Eco-artists reimagine trash left behind by humans in stirring exhibition

Tuesday June 15, 2021

Newburyport – The PEG Center for Art & Activism (formerly known as the Paula Estey Gallery) announced its latest art exhibition – “Upsurge: The Environmental Show,” which runs from June 8 through July 30, 2021. The exhibition is a multi-media exhibition with two- and three-dimensional pieces from regionally known artists whose work dives deep into an exploration of the impermanence and ephemeral aspects of Nature.

An opening reception will be held at the PEG Center, 3 Harris Street in Newburyport on June 17 from 6-8 p.m. with a simultaneous virtual event on Zoom starting at 7 p.m. at The public is invited to attend in person or online. Programming includes “Artists Talk Activism,” from 7 – 7:30 p.m. with three artists from the exhibition Michelle Lougee, Rebecca McGee Tuck—both post-consumer waste artists—and weaver Sarah Haskell.

“Upsurge: The Environmental Show” was curated with climate fragility and artistic hope in the forefront. “As a center for Art & Activism, PEG searches for artistic expression that will deepen our experience of real-time, real-life challenges, from climate crisis to amplifying and celebrating marginalized artists who are creating works addressing social justice and the environment,” said Paula Estey, Executive Director of the PEG Center for Art & Activism.

She added that “In searching for eco artists for ‘Upsurge,’ we plumbed websites, resource lists, other artists and galleries and art and activism organizations throughout the region. These nine artists are what we consider to be at the top of the art form and accessible to our PEG Center audience. PEG’s mission is to elevate diverse artistic and scientific voices in service to good change we know art can bring to people and communities.”

This show reflects the crisis on our Earth, while elevating the expression of imagery and innovation that causes viewers to act in hope.

“I want to speak to the life of Nature itself, through the eyes of weavers, painters, sculptors, artists who regard the depth of our challenges in the core of their hearts. Their expressions convey the message to the public in a way that resonates physically, spiritually, and psychically. That’s what piercing and directed art can do,” Estey said.

Estey added: “Many of the artists displayed in this show work with trash left behind by humans. By reinterpreting the materials, they merge activism and artistry. The artwork invites you to take it home, make it a permanent message in your own environment. We are forging exciting new horizons in Upsurge!”

The artwork can be viewed virtually on the website by visiting: or by visiting the gallery Tuesdays through Thursdays from 12-5 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. Masks are encouraged while in the gallery.

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