Artist Eliza Evans Creates Experiential Art to Provoke Climate Change Discussion

In 2012, Eliza Evans took a drawing class at her local community college and began her journey as an artist.

“I am not a frustrated lifelong artist,” she said. For Evans, an economic sociologist by training, “art is a venue to explore the world.”

Evans is a student and emerging artist in Chautauqua Institution’s School of Art for the summer. Last Sunday, she shared her work with the community at Art in the Park in Miller Park. The “Time Machine” she has created offers an experiential touch-point to the widening discourse on climate change, simulating what Evans speculates the world could feel like in the year 2300. Her work attracted curious 4-year-olds and learned retirees, all wanting to understand where the “Time Machine” will take them.

Inside the installation, the palpable heat and humidity made people’s clothes stick to their bodies and appreciate the comparable coolness of the weather outside. Before sharing her art with Chautauquans, Evans spent a sunny day inside the “Time Machine,” which is made of plastic.

“I am using my body as a sensing instrument,” she said.

Evans hopes to take the “Time Machine” back to her hometown in rural Tennessee, and to street corners of New York City, to inspire conversations in communities with different social, political and economic realities, and document her findings along the way.

“I think conversation is the only way anything real gets done,” Evans said.


The author Vishakha Gupta

A development communicator and visual storyteller from India, Vishakha Gupta is studying documentary filmmaking at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Vishakha is a history buff and loves to travel. As a photographer for the Daily, she is looking forward to feeding her love of art and culture.