Natural World Museum at City Hall

(June 5, 2007)


Partnership marks U.N. World Environment Day

Exhibit asks: How do the daily actions of San Franciscans affect the environment around the globe?

SAN FRANCISCO,CA--In recognition of the United Nations Accords signed in San Francisco in 2005, and to mark June 5th as U.N. World Environment Day, Mayor Newsom encourages all San Franciscans to attend the ground-breaking exhibit entitled: "Making the Choice: Bringing Forth an Environmental Renaissance." The exhibition is sponsored by the San Francisco-based Natural World Museum ( ), a nonprofit that presents art through innovative programs to inspire and engage the public in environmental awareness and action. The exhibition will remain on display at City Hall on the 4th Floor Rotunda Gallery through June 30.

"Making the Choice" is part of the Natural World Museum's Art for the Environment initiative in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This initiative is designed to utilize the universal language of art as a catalyst to unite people in action and thought and to empower individuals, communities, and leaders to focus on environmental values across social, economic, and political realms.

"I encourage everyone to participate in this initiative," said Mayor Newsom. "This effort utilizes art as a catalyst to engage broad and diverse populations in conservation stewardship. Making the Choice will help people learn how they can take personal action in their local communities and become part of the global environmental solution," continued the Mayor.

The idea for "Making the Choice" came about in June 2005 when San Francisco hosted World Environment Day, the first time a city in the United States had been chosen by UNEP to host the prestigious forum. It was during that event that Mayor Newsom asked NWM to design an exhibit that would help connect the daily actions of San Franciscans with the impact their choices have on the environment worldwide.

"This exhibition will open people's eyes and bring a new awareness about our relationship to the natural world," said Mia Hanak, Founding Executive Director of the Natural World Museum, "by making connections between our daily individual actions and the bigger picture in the intricate web of life on Earth."

The exhibition focuses on seven environmental topics: Waste Reduction, Water, Environmental Health, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Nature, and Energy.

The exhibit examines questions that affect San Franciscans, such as "How does our use of cell phones in San Francisco contribute to the disappearance of endangered mountain gorilla habitats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?" and asks citizens to explore how our daily habits as San Franciscans contribute to environmental issues worldwide.

The show features painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation artwork from local and international artists including: Christopher Lamarca, Chris Jordan, Rob Larson, Edward Burtynsky, Free Soil--Amy Franceschini, Lucy Orta, Fred Tomaselli, Harri Kallio, Era and Don Farnsworth, Sven Pahlsson, Free Range Graphics, Leslie Shows, Robert Bateman, Judith Selby Lang, Alison Moritsugu, Allora & Calzadilla, Icleandic Love Corp, Agnes Denes, Giles Mingasson, Justin Young, and Fei Yang. Artist Chris Jordan states "I hope my photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry."

The San Francisco-based Natural World Museum utilizes the universal language of art as a catalyst to inspire and engage the public in environmental awareness and action. In order to contribute to the sustainability of our world, NWM provides experiences through innovative site-specific art exhibitions that advance local and global conservation efforts.

This exhibition has been generously sponsored by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and produced in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and SF Environment.

The exhibit can be viewed at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, 4th Floor Rotunda Gallery, Monday through Friday, from 8am-8pm, until June 30th.