FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2023
Art Installation at Roundhouse Highlights Urgent Need for Climate Action
(SANTA FE) – Today, nationally exhibited artist Daniel Richmond displayed a multimedia installation at the State Capitol. His installation coincides with Climate Justice Advocacy Day, and speaks to the impacts of climate change on vulnerable species, water, and lands.
The installation, located today on the East walkway leading to the State Capitol building, consists of names of threatened and endangered species carved in Southwestern limestone. It also includes an artistic interpretation of the historically low water level at Elephant Butte reservoir; and a repurposed wood and metal case depicting the state’s last green chile, extinct due to inaction on climate change.
“Everything that we love deeply in New Mexico – from our wildlife to the food that we grow to our children’s future – is threatened by climate change,” stated Daniel Richmond. “This is the moment for all of us to act together. It is imperative that our state leaders do all that they can to meet the moment and put our state on a better course.”
Climate Justice Day at the Roundhouse includes many environmental justice and climate action organizations and their supporters tabling and engaging with legislators around the need for equitable climate action. There will also be a climate action rally at 1:00pm outside the East entry to the Roundhouse.
“We are halfway through the legislative session and time is running out for the climate action we need,” Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Demis Foster said. “Daniel Richmond’s art challenges us to acknowledge the loss of place and landscape, and we hope the legislators walking by the installation take the time to reflect on the task ahead of them. New Mexico has made real progress in the last four years. However, there is still much that needs to be done: codify climate policies into statute, approve and fund relevant infrastructure, and fully fund the agencies tasked with implementing climate rules. But most importantly, we need to ensure that the frontline communities impacted most by both climate pollution and the transition to renewable energy have a leading role in the climate action decisions made at every level of the Roundhouse.”
With just over three weeks left in the 2023 legislative session, climate and energy advocates are engaging in a number of policies that would address climate resiliency and vehicle emissions, and invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other solutions. To view all of the climate and energy policies CVNM is tracking, visit our website. CVNM will also release its final legislative agenda the week of February 27th.
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Daniel Richmond developed a connection to the natural world in the countryside of Vermont. He began visiting the Southwest in 1996 and moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to earn his MFA at the University of New Mexico. He began his career as a wood sculptor, but his experiences in the Southwest, including projects and teaching on the Navajo Nation, gave him a deeper connection to people and place. Richmond has been presenting endangered and threatened species through his artwork across the United States using different media to express the fragility of the environment and its inherent natural beauty.
CVNM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization connecting the people of New Mexico to their political power to protect our air, land, and water for a healthy Land of Enchantment. CVNM does this by mobilizing voters, winning elections, holding elected officials accountable and advancing responsible public policies.