The Rural We: Linda Weintraub
Linda Weintraub lives in a beautiful natural space, both physically, at her fabulous passive home and rolling property in the woods of Rhinecliff, and through her work. She creates art, writes, teaches and curates with a heart that explores the relationship between art and the era in which it’s created. She’s acutely invested in our ecological impact on the natural world and how art movements react to and address those issues. On May 23, at 6:30 p.m., Weintraub will be speaking at the Morton Memorial Library about her latest work, in an illustrated presentation titled, “Can Artists Rescue Our Assaulted Planet?”
My involvement with the vanguard forms of art started when I was a kid. I had the supreme privilege and pleasure of learning from some of the all-time greats of modern dance, such as Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, to name a few. I thought dance was going to be a career, and then I started having lots of babies, so that wasn’t the best career choice. I discovered that many of the innovations I experienced with dance were being translated to the visual arts as well.
I began to look for reasons why creative people, who didn’t know each other, seemed to be presenting something that was consistent and unified. That led me to realize that art is a comment on the current era — and that has colored my writing, my teaching, my curating, and my personal art explorations forevermore.
Along the way, in the ‘70s, I became really cognizant of the crisis our planet is being subjected to due to human irresponsibility and I said to myself, “art has always commented on the critical issues of its time, I wonder if the vanguard artists are addressing environmental concerns.”
It was way early in the development of eco-art but I found a lot of artists who were responding individually to, what was to them, a really critical issue of our era. I’ve really devoted a lot of time since then to helping establish eco-art as a movement, introducing people to the really ingenious strategies artists have developed to remediate the planet, or ways to help people become aware of the severity of the problem.
We have the ability and the responsibility to reform the way we interact with the Earth and how we make it a safer place for future generations. I really believe that we can make things better and we can change the things we have control over. We don’t have control over a lot but we do have control over the choices we make for ourselves.
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