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July 30, 2014

IGNITE! THE ART OF SUSTAINABILITY at the Museum of History and Art, Ontario

Written by  Kimberly Johnson
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Ignite!  Museum of History and Art, Ontario Ignite! Museum of History and Art, Ontario Photo by Kimberly Johnson
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Art is a funny thing, really. It can be created for sheer aestheticism, a means of provocative expression, maybe a non-verbal way to highlight a point. All of these uses encompass the latest exhibition taking place at the Museum of History and Art, Ontario.

Ignite!, a group show featuring the works of California based artists, revolves around the conversation of environmentalism and sustainability. Spanning the nearly 164,000 square miles of California’s soil, thirteen artists were hand-picked to represent and offer their insight on the relationship between nature and man.

Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, the exhibit offers a striking look at sustainability utilizing photography, drawing, painting and an intriguing video installation from Kim Abeles. The eyes and automobiles depicted in the photos of Abeles work are in full motion—a non-stop display of blinking beside excerpts of LA traffic. The concept of pollution is emphasized in a truly unique way.

Linda MacDonald touches on a romantic intersection between the ringed lines in the trunks of trees—specifically the iconic California redwoods—and age. MacDonald delves deeper by examining the idea of time measured by the trees themselves; the events and occurrences that would correlate with their rings as explained in her painting’s title, “Life of a Redwood.”

Bay Area photographer, Robert Dawson, brings us a visual explanation of the labored efforts taken on by environmental activists. In 1999, Dawson published the book “Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream”—which included images of activists captured in portraits as well as their natural environment. 16 years later, Dawson returned to these activists to photograph their current efforts specifically for this exhibition.

To see the aforementioned artists, as well as the works of 10 other highly regarded California artists, make your way to the Museum of History and Art, Ontario. The museum is free and open to the public. For visiting hours and location information see,

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