Summer 2013

Member Profile: An Artist Who Thinks Green | Catalyst Summer 2013


An Artist Who Thinks Green

UCS member Meredith James has been concerned for the environment ever since her second-grade teacher showed the class a video on global warming and acid rain. A native of New York City, Meredith spent summers with her parents in rural northern Michigan, where she played in the woods and loved catching frogs. Suddenly, she found herself worrying about their population dwindling. “It’s an age when you start realizing you don’t have control over everything,” she recalls, “and I began to see how fragile the world seemed.”

Today, Meredith is an artist in Manhattan working with perception and landscape, and her concern has not waned, especially as artist-in-residence programs take her to places as far afield as Utica, NY, and Omaha, NE. “From depressed, unsustainable cities to drought-ridden corn and soy farmlands,” she observes, “I’m regularly reminded how our agricultural and energy systems just aren’t working.” But she knows solutions exist, and appreciates the fact that UCS has delivered victories that serve as “glimmers of hope—as evidence of our ability to solve big problems and make progress toward a better world.”

A commitment to social and environmental causes runs in Meredith’s family; her parents manage a family foundation and work with their children to identify the groups they will support. Meredith is proud to direct a portion of the foundation’s funds to UCS through her membership in our leadership giving group, the Henry Kendall Society. As she explains, “Many organizations seem to be in a state of panic about climate change. I feel better knowing my money is helping UCS focus on the facts, break down the big problems, and find practical ways to tackle them, step by step.”