Artist Mira Lehr is Confronting Climate Armageddon

Artist Mira Lehr


Mira Lehrone of the art world’s pioneer environmental activists, presents High Water Mark on the 50th anniversary of her mission to protect the earth.

Mira Lehr has been championing environmental action since 1969, decades before others jumped on the climate bandwagon. It was fifty years ago that Buckminster Fuller chose Lehr for his groundbreaking World Game project, which that year coincided with the first Lunar landing.

She was one of only two visual artists selected that year, alongside a group of scientists, poets, economists, historians, and performers from around the country. 


Fuller’s team of cultural pioneers worked on ways to make human life sustainable on the planet, and it was also a year before the very first Earth Day demonstrations.

It was a time of great hope. For the first time mankind could see the whole earth in its entirety from the moon, and as an artist I was inspired by a new global vision,” says Mira Lehr as she looks back on this crucial event that she was chosen to participate in fifty years ago. 


Pictured below are the 1969 participants of Buckminster Fuller's visionary World Game. Lehr is in the first row, third from the right, Fuller is center holding the globe.

Now, on the 50th anniversary of her artistic turning point, the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando has invited Mira Lehr to present a new exhibition with a fateful title: High Water Mark (January 24 - May 10).


The museum is dedicating the entirety of its exhibition space for rotating shows to this new solo exhibition by Lehr, plus the museum's entryway. 


All six of the museum's intimate galleries will present recent work by the artist for this season opener.


Each gallery will include a different body of work by Lehr. These six projects will each feature many multiple components. Three of them include as many as 50 or 100 individual components - paintings, sculptures, video and more. 


Most of the paintings are monumental in size, one painting is 40 feet long and comprised of 12 different large-scale panels.


When people walk through the galleries they will enter an immersive watery world, environments of imminent, overwhelming beauty that beg for respite and call for caution to protect our planet. 

Mangroves - The Protector

Her giant mangroves will be up across the ceiling, along the walls, and the floors. Viewers will be walking through and under these - as though trekking through the mangrove roots. Many of the other site-specific works will also be totally immersive - the viewers' bodies will be reflected onto Lehr's reflective coral reefs.


At the age of 85 and with a career that spans more than six decades of artmaking, Lehr is creating more new work now than at any other point in her life ─ with a heightened sense of urgency.

“The time to act is now. We must start referring to this perilous issue as what it really is: Climate Armageddon,” says Lehr. 


The artist lives in Miami, a coastal city that is ground-zero for sea level rise. When she put together this new exhibition for Orlando, Lehr made some startling discoveries about the Central Florida area. 

Recent studies show that especially in Florida, even inland cities like Orlando are impacted by sea level rise and its ripple effects. “The works in High Water Mark confront these current scenarios that we all face, wherever we live,” says Lehr.


According to Gary Mitchum, oceanography professor at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida: “Climate change is causing flooding inland, too.” He is an expert in climate change that leaders in Central Florida have turned to for help with resiliency plans. 

“We have torrential rains that go on for days,” Mitchum recently told the Florida Senate’s Committee on Infrastructure and Security. “It’s going to get worse as the climate continues to warm. Not only are seas rising and rain intensifying, but the warming climate also has allowed invasive species and tropical diseases to extend northward into Florida,” said Dr. Mitchum. 


For this new exhibition in Orlando, Lehr points her artistic spotlight to recent news about how the dangers of Climate Armageddon are already encroaching into Central Florida. 


Waters are overflowing from local lakes into homes, forcing residents to abandon their properties ( This Orlando neighborhood is worried that changing weather patterns brought about by climate change could make this worse.


“I created these works to sound a clarion call for awareness and action,” says Lehr. 


Mira Lehr’s new exhibition High Water Mark runs  (January 24 - May 10) the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida.


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