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Fires of Change

Flagstaff Arts CouncilSeptember 5 – October 31, 2015

Coconino Center for the Arts

Flagstaff Arts Council is pleased to announce Fires of Change, an NEA-funded art exhibition at the Coconino Center for the Arts slated for the fall of 2015. The exhibition will explore, through the eyes of artists, the increase in severity, size and number of wildfires in the Southwest – including the impact of climate change on this – and how wildfire impacts the land and communities.

In order to participate in the exhibition, the artists had to attend a Fire Science Bootcamp, spending a week in the forests of Northern Arizona in late 2014. Through the Bootcamp, the Southwest Fire Science Consortium and Landscape Conservation Initiative partnered with the Arts Council on the exhibition and provided the eleven invited artists extensive education and training on the impact of wildfire in Northern Arizona in preparation for the September 2015 exhibition. In this way, the artists will provide rich and creative perspectives on wildfire along with a scientific understanding.

All the artwork in the exhibition will be new, created specifically for Fires of Change. After its showing in Flagstaff, the exhibition will travel to be featured at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson beginning in December 2015.

Fires of Change is a one-of-a-kind project that engages artists to give us unique insight into the epidemic of wildfire,” says Executive Director of the Flagstaff Arts Council, John Tannous. “Wildfire has become so significant, and at times devastating, to communities in the Southwest. These eleven artists have the background, talent and training to shift the conversation, as only artists can do.”

Fires of Change will be open from Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2015, Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm at the Coconino Center for the Arts. There will be a preview reception for Arts Council members on Thursday, September 3, 2015, 6-8pm. A public reception during the Flagstaff Festival of Science will be held on Saturday, September 19, from 6-8 p.m. Prior to each reception, at 5pm, two of the participating artists will give a gallery talk about their art and approach to the exhibition.

Additional artist talks, gallery tours and lectures will be scheduled to be associated with the exhibition and the Festival of Science. The full schedule will be posted in July 2015.

The exhibition is curated by Viola Award winning installation artist Shawn Skabelund.

The eleven Fires of Change artists are:

The project represents a collaboration between scientists and artists that is designed to create a deeper understanding of the science that drives the decisions land managers make and to provide an aesthetic interpretation of the fire ecology and climate science in the Southwest.

In the months leading up to the exhibition, each artist will write a post for the Fires of Change blog. They will share their insight and experiences as they prepare work for the exhibition in September. The blog can be found on the Fires of Change website:








Established in 1999, Flagstaff Arts Council is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), organization that manages the Coconino Center for the Arts. The Arts Council provides opportunities for management development to local art and cultural organizations and develops programs and activities that support artistic, cultural and scientific endeavors for the community and its visitors.


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