|Science Art-Nature presents Challenges of Climate Change|
The 50,000-acre 2017 Columbia Gorge fire in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area inspired this painting, which won the Haynes Galleries Award in the 14th annual Art Renewal Center International Salon. A lion, flamingos and hummingbirds take refuge high above the blaze in this imaginary setting borrowed in part from the artist's travels in Italy. Although this particular fire was human-caused, the drying effects of climate change doubled the amount of large forest fires from 1984 to 2015, and is projected to increase the size and severity of future fires.
Science Art note on halos from the exhibit curator: In nature, halos are optical phenomena that are the result of light (usually from the sun or moon) interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. They vary from white to various colors and from rings to arcs to spots. In art, the halo (or nimbus) conveys a symbol of light, and appears in pagan Hellenistic Greek and Roman art, and later in Christian art, and in Buddhist art in India.
Mark Everett Larson Portland, Oregon, USA