What We Do
Founded in December, 2019, formerly, Heartland Community Reconciliation Center, Artists for Environmental Restoration (AER) is focused on;
- Applied research on climate change and global warming
- World-class visual art exhibition events to promote deeper understanding of the threats inherent in ignoring the continued destruction of our environment
- Convening and facilitating forums for community engagement and dialogue that explore and advance the necessary and urgent path to restore our environment: land, water, and air
Why Art Matters
There are deep underlying connections between the arts and the science of climate change – connections that need to be made and stories that need to be told. The arts provide a unique way to address the critical elements of the climate change crisis and reach an audience not available through other means.
Dr. Bennett Brabson, Climate Scientist, Indiana University, Emeritus Professor of Physics
“The Role of the Arts in Compassionate Reasoning” is not only insightful…but inspiring! Thank you!…and thank David for images that reverberate at an almost cellular level “the dark beauty” and incandescent consciousness that you have referred to. Wow!"
"David’s works really call to me: I feel like I can see right into them without needing to try to translate, interpret or guess. "
"ZOWIE. Thank you and David for such powerful, moving + meaningful work, which grabs the eye and the heart in equal measure. I was very grateful that the videos provided a sense of the scale/size of David’s paintings. Impressive!"
The Role of the Arts in Compassionate Reasoning
Great art invites the whole of the mind to see the world in a new way. ‘Whole of Mind’ refers to the way in which the mind changes based on a profound engagement with all of its components. This is referred to as neuroplasticity in neuroscience approaches to social change and peacebuilding. The different components of the mind include perception, of course, but also imagination, empathy, compassion, and reasoning. When we want people as individuals and as societies to go from inaction to action, from paralysis to responsibility, from cynicism to positive engagement, we want that which moves the whole being in a new direction. To understand truly the interactions of human climate destruction, conflict, social justice and peacebuilding, it takes a great deal of information and abstract reasoning. But it also takes the entire mind to see the world in a new way, particularly the world in all of its bright beauty and its dark beauty, its negative and positive imagination. A human being in community with others must be able to face with her mind the dark dangers that may lurk ahead, along the bright beauty of possibility. This aligns with what we commonly refer to as the heart and the mind, or the body and the soul.
Art becomes the ally of social change when the whole of mind is engaged in the will to build a better reality, to fashion the world we live in with humility and love, not arrogance and hate. The beautiful becomes the ally of the truthful and the just inside transformative art. That is precisely why art has a unique place from which to build a different world. It has the capacity to build a whole of mind experience of understanding, compassion, reasoning, and hope. Art gives birth to peacebuilding in the form of what is being called now Compassionate Reasoning.
David’s work is designed in the deepest way to bring the subconscious and the beautiful together in intoxicating ways that give rise to the vision of a beautiful world that needs to change fundamentally in order for that beauty to continue. It does so not with academic journal articles, not with slogans, and not with policy planning sessions. It does so rather with the entire mind, body and soul, affect and cognition, intellect, emotion and imagination, all marshaled toward an embrace of Creation and the awesome role that humans play in her fate.
 Marc Gopin, Compassionate Reasoning: Changing the Mind to Change the World (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)