Frankenthaler Climate Awards
Climate change is, no question, the defining issue of our time. Rightly so, museums and cultural institutions are increasingly using their leadership positions to raise awareness and demonstrate that climate action is within reach. The Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards, made possible by the joint effort by Asia Society and the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, aims to address the challenge through art and imagination, inspiring the upcoming generation of visual artists to roll up their sleeves and join the debate. As the first program of its kind in the U.S. and the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change through cultural institutions, this is a crucial step towards a new conversation about climate justice and a striking example of how urgent the topic is in the minds of art organizations, both small and large.
The grants are organized in conjunction with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, and the Phillips Collection, all based in Washington, D.C. It’s no kid stuff: the U.S. Environmental Defense Fund will then promote the award among the environmental advocacy community.
For us, defining the visual identity of such a project, and promoting artists who have something to say about this pivotal issue, constituted an important endeavor. We wanted the identity to evoke boldness, climate justice, art, environmentalism, power, determination, all of it without falling into the many infamous cliches surrounding us – that is,the vagueness of greenwashed imagery. This is why we went for a bold color scheme and typographic treatment, with subtle animated pulses beating underneath solid messaging set in a remarkable acid green. The identity fearlessly speaks of urgency and crisis, impact and art, possibilities and activist future.