Coral Bleaching Through the Perspectives of Art and Science: A Conversation with the Coral Reef Alliance
AN EARTH DAY PANEL DISCUSSION
The vitality of coral reefs, which have been devastated by climate change over recent decades, is one of the urgent issues our planet is facing. This program will bring the scientific research and advocacy of the Coral Reef Alliance together with the communicative power of the arts. Coral Reef Alliance Executive Director Dr. Madhavi Colton and Conservation Program Director Diana Sokolove, will convey the importance of protecting the coral reefs, the threats they face, and solutions to combating their destruction. Christopher Edwards and Courtney Mattison, two of the Making Waves participating artists who confront this issue throughout their work, will share how they draw from science to raise awareness and make a finite impact. Through this event, two distinct fields will come together in dialogue to collaboratively explore how we can channel passion into action. The conversation will probe the ways that artists are uniquely positioned as creative problem solvers to aid in fighting climate change and protecting the environment.
This talk is presented in conjunction with the Craft in America Center exhibition, Making Waves: Ocean Ecology and Craft, on view through August 21, 2021. This event was live streamed on April 22, 2021.
About the Coral Reef Alliance:
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is an environmental NGO that is on a mission to save the world’s coral reefs. They work collaboratively with communities around the world to reduce direct threats to reefs in ways that provide lasting benefits to people and wildlife. In parallel, CORAL actively expands the scientific understanding of how corals adapt to climate change and applies this information to give reefs the best chance to thrive for generations to come. Learn more at about Coral Reef Alliance here.
About the Panelists:
Dr. Madhavi Colton, CORAL’s Executive Director, is an accomplished conservation scientist who is focused on helping the world’s ecosystems cope with the effects of climate change. She believes that coral reefs—one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems—can be saved for generations to come. Through her scientific research, she has developed a new approach to conservation that will help reefs around the world adapt to the effects of climate change. Madhavi is turning this science into action by building strong alliances across environmental, scientific and political sectors. Madhavi is leading CORAL to a new era with a greater scale, scope, and effectiveness of CORAL’s conservation programs, unprecedented levels of funding, and a revitalized organizational reputation and brand. Madhavi has a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Diana Sokolove, CORAL’s Conservation Program Director, ensures the success of an international portfolio of community-driven conservation programs. She leads a dynamic team of skilled experts to implement strategies that yield tangible outcomes for coral reefs and local communities. Before joining CORAL, Diana led San Francisco’s Sea Level Rise Adaptation Program. In this role, she co-chaired the Mayor’s Sea Level Rise Coordinating Committee and collaborated with multiple cities and counties around the SF Bay as well as public and private entities to help the Bay Area prepare for the effects of climate change. Diana has a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus in water resources planning and sustainable development.
Christopher Edwards began working in ceramics in 2012 and has a background in graphic design. Drawing from this unique combination of influences, Edwards makes sculpture inspired by the algorithmic geometry of the natural world and the visual language of human technology. His resulting hand-built forms are intricate reflections of the natural and the manufactured, often blurring any distinction between the two. His work has been shown widely, including at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and is included in several collections, including the Honolulu Museum of Art, the University of Hawaii, and private collections internationally. Awards include 1st place in three dimensional category, 40th Annual “Commitment to Excellence” Art Exhibition, Honolulu, HI, 2018, The Ginny McGargahan Award of Excellence sponsored by the Timothy Y. C. Choy Fund, 2016, and the The Peter Drewliner Award sponsored by the Peter Drewliner Trust, 2015. Edwards lives and works in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Courtney Mattison is a sculptor with a background in marine conservation science and policy. Her sculptural works parallel the beauty and fragility of coral reefs. These hand-built pieces are both intricate and large-scale, encouraging viewers to think critically about the threats facing our reefs and oceans. Mattison received her B.A. in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College and a M.A. in environmental studies from Brown University. Mattison has been commissioned to create work for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies, and the Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance ship. Her work has been exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Museum of Ceramic Art, among more. In 2020, the United Nations Postal Administration included Mattison’s work on a postage stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
This event is presented in conjunction with the Craft in America Center exhibition, Making Waves: Ocean Ecology and Craft.
This project is supported by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, www.culturela.org.
Additional support for the Craft in America Center is provided by the California Arts Council, a state agency (learn more at www.arts.ca.gov) and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (www.lacountyarts.org).