ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk on how art can help solve our most pressing environmental and social problems on Monday, April 18 from 3–4 p.m.

Countless artists, critics, curators and organizations are exploring new ways of looking at the problems we face, collecting and using data, and communicating with the public. “Creative ecologies” is a new field that has emerged over the past decade at the intersection of culture and environment and includes Eco Art, sustainable design and new media strategies. In this talk, Art as an Agent of Change: The Emergence of Creative Ecologies, UMaine’s Justin Wolff and Susan Smith will present an overview of these developments and share information about current and upcoming programs at UMaine that relate to art’s vital contributions to sustainability solutions.

Justin Wolff is professor of art history and chair of the Department of Art at UMaine. Wolff teaches courses on American, modern and contemporary art as well as art theory and criticism. His research focuses on 19th and 20th-century American art and visual culture and explores the intersections of art and science.

Susan Smith is director of the Intermedia Program and interim director of the Lord Hall Gallery at UMaine. Smith is also an artist whose practice embraces community-based collaboration and site-based performance and installations. Her recent work focuses on the struggle of asylum seekers on the U.S. southern border and the need for an artist to witness and participate within the community.

All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono. Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom; to register and receive connection information, see the event webpage.

Please note that face coverings are required for all persons attending Mitchell Center talks. For the latest health and safety guidance, please see umaine.edu/return.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or hallsworth@maine.edu.