New multimedia exhibition, ‘Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens,’ explores climate change in nabe

bay ridge through an ecological lens photo
“Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens” is a multimedia new exhibit focused on climate change and the impacts it is already having in Bay Ridge.
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Swett/Stand4 Gallery

Bay Ridge-based art gallery Stand4 will be hosting a new public art program that celebrates the neighborhood and emphasizes the impacts of climate change on the community.

The community project, “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens,” will be open to the public from April 15 to June 17. Curated by Jennifer McGregor in collaboration with ecoartspace, the multimedia exhibit will include interactive public art installations and exhibitions all throughout throughout the nabe. 

McGregor has deep expertise and experience cultivating green spaces and ecological art, and formerly lead Wave Hill’s ecologically-oriented programming. 

Stand4 founder Jeannine Bardo has been dedicated to making fine art more accessible and perhaps a bit less intimidating for the community in Bay Ridge. “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens” is her latest foray into highlighting the importance of community engagement with art — particularly art that emphasizes the dire circumstances of the global climate.

Map of art installations and activities at "Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens".
Map of art installations and activities at “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens.” The multimedia exhibit will include installations at locations across Bay Ridge, plus a gallery show at Stand4. Image courtesy of Stand4

“I’m always excited when artists get to talk to the community or talk to people because every time that happens it’s a bit magical,” Bardo told Brooklyn Paper. “When the artist talks about their work, it demystifies it, and if you’re not from an art background, sometimes it could be a little scary and usually the conversations that come about are really really important because everybody’s bringing their own experiences.”

This engagement is particularly vital, Bardo said, when the topic of the art is about a subject that is as pressing and dire as climate change.

While the art installations and interactive experiences may not provide solutions to the climate change crisis, Bardo and the participating artists hope that by interesting the Bay Ridge community in the topic through art, perhaps more connections will be made to spread awareness.

“I believe everything is connected and I think that we are going through this climate crisis now and we need to somehow come together and come up with answers and appreciate the things around us,” said Bardo. 

Artists participating in “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens” include Peter Edlund, whose series “Those Who Transplant, Will Sustain” features Brooklyn’s botanical newcomers; Chris Costan, whose paintings will hang in storefronts throughout the neighborhood; and Kate Dodd, whose project “Bay Ridge Tree Collection” was created to catalogue local trees and bring awareness to the impact climate change is already having on local streets and the people who live on them. 

Dodd encouraged participants to make a mini-book dedicated to a local tree of their choosing and submit it to the Tree Collection. The final product will be on view at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Bay Ridge branch, and was funded with a grant Dodd won from the Design Trust for Public Space. 

bay ridge art gallery show
As part of “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens,” artists EJ McAdams and Jimbo Blachly are leading a series of poetry walks through Owls Head Park. Photo courtesy Stand4 Gallery/Instagram

Other artists have created soundscapes, photo exhibits, even a “haiku hike” through a local park. Some of the pieces will be accompanied by live performances or educational talks — artist Christopher Lin, whose piece features water samples from the Narrows Bay, will host a workshop in May “exploring the systems at play within a body of water as extensive as the New York Harbor.” 

Participating filmmakers include Aaron Assis, Nate Dorr, Sean Hanley, Nathan Kensinger, Nikki Lindt, Emily Packer, Lesley Steele and Kristin Reiber-Harris.

The opening reception for “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens” will be hosted on April 15 at the Stand4 Gallery and Community Art Center at 414 78th St. between 4th and 5th avenues in Bay Ridge.  The exhibit will be on display at the gallery and at locations throughout Bay Ridge until June 17, 2023.

Correction: Brooklyn Paper missnamed Peter Edlund’s name in our original publication of this article, we regret this error.

Last updated March 31, 2023 9:01 a.m.