At the age of 85, and with a career that spans six decades, US eco-feminist and artist, Mira Lehr, is creating more new art now than at any other point in her life – with a heightened sense of urgency.
“The time to act is now. We must start referring to this perilous issue as what it really is: Climate Armageddon”, says Lehr.
Lehr, one of the art world’s pioneer environmental activists, presents High Water Mark, on the 50th anniversary of her mission to protect the earth. The exhibition opens January 24, and continues until May 10, at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando.
Mira Lehr has been championing environmental action since 1969. It was fifty years ago that Buckminster Fuller chose Lehr for his groundbreaking World Game project, which that year coincided with the first Lunar landing.
She was one of only two visual artists selected that year, alongside a group of scientists, poets, economists, historians, and performers, from around the country. Fuller’s team of cultural pioneers worked on ways to make human life sustainable on the planet, and it was also a year before the very first Earth Day demonstrations.
“It was a time of great hope. For the first time mankind could see the whole earth in its entirety from the moon, and as an artist I was inspired by a new global vision”, says Lehr, as she looks back on this crucial event in which she participated, fifty years ago.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of her artistic turning point, the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, has invited her to present a new exhibition, with a fateful title:
High Water Mark (January 24 – May 10)
The museum is dedicating the entirety of its exhibition space for rotating shows to this new solo exhibition by Lehr, plus the museum’s entryway.
Most of the paintings are monumental in size, one painting is 40 feet long, and comprised of 12 different large-scale panels.
The artist lives in Miami, a coastal city that is ground-zero for sea level rise. When she put together this new exhibition for Orlando, Lehr made some startling discoveries about the Central Florida area.
Recent studies show that especially in Florida, even inland cities like *Orlando are impacted by sea level rise, and its ripple effects.
“The works in High Water Mark confront these current scenarios that we all face, wherever we live”, says Lehr.
According to Gary Mitchum, oceanography professor at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida: “Climate change is causing flooding inland, too”. He is an expert in climate change, to whom leaders in Central Florida have turned for help with resiliency plans.
“We have torrential rains that go on for days”, Mitchum recently told the Florida Senate’s Committee on Infrastructure and Security. “It’s going to get worse as the climate continues to warm. Not only are seas rising and rain intensifying, but the warming climate also has allowed invasive species and tropical diseases to extend northward into Florida”, said Dr. Mitchum.
*Waters overflowing from local lakes into homes, forcing residents to abandon properties. Orlando neighbourhood worried that changing weather patterns could make this worse (weather.com/news/news/2019-10-01-rising-lakes-gotha-flood-orlando).
For more information on the High Water Mark exhibition, go to:
High Water Mark Exhibition (January 24 – May 10)