Exhibition explores hope, care, and resilience in the face of climate change

“How to Survive” on view Oct. 6, 2023, through Sept. 15, 2024

October 2, 2023

Anchorage, Alaska – In a time when the Arctic is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to climate change, the Anchorage Museum’s newest exhibition, “How to Survive,” invites visitors to explore the themes of hope, care, and resilience through art, culture, and innovation.

Rapid warming in the Arctic region has brought forth numerous challenges, from melting permafrost to vanishing sea ice, unpredictable weather patterns, and struggling wildlife species. "How to Survive" seeks to shed light on the stories of resilience, ingenuity, and hope that are interwoven throughout these challenges. The exhibition highlights the ways artists and communities are creating space for hope, encouraging innovation, and envisioning sustainable futures rooted in equity and justice. Often, this work is guided by Indigenous knowledge and leadership that remind us how we might live in reciprocity with the land, as Alaska Native peoples and global Indigenous communities have done since time immemorial.

"How to Survive” invites visitors to consider the idea of survival through hope and care, emphasizing the importance of love, protection, nurturing, and sharing in the face of climate change. The artworks on display encourage reflection, inspire action, and prompt viewers to contemplate individuals’ and communities’ responsibilities to one another and to the environment. The exhibition explores interconnectedness, listening, and caretaking as vital aspects of addressing global climate change.

Featuring installations by female-identifying contemporary artists, cultural artifacts from the museum's collection, a Materials Library of design innovations, and a Community Climate Archive that amplifies voices from across Alaska, "How to Survive” provides a comprehensive and thought-provoking experience, challenging visitors to consider what habits might be cultivated to shape a more positive future for our planet.

Mounting an exhibition with sustainability in mind

A central focus in creating "How to Survive" was to align the principles of care and sustainability within the artworks with the practice of exhibition-making. Many of the large installations were crafted in Anchorage through long-distance collaboration with artists, utilizing local repurposed and reclaimed materials to minimize environmental impact. The museum collaborated primarily with artists who integrate social, educational, skill-sharing, or activist elements into their practices, prioritizing relationships and embracing risk over aesthetic perfection. Acknowledging their imperfections in this process and sharing both successes and failures is part of the museum's commitment to embodying the principles explored in "How to Survive."

"We hope this exhibition offers many opportunities for discussion, both with oneself and fellow visitors. While there are no easy answers, ‘How to Survive' gestures towards alternative ways of being that are not only possible but also within our power to imagine and enact,” said Anchorage Museum Chief Curator Francesca Du Brock.

Participating Artists

Artists with works in “How to Survive” include major artists based in the US, Philippines, Canada, Australia, and Mexico: Martha Atienza, Christi Belcourt, Andrea Bowers, Carolina Caycedo, Gaye Chan, Minerva Cuevas, Jessie French, Erin Gingrich, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Intelligent Mischief, Mary Mattingly, Nicole McLaughlin, Amy Meissner, Audie Murray, Ellie Schmidt, and Marie Watt.

For more information about the exhibition, please visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/how-to-survive.

Media Contacts

Hank Davis
Communications Manager

Leroy Polk
Communications Manager

Zakiya McCummings
Communications Manager

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