The Nevada Museum of Art is known, in part, for its permanent collection that includes artworks with a thematic focus on how humans interact with natural, built, and virtual environments. For many artists, this means responding to how landscapes change as a result of using natural resources to power the world. Today, energy resources are classified as either renewable or non-renewable—and include everything from water, air, coal, minerals and forests, to wind, geothermal, and solar.
The works on view in this exhibition often reveal what is hidden from everyday view: the massive industrial infrastructure needed to power life in the twenty-first century. Increasingly, visual artists have turned their attention to lesser-known sociocultural impacts that such large-scale operations bring about. Taken together, these artistic responses bear witness to the complex system of exchange required for the extraction, collection, storage, and transmission of natural resources.
This exhibition is designed to address the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science. In grades six through twelve, students are required to explore Human Impacts on Earth Systems. By engaging with the works and themes in this exhibition, students are presented with opportunities to evaluate, explain, debate, and analyze the management and use of our natural resources, and the impacts of human activities on natural systems.