This participatory exhibition, in the style of an atelier, invites visitors to explore works by binational artist Oscar Romo and learn about our region’s biodiversity, the impact of climate change, and the effects of human interventions into the environment, from the routines of daily life to large infrastructures such as the border wall. Romo’s wide range of work includes abstract renditions of clouds, precise botanical drawings of regional plants that have transformed due to global warming, and sculptures made out of recycled materials found in the junk yards of both Tijuana and San Diego.
Working at the intersection of science and art has led Romo to collaborate with many researchers and environmentalists to better understand the technical concepts that inspire his practice. Over the last decade, Romo has been dedicated to an aesthetic understanding and representation of atmospheric rivers. This is a unique phenomenon in which long, narrow areas in the atmosphere carry water vapor out of the tropics to other parts of the world. As they flow, atmospheric rivers can cause significant rain and snow, and they are an important part of the global water cycle.
This fascinates Romo, who believes in the potential for harvesting water from atmospheric rivers to serve disadvantaged communities that struggle with access to reliable sources of clean water. A former United Nations diplomat, Romo is an environmental engineer, a professor in the urban planning program at the University of California, San Diego, and Founding Director of the non-profit organization Alter Terra. He is known for his work on the conservation of wetlands and his designs of natural systems. He has received numerous international awards for efforts made to empower disadvantaged communities in the use of discarded materials to build a functional and solid infrastructure for environmental and climatic adaptation, as well as for his activism in the conservation of natural resources and environmental justice.
As part of the exhibition, Romo will be in conversation with a number of scientists at An Outside Perspective, MCASD’s lecture series inviting visitors to explore issues around current exhibitions by hearing from a specialist in other fields.
In addition, on the third Saturday of every month through March 21, Romo will conduct public workshops to connect the themes of conversations around climate change to art making and activism.