Join The Conversation
The Critical Dialogue Program at Anderson Ranch seeks to engage the community in lively discussion about contemporary art and art making. Artists, curators and other creatives lead these conversations, inviting a broad audience to join in on taking a closer look at art’s power to change the world. This program is intended to be informative, motivating, and inspiring for those interested in the ways that artists are confronting and unpacking current challenges in our culture such as climate change, mass incarceration, gender inequality, and much more. This program is open to artists, Ranch supporters, collectors, art enthusiasts and those seeking a rigorous and dynamic look at what it means to be an artist in today’s world.
Critical Dialogue: Art & The Environment: Considering Climate Change
Jul 31, 2023 10AM-12:30PM
Acclaimed artists Alan Michelson and Mary Mattingly share their journey of confronting climate change in their art with Climate Museum director, Miranda Massie. At a time of growing momentum to reckon with the daunting effects of climate change, we hear the stories of two artists’ approach to using their art to speak about the changing climate and the myriad of ways it has affected communities in the US.
Miranda Massie is the director of New York City’s Climate Museum, the first climate-dedicated museum in the US. The Museum mobilizes interdisciplinary arts programming to empower climate protagonists, recognizing that our civic culture does not currently express the overwhelming public support for transformational climate action that exists across the US. Miranda left a career in civil rights impact litigation to establish the Museum, having been awarded a Mentorship-in-Residence at Yale Law School and W.E.B. DuBois Institute and Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowships at Harvard University, among other honors, in her prior role. She has jurored numerous climate-focused art and design competitions; her graduate-level guest teaching engagements include programs in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts, Museum Studies at NYU, Architecture & Landscape Architecture at RISD, and Climate & Society at Columbia. She is a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with the OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Mary Mattingly is an interdisciplinary artist who is driven to explore imagined socio-ecological futures. She builds sculptural ecosystems that prioritize access to food and clean water, resulting in large-scale participatory platforms around the world she calls “proposals”. These proposals rely on absurdity and chance encounters to shift perceptions. In 2016, she led Swale, a floating sculpture and edible landscape on a barge in New York that depended upon water common law and inspired NYC Parks to establish their first public “Foodway.” In a city where foraging is otherwise prohibited, the Foodway provides a place where people can legally gather food from public land. Mattingly is also known for bundling personal objects into large sculptures about consumption and for large-scale artworks like Limnal Lacrimosa (of Lakes, Tears) in Montana; Vanishing Point in the UK; and the Waterpod in New York. Mattingly’s work has also been exhibited at institutions such as Storm King Art Center, the International Center of Photography, Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, Palais de Tokyo, Barbican Art Gallery, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana. Notable grants include the James L. Knight Foundation, the Harpo Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation.
Alan Michelson is an internationally recognized New York-based artist, curator, writer, lecturer and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. For over thirty years, he has been a leading practitioner of a socially engaged, critically aware, site-specific art grounded in local context and informed by the retrieval of suppressed histories. Recent exhibitions include the 14th Gwangju Biennale, Enmeshed at the Tate Modern, and Greater New York 2021 at MoMA/PS1. His solo exhibition Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2019-2020. Michelson’s work is represented in several collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. His essays have appeared in Aperture, Frieze, and October, and his work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times and Art in America. Michelson was co-founder and co-curator of the groundbreaking Indigenous New York series with the Vera List Center, which raised the visibility of contemporary Indigenous art in New York and beyond.
Past Critical Dialogues
Jul 31, 2023
Critical Dialogue: Art and the Environment: Considering Climate Change
Aug 1, 2022
Confronting Mass Incarceration
Jul 11, 2022
What’s so Real About Photorealism?
Aug 10, 2021
Critical Dialogue: Balancing Act
Aug 2 - Aug 3, 2021
Labor, Environment, Place: An Artist’s Response
Jul 12 - Jul 13, 2021
The Guerrilla Girls: Realization, Activation and Agitation