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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Mennello Museum features Mira Lehr’s important environmentally themed exhibition

Image: Mira Lehr,  mennellomuseum.org
Image: Mira Lehr, mennellomuseum.org

At the beginning of this year – if you can remember back that far – our planet’s rapidly accelerating climate crisis was on the front page of every newspaper, and the opening of Miami artist Mira Lehr’s environmentally themed exhibition High Water Mark brought national attention to Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art with glowing coverage in the New York Times.

Then along came, well, everything else, and climate change was pushed out of the headlines. But Lehr thinks now is the perfect time to turn our attention back to what’s happening with Mother Earth.

Rather than distract from desperately needed climate action, she hopes this moment can compel us to reflect on the interconnection of our health and the planet’s, an underlying theme of her monumental artworks.

And so, despite the pandemic, the Mennello has reopened to share Lehr’s urgent vision again. The exhibition has been extended through September.

Mennello director Shannon Fitzgerald says the museum’s social distancing measures “actually provide much more intimate viewing and … time with the work,” and that “with fewer visitors, the experience is more contemplative.”

Though it’s beautiful, Lehr’s work sounds a visceral alarm call. It’s still up to all of us to answer it.