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FIU Jewish Museum presents Environmental Art: Fragile Beauty

December 29 2022

Fragile Beauty explores the powerful allure of nature alongside its delicate state today. Featuring site-specific installations by Beatriz Chachamovits, Mira Lehr, and Lauren Shapiro, the exhibition brings together works by local Miami artists that reflect on climate change and human impact on our oceans, coral reefs, and rapidly shifting environment. 

Working across installation and performance, Chachamovits’ draws attention to the effects of ocean acidification in her ephemeral installations of unfired clay sculptures submerged in water. Along with extreme temperature fluctuations, ocean acidification can cause coral reefs to dissolve and disintegrate, significantly impacting reefs across Florida. The resulting works, when activated, expose the public to different stages of ocean acidification and its effects on coral. 

Shapiro’s practice too experiments with art’s possibility to affect change and cultivate a broad awareness of our environment. Working alongside ecologists to understand and narrate nature, Shapiro merges craft, science and technology to document disappearing ecosystems as sculptural ceramic archives.

Whereas Chachamovits and Shapiro consider environmental threats to marine ecosystems, Lehr’s immersive installations pay homage to mangrove trees, which protect coastlines against hurricanes and serve as nurseries for aquatic life. Threatened by rising sea levels, urban development, and human activities, mangroves in Florida, while protected by law, continue to fall victim to deforestation.

Utilizing different media to convey the elegance of our aquatic ecosystems and cultivate a broad awareness of their delicacy, the participating artists draw attention to the environmental challenges we face in Florida and the actions we can take to reverse them. Fragile Beauty is a celebration of nature, yet at the same time a call for awareness and action to preserve it for generations to come.


Florida International University-Jewish Museum of Florida
301 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139 United States
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Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
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