Care as an imperative, in relation to climate, is almost too easy. Sure, we all care about our changing planet. Our collective gaze is already zeroed in. Care is politically neutral: eco-modernist carbon-capturing techno-optimists care about climate too. Let us not forget that care on this continent bears harmful histories. But care when paired with climate justice roots itself in the experiences and epistemologies and radical traditions of the poor, the racialized, and the colonized, reminding us of the Anthropocene’s violent, uneven expression. Justice-informed care in this sense is a mode of attention to everything – peoples, lands, ecologies, worlds, ways of being – at risk of getting forgotten or, worse, sacrificed in the rush to solve our planetary climate crisis. A “zero carbon” or “green” or “renewable” world can be just as extractive and colonial.  


Across four art exhibitions at Sarah Lawrence College and Bronx Community College in Spring 2024, Care and Climate Justice turns to modes of care in response to violent pasts and presents, and in anticipation and prefiguration of other futures. As both an ethic and an aesthetic, care takes the form of grief and remembrance, of slowness, attention and refusal, of adaptation and kinship, of expansive imagination and story. Though care – the noun or the verb – might appear to be flimsily abstract, the eight artists involved in Care and Climate Justice constellate a range of situated methods and actions. Care is, at all times, particular; it is grounded in dispersed but interrelated material conditions and prompts diverse visions of Indigenous, Black, and Brown futurity.  


The three Sarah Lawrence exhibitions, co-curated by Sarah Hamill and Izzy Lockhart, with Janine Ryan and Nina Serrano, include Gabriela Salazar, Observed (January 24 to February 25, 2024 at the Gallery at Heimbold), exhibiting work from Salazar’s winter residency at Heimbold, Shanequa Benitez, ‘But It’s Ours:’ The Redline between Poverty and Wealth (March 5 to April 12, 2024 at the Barbara Walters Gallery and the Center for the Urban River at Beczak), co-sponsored by Groundwork Hudson Valley, and Groundings: Care and Climate Justice, a group show with Emily Johnson, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Courtney Desiree Morris, and Sarah Rosalena (March 26 to May 12, 2024 at the Gallery at Heimbold). A fourth exhibition, curated by Patricia Cazorla, will take the form of an experiential installation titled Perennial Land by Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger, which will take place at the Hall of Fame Art Gallery at Bronx Community College from March 21 to May 16. The exhibitions are funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, which supports the Sarah Lawrence Interdisciplinary Collaborative on the Environment (SLICE), a collaboration to teach climate justice across the humanities at Sarah Lawrence and Bronx Community College. 



A catalog will accompany the three Sarah Lawrence exhibitions with artist interviews by Sarah Lawrence students, an introduction by Sarah Hamill and Izzy Lockhart, and essays by Sumita Chakraborty, K. Melchor Hall, Karintha Lowe, Emily Roehl, Camille Georgeson-Usher, and Kate Zambreno. It will be available to order here in late March 2024. 


We thank our partners Groundwork Hudson Valley and the Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB), and we thank Janine Ryan, McKinzie Trotta, Nina Serrano, Chrissy Milo, John O’Connor, Christina Fernandes, Ellen Theg, Candida Rodriguez, Ryan Palmer, Christina Edsall, and CJ DeGennaro.

A Collaboration Between Groundwork Hudson Valley, The Center for the Urban River at Beczak, Bronx Community College, and Sarah Lawrence College