Art/Act: Youth – Burning Questions

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The David Brower Center is pleased to present the 2024 Art/Act: Youth exhibition, Burning Questions, featuring artwork from over 200 students from Berkeley High School, Richmond High School, and Skyline High School, reflecting on the connections between fire and the environment. Through an interdisciplinary, research-based creative process, students pose questions, explore future possibilities, and express their unique perspectives on climate issues that matter to them.

When asked to give input on this year’s theme, previous Art/Act: Youth participants returned to one issue over and over—fire. This is unsurprising, given the destructive impacts of wildfires both here in California and far beyond. Burning Questions is an invitation to carefully consider the complexities of this phenomenon. While fire has an undeniable capacity to be dangerous, the presence of fire is integral for healthy ecosystems. California Native peoples have long used the practice of cultural burns to encourage plant growth and protect vital waterways and ecosystems. To help students broaden their understanding of the region’s fire ecology, we introduced classrooms to educational materials from Redbud Resource Group, a Sonoma County-based, Native-led organization using education to connect Native and non-Native communities.

As the climate crisis brings wildfires to the forefront of our concerns, we hope that this exhibition will encourage you to reimagine our relationship to fire, and open up a path for environmental solutions and hopeful possibilities to emerge.

February 23 - May 16, 2024