US: Mira Lehr – 50th anniversary of Earth Day – Online art initiative

Installation images of the Mira Lehr exhibition High Water Mark currently at the Mennello Museum of American Art

For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the artist, Mira Lehr, launches MiraVision, an online art initiative (see video below) to help people cope with social distancing. A year before the first Earth Day, she was chosen by the visionary, Buckminster Fuller, for his 1969 World Game project, to focus on Spaceship Earth.

Now, a half-century later, at the bold age of 85, she is launching MiraVision – her new online art initiative for people at home during social distancing. In her 80s, she is creating even more climate-action art than she ever has during her six-decade career. She has a lot to say in her current exhibition.

The lessons Mira learned in 1969 continue to ring true today.

She is calling her new online series MiraVision, and in the spirit of Fuller’s vision of Spaceship Earth, the artist strives for uplifting and forward-looking messages of hope and optimism.

Lehr is sharing the museum’s virtual tours with her audiences, at this new video-tour:

miralehr.com/high-water-mark-exhibition-videos,

and at this new gallery photo-tour: miralehr.com/exhibition-phototour.

If we can heal the planet, we can heal ourselves,” says Mira Lehr. “Have we reached the High Water Mark?

“What we are going through now, because of the pandemic, helps us with a new vision of the planet in different ways,” adds Lehr. “What we couldn’t demonstrate before is now becoming apparent for mankind to see. Less pollution from fossil fuels is creating cleaner air over our cities. In the oceans, rivers and canals, we can see how the waters are clearing.”

“Now, more than ever, the artists are healers for our souls. As the scientists, doctors, nurses, and first-responders are fighting for our physical survival, the artists can serve to help nurture our culture.”

To kick off her new online series, Lehr emphasises two of Buckminster Fuller’s visionary quotes that shine a light on our current global crisis:

“We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.”

― Buckminster Fuller

“People sometimes say, I wonder how it feels to be on a spaceship, . . . and I say: Well, look around you, you are on one . . . How does it feel? You are on Spaceship Earth.”

― Buckminster Fuller

Most of the paintings in Mira Lehr’s current exhibition at the Mennello Museum of American Art are monumental in size, one painting is 40 feet long and comprised of 12 different large-scale panels that circle the gallery. The museum’s new online tours show Lehr’s giant mangroves climbing across the gallery.

“The time to act is now. We must start referring to this perilous issue as what this really is: Climate Armageddon,” adds Lehr. “Many of the same issues that were brought to light 50 years ago during the World Game and the first Earth Day are coming back to haunt us all now.”

“It seems like yesterday, but it changed my creative life forever,” she says, of the ecological emphasis of the 1969 World Game.

“This changed how I looked at the world. I became very aware that we are all meant to survive, and to survive well, on this planet.”

“Since then, nature has always been the driving force of my work,” says Lehr. “This led me to realize my goal as an artist is to make people love the environment. The natural surroundings that we are gifted to live with on this planet are so amazingly beautiful. If people appreciate the beauty of nature, then they will protect and nurture the earth.”

Lehr’s solo and group exhibitions number over 300. She is a graduate of Vassar College (1956) with a degree in Art History, under the mentorship of Linda Nochlin, the feminist art historian.

She has been collected by major institutions across the US, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington), the Getty Museum Research Center (Los Angeles), Perez Art Museum (Miami), and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (NY), among many others.

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