Past Talks & More | Gallery Talks

John Sabraw


Acid Mine Drainage near Oreton, Ohio – Aerial View

Activist, environmentalist, and Ohio University Professor of Art John Sabraw maps the hidden networks created from our extraction of natural resources—a topic addressed by Maya Lin in the exhibition HERE.

Lin grew up in Athens where Sabraw now lives, and her engagement with the landscape, flora, and fauna of this region has often inspired his work. Lin’s site-specific installations in HERE use thousands of recycled steel pins and industrial marbles to map Ohio waterways and how they’ve been shaped by fracking and climate change.

While our harnessing of nature to produce energy is a wondrous feat of ingenuity and engineering, for Sabraw it’s also emblematic of our consumption and hubris. The connections created by this production form a hidden network most people have no idea exists, yet each of us has a part in its formation. Often the only visible evidence is pollution in our waterways and biodiversity decline. Taking Lin’s work as a point of departure, this gallery talk will explore the topographies of these connections and possible solutions for a more sustainable future—not only in terms of the environment, but economically and socially sustainable lifecycles as well.

More about the speaker

Artist John Sabraw’s paintings, drawings, and collaborative installations are produced in an eco-conscious manner, and he continually works toward a fully sustainable practice. He collaborates with scientists on many projects, and one of his current collaborations with engineer Guy Riefler involves creating nontoxic paint from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating polluted streams in southeastern Ohio. Sabraw’s art is in numerous collections including those of the Contemporary Museum (Honolulu); Elmhurst Art Museum (Illinois); Emprise Bank (Wichita, KS); and Accenture (Chicago). He chairs the Painting + Drawing program at Ohio University and is board advisor at Scribble Art Workshop in New York. Sabraw has recently been featured in TED, Smithsonian, New Scientist, London, and Great Big Story.

Acid Mine Drainage near Oreton, Ohio – Aerial View

Acid Mine Drainage near Oreton, Ohio—aerial view
© 2018 Ohio University, all rights reserved
Photo: Ben Siegel

John Sabraw

John Sabraw
Photo courtesy of the artist

Chroma S1 17 painting

Chroma S1 17, painting by John Sabraw
36x36 inches
© 2018 Art Boy Inc., all rights reserved
Photo: John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Chimaera painting

Chroma S4 Chimaera, painting by John Sabraw
48x48 inches
© 2018 Art Boy Inc., all rights reserved
Photo: John Sabraw

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation

Cardinal Health Foundation
Huntington Bank


Past Talks & More

John Sabraw