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Third Coast Disrupted Retreat

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
71 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on July 03, at 09:00 AM CDT
Project Owners

On the Road with Third Coast Disrupted

May 05, 2021

Andrew S. Yang, Parts-per-million (planetary aspirations) (detail). Photo: Jonathan Castillo

After a successful run in downtown Chicago – made possible with your help – Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate is heading to the wilds of Lake County, Illinois. The exhibition will open May 7 at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, in Riverwoods, and will be a centerpiece of Brushwood’s 38th annual Smith Nature Symposium, whose theme is climate justice and healing.

Join us at the virtual opening reception Thursday, May 6th, at 7 pm!

Brushwood is situated in a conservation area that is both an Illinois Nature Preserve and on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an ideal setting for a science-inspired art exhibition exploring climate change impacts and solutions in the Chicago region – especially when many of the solutions involve natural areas like Brushwood.

If you saw the show while it was at the Glass Curtain Gallery, you’re in for something new at Brushwood, a different type of gallery in a historic home. Some of the artworks have been remade and all are reconfigured for the intimate space.

In the meantime, enjoy a virtual tour of the show in its original form – and make your plans to visit Brushwood.

See some art! Take a hike! Be inspired!

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods


In Case You Missed It

May 28, 2020

It's happening! 

Telling the Story, Bringing Hope

April 21, 2020

"There's this collective feeling of the unknown and of unease. Art is so important right now. People find comfort in it. It helps tell the story, bring hope or clarity, or understanding."


This from one of the scientists participating in Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate during our most recent artist-scientist (virtual) salon, held a few weeks ago.


It is an apt observation, both as people the world over steel themselves during this time of great pandemic-induced uncertainty and in the face of the climate crisis.


For Third Coast Disrupted, science-inspired art will explore and tell the story of climate change impacts – and solutions – in the Chicago region to build awareness, foster hope and spur climate action.


After our artist-scientist retreat last fall – which you generously made possible – and three artist-scientist salons since then, our seven artists have just completed their final proposals and are now on the path toward their exhibition artworks.


What they envision are potent interpretations of what is and what can be.


Andrew Yang, for instance, plans a gallery installation that will depict 415 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide to, in his words, “visualize the invisible, potent system of atmospheric CO2 and make sensory and visible what is otherwise so exceedingly abstract.”


It is a sort of data visualization reminiscent of his earlier A Beach (for Carl Sagan), which depicted the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy using grains of sand. (Pictured below, by photographer Paul Carlo Esposito.)


All of the artworks in Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate will be springboards for dialogue, which is the beginning of climate action.


With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day upon us, we reflect on safety – that brought about by a stable climate and healthy environment, and all of the manifestations brought to light during this pandemic. And we send sincere wishes that you and yours are indeed safe and well. 




The Conversation Continues

December 13, 2019

“Don’t just join the conversation, start it,” said a recently seen ad. That’s exactly what Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate is doing.


After our artist-scientist retreat, we’ve now held our first artist-scientist salon. The Field Museum was an ideal setting.  


While touring artist-in-residence Peggy Macamara’s studio, we discovered that Peggy, whose paintings include a close-up of a caddis fly case, shares an affinity for caddis flies with our project’s entomologist, Desi Robertson-Thompson. Connection!  


Our climate change ecologist Katherine Moore Powell led a tour of the museum’s State of Water exhibition.  


And we heard talks by our Andy Yang (artist) and Phil Willink (fish biologist) on water-related artwork (one pictured below) and local water issues. Special guest Jim Angel, former State of Illinois climatologist, talked precipitation. 


A day of information and invigoration!


From Furniture Showroom to Art Exhibit

October 25, 2019

When theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart) heard about Third Coast Disrupted, it offered a variety of its waste materials for our artists to use. The LEED Gold facility has an extensive waste-reduction program.


N. Masani Landfair, whose practice entails reuse and found objects, is seizing the opportunity. A variety of former fabric samples will have a new home in her Third Coast Disrupted artwork.


We can't wait to see the result!


The Climate for Conversation

October 16, 2019

"I like the ritual-like quality of having an event where we artists and scientists can talk," said artist Rosemary Hall at the kickoff retreat for Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate. "It's something we want to do, but with everyone so busy, it never happens." 


It happened. At Indiana Dunes National Park. Through presentations about their work, at a leisurely lunch and on a ranger-led dunes hike. 


The day, made possible thanks to our many generous donors, launched a yearlong dialogue centered on climate change impacts and actions in the Chicago area that will inspire new artworks for an exhibition in downtown Chicago. 


Next up: More conversation, more connections through informal artist-scientist salons, which will take place anywhere from the Field Museum to an artist's studio.

Fundraising, Friendraising

September 15, 2019

With dialogue being the heart of Third Coast Disrupted, introducing the project through intimate gatherings that offer new and renewed connections naturally follows. 


Witness our recent fundraising reception. Twenty or so friends and colleagues gathered in our hosts’  home to learn more about the project and enjoy good company. The conversations were lively. Interest in and support for the project was high.


How exciting that as Third Coast Disrupted unfolds, so does its reach.


More Cause for Celebration

July 10, 2019

We could not be more excited to announce that we've received an additional $1,000 gift toward our campaign! It is a company match made possible by one of our anonymous donors. 


That means we exceeded our crowdfunding goal by $1,000 -- raising a total of $8,000.  


We are so appreciative and energized.



Thank you!

July 03, 2019

It takes a village to launch a project like Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate, and our team is grateful to have you as part of our village.


Thank you so much for choosing to support our kickoff artist-scientist retreat. We are thrilled to tell you that, with your generous help, we achieved our crowdfunding goal!


Our artists and scientists are anxious to get started. And we look forward to keeping you apprised as the retreat and larger project unfold.


Once again, most sincere thanks,

Christine Esposito

Director & Co-Curator, Third Coast Disrupted

Engagement. Education. Conversation.

July 01, 2019

Climate scientists tell us that, to spark climate action, we need people to talk about climate change. Third Coast Disrupted will make that happen by building awareness among Chicago-area residents of local climate change impacts and actions through science-inspired art. 


It will engage the public in a host of ways: 

We aim to involve residents of South Chicago, Little village and the diverse residents of the Sedgwick Corridor in the project, extending its reach directly into Chicago communities.


We're also thrilled that renowned climate scientist and communicator Katharine Hayhoe (pictured below), who has advised Third Coast Disrupted since its inception, plans to come to Chicago to give a talk as part of our public programming.


Don't forget our opening reception -- September 10, 2020! See you there!




Networking to Create "Network"

June 20, 2019

In response to a commission seeking an interactive art installation that would reflect on the connectivity and underground world of tree roots, Third Coast Disrupted artist Barbara Cooper created Network. 


Consisting of more than 900 feet of handmade ropes suspended in the atrium of the Barrington Area Library, Barbara also envisioned the piece as an homage to the connective role of libraries in communities. 


More than 100 volunteers helped create Network by donating materials and participating in one or more of eight workshops Barbara conducted. The ropes were made of repurposed materials, ranging everywhere from old bed sheets, to audiotapes, upholstery fabric, maps, even a deconstructed bridesmaid dress.


Network was on view for a year and was accompanied by a variety of related programs, covering trees and tree care, genealogy, tree-related art and more. 

All About Making Connections

June 18, 2019

Third Coast Disrupted scientist Elena Grossman, MPH, researches the effects of climate change on human health. With heat-stress illness expected to increase as the climate continues to warm, she and colleagues conducted a study comparing hospitalizations in urban and rural areas in Illinois for heat-stress illness. 


As it turns out, Third Coast Disrupted scientist Daniel Horton, Ph.D., studies Earth's climate system and its interaction with human and natural systems. One of his particular interests is extended heat waves. 


Elena and Daniel haven't met yet. They will through Third Coast Disrupted.





Fundraising in the Round

June 17, 2019

Our crowdfunding campaign for Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate is just one prong in our fundraising pursuits. We're also holding a series of fundraising receptions, hosted in the homes of generous friends and colleagues who, like us, see Third Coast Disrupted as a catalyst for change.


The events are not unlike the salons we will have for the Third Coast Disrupted artists and scientists: intimate gatherings for folks who might not have met otherwise. They are opportunities for new connections and dialogue.


Our most recent event was last week. There was great energy. Guests had thoughtful questions and shared helpful ideas.  


Envisioning Peruvian Glacial Melt via the Chicago Skyline

June 13, 2019

“Scaling Quelccaya,” a multi-year collaborative project by Third Coast Disrupted artist Meredith Leich and glaciologist Dr. Andrew Malone, wove together two distant places: the melting Quelccaya glacier in Peru and the City of Chicago.


As the world’s largest tropical glacier, Quelccaya and its rapid retreat is studied by scientists around the world as significant evidence of rising global temperatures. Using 3D animation generated from satellite imagery of the glacier, they created a series of videos to explore an altered world, in which Chicago serves as a surreal measuring stick through which to envision the glacier’s changing form and our changing world. 


We can't wait to see how Meredith will bring climate change home to Chicago for Third Coast Disrupted!



Reversing the Decline of Monarch Butterflies

June 12, 2019

It's hard not to feel a thrill when you see monarch butterflies -- stained-glass-like beauties coasting on a breeze. Yet their numbers are in steep decline. Climate change figures in, as does habitat loss.  


Third Coast Disrupted scientist Abigail Derby Lewis, Ph.D., conservation tools program director for the Field Museum's Keller Science Action Center, is among those leading the charge to halt the population loss. She's working to add 22 million stems of milkweed, the main food source for monarchs, to the Chicago region.   


The Field Museum team analyzed high-resolution mapping data to find plantable space and found the biggest opportunity to be people's front and back yards. Even containers on balconies can work.


Learn what you can do.


(Photo: Field Museum)

Artist Aims to Involve South Chicago Residents in Her Artwork

June 11, 2019

Third Coast Disrupted artist N. Masani Landfair uses materials considered undesirable, and redefines their worth and meaning via traditional collage and assemblage. With them, she creates abstract social commentary, dream landscapes and spaces. 


A native of South Chicago, Masani plans to involve residents of her old community -- and possibly those of South Shore and/or Bronzeville -- in creating her artwork for the Third Coast Disrupted exhibition. She envisions incorporating found objects from South Chicago and other South Side communities, and conducting workshops for residents in which they will take part in the artwork creation.


We can't wait to see the result! 


Below, one of her collages.



Reducing vulnerability of Chicago neighborhoods to extreme weather

June 09, 2019

Third Coast Disrupted scientists Aaron Packman, Ph.D., and Dan Norton, Ph.D., are part of a collaborative project aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Chicago and other cities around the globe to extreme weather events. Using data from the “Array of Things,” a sensor network that gathers information on infrastructure, environment, and air quality in Chicago, the project will not only more accurately predict weather events such as heat waves, reduced air quality and flooding, but also assess vulnerabilities within neighborhoods and cities, and propose sustainable, adaptive infrastructure changes. The partners on this exciting and important project include Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, The Nature Conservancy, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District.

Choose a giving level



Five years: The length of time this project has been in development


Food for Thought

To help keep the artists and scientists at their sharpest with lunch and snacks


Trail Trek

Facilitating hands-on study of climate change manifestation and adaptation at the Dunes


Mind Meld

Crossing disciplines and ways of thinking


Climate Action

The year 2008: When the Chicago Climate Action Plan was adopted


Cutting CO2

The goal of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million


For the Record

Toward capturing the retreat experience on video to help tell the collaborative story


Conversation Starter

Providing a spark for new ways of problem-solving

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