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Third Coast Disrupted:

Artists + Scientists on Climate

September 8, 2020 – February 19, 2021*

Glass Curtain Gallery – Columbia College Chicago

1104 S. Wabash Ave., 1st Floor, Chicago

Gallery Hours: Mon–Fri, 9 am – 5 pm

Gallery capacity is 10 visitors. Masks are required.

*Please note: The gallery will be closed until January 11 to observe the City of Chicago's Covid 19 Stay-at-Home Advisory and for winter break. 

An exhibition of newly commissioned artworks culminating a yearlong conversation between artists and scientists centered on climate change impacts and solutions in the Chicago region.


Through science-inspired sculpture, painting, collage and more, the artworks examine local impacts -- happening here and now -- ranging from extreme heat to flooding to habitat loss, and more. They also shine light on local solutions underway, like "cool roofs," nature-based approaches to slowing stormwater, and backyard habitat restoration. Some imagine future possibilities.   


Third Coast Disrupted is based on the notion that art can connect and engage with people on an emotional level. It can pique curiosity, be unexpected, tactile, interactive, evocative, and memorable. It can slow people down, inspire them to reflect, move them to talk to each other -- and spur them to act. 

Meet the curatorial team.


Meet the artists and scientists.

This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation, with additional support from Keith Giles and Christine Skolnik; OpenlandsThe Nature Conservancy; Clare Butterfield and Edward Maldonado; Patrick and Laura Clark; Debra Shore; Greenleaf Advisors, LLC; The Fogelson Family Foundation; and the Keller Science Action Center, Field Museum. 

It was created through a collaboration between Columbia College ChicagoDePaul University's Institute for Nature and Culture, and Terracom.

Third Coast Disrupted is part of Chicago Water Week.


Breaking Down Plastics, 

Building Up Solutions 

Thurs., February 4, 6:30 – 7:30 pm CDT

Online – Register here


Our lives – and life around us – are intertwined with plastic. Microplastics are in our air, water, food and bodies, with a host of impacts. As with so many issues, climate change is a factor in a variety of ways. There is reason for optimism, however, with success stories to point to. Explore the issues, actions, and ways you can help.  


Barbara Cooper,


Tyrone Dobson, 

Senior Volunteer Engagement Manager,

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Timothy Hoellein, 

Associate Professor, 

Loyola University Chicago


Katharine Hayhoe: Connecting Global Change to Local Impacts & Solutions

Wed., September 16th, 7 – 8 pm CDT

View the talk here.

Climate change isn’t just a problem for polar bears or future generations any more -- it’s affecting us here and now in the Chicago area. Temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, and extreme precipitation and heat events are becoming more frequent. 


The choices we make today will profoundly impact our future: the faster we cut our carbon emissions, the less adaptation will be needed, and the more suffering we can avert. 


In such a politically charged environment, are we still able to act on climate? Join climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe as she untangles the complex science connecting our choices to future impacts and highlights actions underway today to combat this critical issue.


The Art of Communicating Climate:

A Conversation

Thurs., September 17, 8 – 9 am CDT

View the conversation here. 


Sponsored by Openlands.

If we want action on climate change, we need to talk about it. We need the issue to be in the public eye. But how? The topic can be overwhelming and contentious. What strategies work? What role does data play? What is the range of engagement tools? What does success look like? Join two climate scientists using different yet complementary approaches to engagement.

Katharine Hayhoe,

Climate Scientist, Texas Tech University

Mika Tosca,

Climate Scientist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Christine Esposito,

Project Director & Lead Curator, Third Coast Disrupted, and Founder, Terracom - Moderator


Water, Water Everywhere: 

First-Person Flooding, Impact & Action

Thurs., October 1, 6:30–7:30 pm CDT

View the conversation here.

More frequent intense rainstorms and flooding are among the devastating and costly impacts of the Chicago region’s changing climate. Like other effects, they hit communities of color hardest. Learn of the health concerns, from a personal and public health perspective, and hear about the local public-private partnerships and government efforts that provide relief and increase resilience.


Elena Grossman,

Program Director, BRACE-Illinois,

and Third Coast Disrupted scientist

N. Masani Landfair, 

Third Coast Disrupted Artist

Daniella Pereira,

Vice President of Community Conservation, Openlands

Debra Shore, 

Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

This program is part of Chicago Water Week.


Avian Effects: 

Climate Change and Birds

Thurs., October 8, 6:30–7:30 pm CDT

View the conversation here.

Climate change gets migratory birds coming and going, literally. Millions of them travel through the Chicago area each spring and fall to and from their breeding grounds. Changes due to climate change here and elsewhere impact their breeding success and very survival. A host of local efforts that are improving conditions for birds in the face of climate change. Learn how you can help and have fun in the process.  

Forrest Cortes,

Director of Community Engagement,

The Nature Conservancy in Illinois 

Peggy Macnamara,


Field Museum and School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Doug Stotz,

Senior Conservation Ecologist,

Keller Science Action Center, Field Museum


Getting Around Carbon:

New Looks at Transportation Options

Thurs., October 22, 6:30–7:30 pm CDT

View the conversation here.

Sponsored by the Illinois Science & Energy

Innovation Foundation.


Just 415 carbon dioxide molecules per one million air molecules are driving global warming, impacting our health and safety. In Illinois, vehicular exhaust is the single-biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions. Learn about new research into the effects of a greater shift toward electric vehicles in the Chicago area and about local climate-friendly transportation initiatives. Gain a perspective on the outsized role of carbon dioxide in our changing climate by hearing about new artwork visualizing this invisible threat in our air.

Melody Geraci,

Deputy Executive Director, Active Transportation Alliance

Daniel Horton,

Lead Researcher, Climate Change Research Group, Northwestern University,

and Third Coast Disrupted scientist

Andrew S. Yang,

Associate Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Third Coast Disrupted artist

© 2020 Third Coast Disrupted: Artists+Scientists on Climate