Listen: In a changing climate, the work of botanical artists takes on new meaning
"I'm standing in the art gallery of the Beautiful James J Hill House on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. This thirty six thousand square square foot mansion built for the Railroad Titan in eighteen. Ninety one might seem like a strange place to take climate cast. But starting Saturday. You can see an exhibit focused on and how climate change is changing forests in northern Minnesota. It's called art from the edge of the boreal forest and it highlights the ten tree species in Minnesota most vulnerable to climate change. I'm here with the exhibit curator. Brian sought Brian. What's Genesis for this exhibit? Normally we exhibit exhibit work. Here that focuses on our permanent collection which consists of benny images of that iconic landscape. So I thought it was an interesting contemporary book end to our collection to focus on the technically trained artists who are taking a very scientific approach in a very quiet and assertive way on our changing climate. Climate change impacting northern Minnesota faster than the rest of the state winters have warmed about five to six degrees in northern Minnesota. Since one thousand nine hundred seventy how does that reflect flecked the art. We're seeing here. Well basically what you're experiencing with those varying temperatures is that a boreal forest relies heavily on a long cold winters and short warm summers with apple rainfall when that balance starts to change the trees ecosystem starts to break down so so which ten Minnesota tree species are featured here. And why well they're broken into two groups the first group which is behind me the trees that are most honorable to change like the Balsam poplar the Balsam for The Jack Pine or some examples and these are trees that are familiar to us all and when we close your eyes and define fine the Minnesota landscape. Those are some of the trees that we visualize also included in the exhibition. Are those trees That will be replacing. We'll be migrating into This boreal forest and we know we're already seeing tree. Species begin to shift in northern Minnesota. Now so this is really not a future issue. The Red Maple for example is proliferating in the northern forests. Are The forest changing significantly already. Well they are changing and the are changing measurably of course in in a human lifetime we may not be able to detect that change but scientists are able to point that out like you mentioned the red maples and example so there are examples apples. And I think that's what's so important about this exhibition title. 'cause it's from the edge of the boreal forest which is that southern part of this great biomass home? THAT SPANS MO- most of northern North America. But it's also the boreal forces on the edge of some significant changes. We're lucky to have one of the artists today. The Day March Davis March. You in the other artists have been exploring this topic. What for about ten years? What changes have you seen or even felt when you're out in nature well well like all of us notice? It's getting warmer The storms are getting worse and I think over the last ten years. There's been some more storms up in the boundary waters up in the boreal forest area The blow downs in fires in ten years. So I guess those are the big things. How did it feel for you to work on this project picked? It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I'm doing something productive. Sometimes we look at big problems. It's hard to figure you're out what you can do as an individual but this gives me personally a lot of satisfaction the exhibit here at the James J hill houses called art from the edge of the boreal forest forest. It's open from Saturday through June twenty-first"