Some of the art world’s leading galleries and museums, including David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth and New York’s Guggenheim, have teamed up to preserve 200,000 acres of threatened rainforest in Peru.
The sustainable collective Galleries Commit announced on Instagram Tuesday that the area, called Chuyapi-Urusayhua Regional Conservation, is now permanently protected through a matching fund program with more than 40 arts institutions and individuals. Galleries Commit in partnership with the artist-led non-profit initiative Art to Acres to save the lush landscape north of Machu Picchu. The conservation area is one of the last 1% of cloud forests on Earth and is home to a high-biodiversity ecosystem that provides drinking water to over 46,000 nearby people.
“Local communities are managing this protection of a biodiverse ecosystem in a remarkable way,” said Haley Mellin, Founder of Art to Acres. Told The arts journal. “The impetus to support grew out of artist Mika Rottenberg’s act of including an area conservation budget line item for his 2019 MCA Chicago exhibit. It grew to incorporate early environmental contributions from studios, consultants , galleries and institutions.
Recognizing the responsibility of the art world in the face of the climate crisis, Galleries Commit has joined local non-profit conservation organizations like the Association for the Conservation of the Amazon who have been working on the ground in Peru for more than 20 years. Organizations reached the amount needed to conserve the earth with donations as large as $9,000, but the average donation was around $150.
Among museums, publications and organizations donate funds are Artforum, the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC, MoMA PS1, and the California College of Art. Commercial galleries included Marianne Boesky, Charles Moffett and James Cohan, while individual contributions came from artists and curators such as Robin F. Williams, N. Dash and Zaria Forman.
Following the success of this project, Galleries Commit will focus on developing new tools for the art industry to have tangible, long-term climate impacts, from reducing emissions to supporting action. collective. He is currently working with Artists Commit, his artist-run sister organization founded in 2021, to draft a second set of Climate Impact Reportswho analyze data on the energy consumed by exhibitions.
Since the project launched in October 2021, several major institutions around the world have adopted the practice of analyzing the carbon footprint of their projects, including PPOW and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In February, Hauser & Wirth published the conclusions of his first CIR realized on the exhibition “Gustav Metzger” at his gallery Somerset.