Art with a message

Raising awareness around invasive species

The Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee is hosting a juried art exhibition, with the theme of invasive species and biodiversity. The exhibition will be open to the public from now until November 8 at the Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar. This exhibition is intended to raise the profile and public discussion around invasive species and biodiversity within the Central Kootenay region. This exhibition is intended to:  q Highlight the impacts of invasive species on biodiversity within the Central Kootenay region; q Educate the public about existing invasive species within the region; q Increase the public dialogue on invasive species and the potential associated impacts on biodiversity; q Provide an educational and interactive platform for learning about invasive species and their impacts; q Showcase local artists and their interpretations of invasive species and biodiversity. EXHIBITION STATEMENT: Art can build awareness and inspires conversation. Science is the language of fact, whereas art is the language of perception. Science provides the answers to the questions we seek, where art can provide a venue to articulate, both emotionally and spiritually, what we perceive and ‘know’ to be true about our world.  Nature as we know it is in constant flux, and even more so in the era of the Anthropocene. Humanity’s impacts on nature and biodiversity is far reaching and pervasive. The 2014 World Wildlife Fund Living Planet Report highlights some startling new revelations about the state of our planet and in particular, biodiversity. The Living Planet Index, which measures trends in thousands of vertebrate species populations, shows a decline of 52 per cent between 1970 and 2010. In other words, vertebrate species populations across the globe are, on average, about half the size they were 40 years ago.  Invasive species are listed as one of the top seven categorized threats to biodiversity, only second to habitat loss and climate change. This exhibition was inspired by a desire to increase awareness about the science of biodiversity and invasive species, through the lens of an artist. We seek to engage the viewer through the stories that these creative minds tell and look forward to celebrating the beauty of biodiversity with you.