In an era described as the Sixth Great Extinction, plants both rare and familiar are at risk, and climate change is accelerating the loss of unique habitats and species. For this exhibit, we've asked five Wisconsin artists to create new work focused on the plants and plant communities that are threatened in Wisconsin. Cynthia Brinich-Langlois (Whitewater), Helen Klebesadel (Madison), Bethann Moran-Handzlik (Fort Atkinson), Katie Musolff (Stoddard), and Lynne Railsback (Williams Bay) are working with local naturalists and scientists to learn about habitats where losses of local botanical diversity are expected to be significant. These include Wisconsin’s northern forests and lakes, where iconic species such as white pine, birch, and hemlock are at risk, as is wild rice; coastal wetlands, where native species are threatened by extreme changes in water levels, pollutant loadings from upstream sources, and invasive species; and oak-savannas and prairies, where native species are threatened by habitat encroachment, loss of sufficient winter dormancy and competing species from warmer zones.
Thanks to Wisconsin Academy donors, members, and the following James Watrous Gallery sponsors for their support of this exhibition: