
Thursday, March 15, 6-8 pm
Hazardous Beauty Opening Reception, 2nd Floor, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich Library

Saturday, March 17, 2-3 pm
Artists Talk – Alejandro Durán and Willie Cole, 2nd Floor, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich Library

Friday, March 23, 6-7:45 pm 
Art Lounge in the Flinn Gallery welcomes the public to the gallery on Friday, March 23 from 6 to 7:45 pm immediately preceding the Friends Friday Film screening A Plastic Ocean.

Friday, March 23, 7:45-9:30 pm
Friends Friday Film A Plastic Ocean (2016) documentary
Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Library.
The film’s crew traveled to 20 worldwide locations over four years.

Saturday, April 7, 2:30 pm 
Community Reception
3:00 – 4:30 pm; 
Panel Discussion “Plastic & Microplastics in our L.I. Sound” Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Library, program will include a Q&A

Ms. Denise Savageau, Moderator and Director of Greenwich Conservation Commission
Ms. Jordan Christensen, NY Program Coord. with Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Mr. Patrick Comins – Executive Director for the CT Audubon Society
Ms. Judy Preston – Educator and outreach for LISS at the UCONN Sea Grant
Mr. Ed Stilwagen – Owner and operator of Atlantic Clam Farms
Dr. Evan Ward – Professor at Department of Marine Sciences, UCONN

Flinn Gallery is located on the second floor of the Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT. The gallery is sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwich Library and is open daily Monday to Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Thursday until 8:00pm, and Sunday 1:00-5:00pm. All works are for sale.

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