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Artist Elle MacLaren Wants To Make You Think About Climate Change

Artist Elle MacLaren Wants To Make You Think About Climate Change

In the midst of the pandemic, political upheaval and an overall sense of unease, escaping to a new art exhibit sounds like a respite. A new show at Loveland’s Artworks Center for Contemporary Art hopes to offer some calm but also a message.

Elle MacLaren, a former Boulder resident who now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has returned to Colorado with a evocative set of works called “Tragic Beauty.”

“It's been an ongoing series for almost four years now,” MacLaren said. “Um, I started the series in 2017 when the new administration came to the White House, and I was very disturbed by the lack of believing science and the reckless dismissal of climate change and global warming.”

“I thought, well, as an artist, I would like to make a statement with my art.”

Based on photographs of glaciers, MacLaren uses encaustic painting to bring to life her subject's chilly natural colors. It’s a beeswax-based medium she has worked in for over 20 years. She found inspiration for the colors in her works from the glaciers themselves, from beautiful dark blues to even a few hints of green.

Though the colors and fluid shapes may be calming, perhaps even soothing, there’s an unmistakable uneasiness at its center. The texture evokes a fluid look, creating a physical reminder of the constant melting threatening the glaciers’ very existence.
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