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SHARING STORIES TOGETHER    Salma Arastu 2003 photo by artist

March brings the celebration of Women's Herstory, the arrival of the spring equinox, and the  trauma of global strife. We applaud courageous female artist changemakers and grassroots feminist activists who are standing up and offering visions of a future we can wholeheartedly embrace.  

The theme for International Women’s Day ‘Changing Climates: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, amplifies the essential role female identified creatives play in addressing climate change and equity. Now is a time for women eco artists to have more of a voice in influencing decision making and proposing solutions related to climate change and sustainability. 

Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. 



WEAD Magazine Issue No. 13 
The Politics of Empathy

WEAD invites submissions from artists, critics, art historians, feminist thinkers, and relevant writers to address a range of issues from multi-species empathy to climate-change apathy.  

We seek essays revealing the strategies of artists who employ the empathetic approach to all living things, inclusive of humans and non-humans, sharing affinity with communities of living organisms.   On the other end of the spectrum, we also want to learn about artists who have challenged, resisted, and exposed the apathy of non-action and environmental destruction.

Submission Info

ISSUE 13’s  Featured Artist will be artist and scholar Reiko Goto Collins. Over several decades her research-based experiential projects have explored the shared environment of humans and others.  Goto’s practice of being reveals an evolving subjectivity, a sense of shared becoming with non-human others.  In earlier work, Goto’s empathetic exchange with trees represents an exemplary form of eco-art practice.  Her imaginative approach to the climate crisis is a distinct model for an effective implementation of emotional action.  She creates both unique solo works, and with her partner Timothy Collins, long-term collaborations.

The aim of this special issue is to expand our comprehension, and emphasize the critical need for Politics of Empathy in view of the precariousness of all life in this climate generation.
  • Send proposal to with subject line: Magazine 13 Proposal

  • An outline or description of the proposed article of no more than 1000 words.

  • Three hi definition images of the project(s). 

  • Author biography and your CV (if available)

  • If previously published, send complete article with published information.




Rather than inviting you to sit indoors and watch a zoom presentation (no matter how inspiring), we invite you instead to welcome spring by actively creating your own art-offering-of-beauty somewhere hidden in nature. Be careful to use only natural objects found in that place so that eventually there will be no physical trace, only the echoes of your gratitude and best intentions.

April's Art + Education will feature editors
and contributors from the recently published book: “ECOART IN ACTION: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities”



SALMA ARASTU IN HER STUDIO. Photo credit Susan Brooks.
My works are lyrical, spiritual, figurative, and calligraphic. My paintings reveal stories of unity in diversity, hope and connection, celebration of earth, and women. I have always believed that moving lyrical lines that emerge in my work are symbolic in my attempt to connect all humanity and spread spiritual messages through calligraphy.  Now these moving lines are discovering mycelium networks under the earth, promising to sustain us all by connecting and bringing together humanity, soil, and soul. Our survival is hidden in these entangled connections. - Salma Arastu



Board and committee members are WEAD’s “worker bees”--dedicated, progressive individuals who keep the organization running.  Vested in WEAD’s high value as a nonprofit service organization, Board committees collectively: curate the Directory and website; produce exhibitions; create outreach programs; host membership events; generate a monthly newsletter; and publish an acclaimed online art magazine. Meetings are on zoom. You do not have to be an artist to be a Board Member.  You do need to be able to work well collectively.

This spring the WEAD Board is looking for two new Directors, to join website and membership committees. If interested, please send a self-nominating email with a letter stating why; three recommendations, and a resume, noting any relevant special skills.

Members: Please let us know if there is a venue in your region where WEAD can host a collaborative exhibition.  Join WEAD Exhibitions Committee and participate in curating and all other aspects of creating an exhibition. Meetings are on ZOOM. 

Visit to discover more about the heart of WEAD. Send inquiries to

More info


KERSTIN AS A CHILD IN HASSFURT, GERMANY,  photo by her grandfather (left).  PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST (right).

Meet past board member Kerstin Firmin, who was a stellar website committee member.

Kerstin Firmin, (she/her) documents life where city and nature meet. Some of her recent work captures the natural beauty and abundance of Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland, CA, one of the first federal bird preserves. Her current work-in-progress focuses on documenting wildlife in urban edible gardens and farms, an effort to showcase the ecosystem benefits of sustainable methods of food production. Her urban wildlife photography inspires curiosity—seeds that grow into action. Through her lens, Kerstin captures adaptation, resilience, and survival in anthropocentric environments. With a focus on biodiversity documentation, Kerstin’s art practice is place-based, rooted in citizen science, and contributes to the creative commons. 

Follow Kerstin on Instagram at @kerstin.firmin and on iNaturalist at @kerstinfirmin. 
     2021 photography and wildlife observations at Lake Merritt, Kerstin Firmin.


Last year WEAD participated in the international “Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss” project by creating two membership exhibitions. We added  “Restoration and Regeneration”  to the titles of those exhibitions so they read “Art on the Edge: from Extraction to Restoration and Regeneration”. By so doing we hoped to attract submissions that proposed or demonstrated solutions to the worldwide extraction crisis.

But what do those two words actually mean? They could refer to this:

Loess Plateau before & after ecosystem restoration, from

Much land throughout the world has been severely degraded / desertified / rendered barren and lifeless due to human impact.

When that land is literally brought back to life and abundance and beauty–one could say “revived”--the words restoration and regeneration can apply.

The world's most dramatic example of that transformation is the healing of the Loess Plateau, an area the size of Belgium in North central China.

Deforestation, overgrazing, and soil loss due to plowing and subsequent erosion had left a devastated landscape. Chinese scientists were challenged by the government to solve the problem. In collaboration with local farmers, a plan emerged. Over years the rehabilitation work was accomplished by the farmers themselves who were each granted title to a tract of newly productive land. And so the mountaintops were reforested, the hillsides terraced, free-grazing animals contained, and the land returned to fertility. Farmers lives improved immensely, and biodiversity gradually increased.

John D. Liu and team documented this transformation:
The Lessons of the Loess Plateau
Restoring China's Loess Plateau
#1 What if we change - Hope in a Changing Climate by John D. Liu

Recognizing that this restoration work urgently needs to happen in many deteriorated places on earth, Liu has started a network of “Eco System Restoration Camps” where volunteers gather, learn, and work at restoring water, fertility, and biodiversity to ravaged land.  

WEAD hopes that eco artists can find a way to participate and amplify awareness of this crucial work.


Exciting news.  Some WEAD members have contributed to Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities, edited by Amara Geffen, Ann Rosenthal, Chris Fermantle, and Aviva Rahmani
To purchase, click here.

Newly published by New Village Press and compiled from 67 members of the Ecoart Network, a group of more than 200 internationally established practitioners, EcoArt in Action stands as a field guide that offers practical solutions to critical environmental challenges. Organized into three sections—Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations—each contribution provides models for ecoart practice that are adaptable for use within a variety of classrooms, communities, and contexts. 

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PAMELA KARIMI: "Black Spaces Matter" 

Thank you to those who attended this enlightening presentation, with engaged dialogue following. Unfortunately a replay is not available but please explore more about the theme of the presentation:

Black Spaces Matter: Celebrating New Bedford's Abolition Row
Black Spaces Matter at the McCormick Gallery in Boston
Imagining America National Conference:  “Learning from Spaces of Migrants: The Case of Abolition Row in New Bedford, MA.”

Discover more about Pamela Karimi and her work.

If you enjoy WEAD's Art + Activism and Art + Education programming please consider making a donation:


Rescue of paintings of Maria Prymachenko

Mariana Sadovska singing The Night is Just Beginning

Singing Shapeshifters in the Shadow of Chernobyl: Kitka Ignites the Embers of a Disappearing Song Ritual
Thank you for your continuing support of WEAD. We have ambitious goals for 2022: continuing our well received on-line presentations, upgrading our digital Artists Directory and invaluable archives, and encouraging new member engagement and global conversations. There are plans afoot for an international student eco art summit. Join in the fun and build community!
Browse through 400+ WEAD Artists at:


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