Storm King Art Center is best known for its grand landscape of rolling hills and its display of large-scale outdoor sculpture, including works by the likes of Richard Serra and Maya Lin. But for a special exhibition in 2018, this bucolic sculpture park in Orange County, N.Y., will focus directly on a hot political topic: climate change.
That subject “has always been very close to Storm King,” said the curator Nora Lawrence in an interview. “This is something that is very urgent for us, and we have seen some smaller changes already in our environment.”
“Indicators: Artists on Climate Change,” which opens May 19, will include work from more than a dozen artists, including several pieces newly created for the exhibition. It was organized by Ms. Lawrence, along with David Collens, Storm King’s director and chief curator, and Sarah Diver.
One participating artist is Mary Mattingly, the founder of Swale, a floating food forest on a barge that toured New York City in the summer, allowing visitors to harvest fresh produce for free. For Storm King, she is preparing an as-yet-untitled work in which she will bring trees from a tropical climate — mango, coconut and fig are in contention — to the Hudson River Valley, calling attention to the way that changing temperatures may affect the future of food.
The idea is not just to sound a warning, but to spark conversation about real strategies for how people will live in an altered climate. Acknowledging the inevitability of change can be hard, as it means losing a certain way of life, but Ms. Mattingly said it was essential.