In a Time of Change: The Art of Fire was a visual art project designed generate excitement, facilitate mutual understanding and promote meaningful dialogue on issues related to fire science and society. The interaction between artists, fire managers and scientists helped to promote understanding and awareness of the scientific basis behind fire management practices in the context of Alaska’s changing ecosystems.
Nine local artists were invited to embrace the inspiration of wildfire, fire science and fire management to create a unique art exhibit. “In a Time of Change: The Art of Fire’ is funded by the Joint Fire Science Program and was developed by the Alaska Fire Science Consortium (AFSC) and the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Station (BNZ LTER).
The work facilitated a sense of place, and helps to understand the functionality of fire in the ecosystems of Interior Alaska. Understanding that role is an important part of effective land management.
The project brought together not just two perspectives on the subject but three: The management component unveils another layer of expertise and inspiration.
Four field trips were organized giving artists a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when a fire occurs, how scientific information is used in management decisions, and the many facets behind long-term ecological disturbance studies.
The field trip element was structured for two-way exchange, allowing all participants to become immersed in the environment.
“We wanted to offer information on the proactive fire management side and pair that with fire science, how fire affects vegetation, and allow that to be fodder for creative output.’ – In a Time of Change program director Mary Beth Leigh.