Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs is a superb example of Diane Burko’s attempt to merge her art with the public engagement side of her practice. This volume is less like a catalog and more like an informative book to compliment Burko’s exhibit, Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC (August 15, 2018n – January 30, 2019). This is an edition that stands alone, like Burko’s 2017 publication of Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives, Bearing Witness to Climate Change, published to accompany her exhibition at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville Arkansas.
Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs features over 40 color reproductions covering images in the exhibition as well as other works of art, illustrations and informative maps.
Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs features an introduction by the curator, Alana Quinn and two short essays, one by Tad Pfeffer from INSTAAR on glaciers, and one on coral reefs by Nancy Knowlton, head of Marine Biology at the Smithsonian Institute. The core of the text features a conversation between artist Diane Burko and anthropologist Ben Orlove, of Columbia University. This far ranging exchange includes not only commentary on the work in the exhibit but integrates ideas about climate change, geography, history, the human condition and the creative process in a readable, accessible manner. By providing images throughout, some enjoyable learning will take place.