Our Changing Climate

Gather your family, and expect to see 3 artists in either live or in a prerecorded video with a live Q&A.. Each artist will talk about their process and work then will present a short art lesson.

 1. Jocelyn Ho





Art Lesson: What makes a good photograph?


-Smartphone camera or any camera with automatic settings

-An item you want to photograph

-A photograph you took that you may want to share with the class

Lesson Plan:

1) What makes a good photograph

2) Composition and framing

3) Basic settings



I am a nature and wildlife photographer on a continual journey to document the beauty of fragile ecosystems – whether it is in our coral reefs or in the polar regions. In the world’s extreme environments, the effects of climate change are most strongly felt. My job as a visual storyteller is not simply to lament the loss of these fragile ecosystems but to encourage a spirit of exploration and foster a sense of shared responsibility in the fight against climate change.


My artistry revolves around finding unique compositions to showcase familiar subjects. I strive to capture those brief moments of dramatic light or unique animal behaviors that place viewers right into the scene. When I’m in the field, I make images, not simply take pictures. I do this by envisioning a shot, planning for the light and action of my subject. All of my work depicts natural scenes and animal interactions that are true to nature


2. Jim Williams


Lesson: How to build and paint a castle

Materials: matt board or any cardstock paper, pencils, and acrylic paint



Jim is a mostly self-taught impressionist realist painter mainly in a style related to classical American and European artists.  For 24 years Jim worked as a caseworker in foster care and delinquency services for the State of Michigan. Since retirement, he has worked in inner-city youth programs as an occasional volunteer instructor.  


Miracle in a Small Mountain Town by Allen Autry

Awards and Exhibits:

PAN Award 2018, Village Fine Arts Association (Milford)

Huron Valley Art Center Exhibit February 2017 (Highland)

Motown Show Award 2014 (Grosse Point Artist Association)

First Place 2013-2014 (Allen Park Summer Show)

First Place 2015 (St. Clair Artist Association Show)

First Place 2010 Artrageous Show (Sterling Heights) 

Ann Arbor State Street Summer Show

Michigan Guild of Artists Shows

Patrons Include: Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island), Drake Hotel (Chicago), Lilacs and Lace Gallery (Mackinac Island), Detroit Historical Museum,  Detroit Artists Market, Northville Art House, Saint Clair Art Association and other locations.

Artist’s Statement:

Painting historical and current landmarks is a mission that preserves an important interpretive record of where we have been. It is not my intention to paint a subject to exact representation; but, to define these themes as recognizable using a balanced approach and a personal reflection of time and place.  Broadly speaking, it is my intention to portray an experience related to the subject. This may include a whimsical element within the setting. I find that the viewer responds to this in a relatable manner. 

My paintings are oil on canvas and each year brings a further exploration of the media I employ.  I use a combination of brush and knife techniques. My studio is attached to my home. 

Layering and glazing techniques are employed to create subtle or contrasting elements as needed.  Artist photos and research of the Burton Historical Library have helped in the creation of some themes.  My work is a continual growing process that gives me personal pleasure and an opportunity to learn new methods of painting in an effort to define places and events.


3.Dawn Smith


Harlequin Tattoo


Dawn Cooke has been on the scene in Detroit as an illustrator and tattoo artist for over twenty years. She has uniquely marked individuals from every walk of life. Dawn is the owner of harlequin tattoo in Hamtramck, a graduate from CCS and currently maintains a studio practice at h.a.t.c.h. Artist collective. She has shown work both locally and nationally. Her painting skill set landed her a Lenawee county judicial portrait commission in 2015. She’s won awards for her paintings and has been featured in several publications including a 2018 feature with beautiful bizarre magazine. Her art is imaginative, stylized, and expressive. Her figurative paintings explore themes of magic and mystery through a study of the female form. Her work often speaks to us about the ideal of feminine beauty with the undertone of a twisted psychology. Sickly, and cute, sexy and grotesque, her work will inspire something visceral in viewers.

"I think of my work as overly indulgent eye candy, exploited by the filth of consumerism and the mesmerizing effect of the internet and social media. I often feel like I’m documenting a psycho-social experiment that explores the way our social environment impacts the psyche. The elements are all swirling around inside my brain like a snail shell, the galaxy, DNA, and the golden ratio."



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Climate change virtual art show celebrates 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Be inspired to take action and enjoy the creativity of young and old alike

Come take a look at art that speaks to what climate change will likely bring to our planet

BRIGHTON AND HIGHLAND, Mich. (April 25, 2019) -  COVID-19 has brought tremendous temporary challenges to our society, but climate change is sure to bring much more massive dislocations that will be permanent.  

The Our Changing Climate virtual art exhibition is intended to raise our awareness of this issue, to help us appreciate the need to protect the environment and to call us all to action.

Sioux Trujillo, Executive Director of Huron Valley Council for the Arts, said,There is an ever-increasing interest in both environmental art and art that is modestly environmental. This show will unite people together by giving them an opportunity to actively participate in local environmental policy.”

Huron Valley Council for the Arts, Environmental Council of Huron Valley, Crossroads Group of the Sierra Club, Community Unitarian Universalists of Brighton and Whatever It Takes Sanctuary are joining forces for the inaugural Our Changing Climate exhibition, which will exhibit artwork from 72 artists (of which 30 pieces are from children, kindergarten through high school). 

The show will feature a LIVE virtual opening event from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, April 17, which also will include virtual lessons from three different artists, which are appropriate for all ages, during the first two hours (each lesson takes approximately 40 minutes). “Art has a powerful way of connecting with people,” said Tiffany Stewart, Co-Founder of the Environmental Council of Huron Valley. “In the midst of our climate crisis, we wanted to find a unique way to bring the community together, highlighting local artwork that speaks to people about the importance of protecting our planet and inspires people to act now.  Now that our art show has gone virtual, we have the opportunity to share this amazing artwork well beyond the gallery walls.” 

The artwork being displayed will appear in a thumbnail format that the viewer can click on to hear from the individual artist speaking about their artwork on Eco HV YouTube channel at this link, on the day of the opening.

Featured artists giving lessons at the virtual opening event include Jocelyn Ho, Jim Wiliams and Dawn Smith. 

Ho, a nature and wildlife photographer, will start off the event with “What Makes a Good Photograph?” The lesson will include the title topic as well as explain composition, framing and basic photography settings. She says of her work: “My artistry revolves around finding unique compositions to showcase familiar subjects.” 

Next up is Jim Williams, who will teach “How to Build and Paint a Castle.” Materials needed include matte board or any card-stock paper, pencils and acrylic paint. A self-taught impressionist realist painter, Williams has worked for 24 years as a caseworker in foster care and delinquency services for the State of Michigan; now retired, he occasionally volunteers as an instructor for inner-city youth programs.

Dawn Smith, an illustrator and tattoo artist with more than 20 years’ experience, concludes the session. She said she will give “a very short iPad drawing tutorial of roses. I will spend 5-10 minutes sharing a very simple study that children can follow along and perhaps adults will also enjoy it. We will talk about the structure of the flower and the leaves.” Smith is the owner of Harlequin Tattoo in Hamtramck. A CCS graduate who’s shown work locally and nationally, she has a studio practice at H.A.T.C.H. Artist Collective. 

We expect the art to: 

  • inspire action

  • broaden awareness 

  • deepen understanding

  • convey urgency

  • point to solutions

  • illuminate the consequences of our planetary climate crisis

Stewart stated, “It is important that we treat ourselves and others with respect. This includes respecting our planet, animals, forests, lakes and oceans.  Some of the art work has been created by children to show others what they love most about nature and why it is important that we protect it for their generation.”

Lee Anzicek, political co-chair of the Crossroads Group of the Sierra Club, said, “The Climate Crisis is upon us, we need lots of creative energy to get the word out and build a grassroots demand for action.”

Trujillo added, “The Our Changing Climate exhibition raises awareness about our magnificent natural world and our need to honor, protect and preserve it. It includes art and short videos by contemporary artists and youth.”

“Our goal is action,” concluded Stewart. “Tune in to see how you can help.” 

One way to help involves repurposing plastic grocery bags to help the homeless. Members of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Milford had resounding success creating numerous sleeping mats for the homeless using discarded grocery bags donated by parishioners as well as members of the community. It’s keeping the bags out of landfills and waterways while aiding the homeless. The bags are folded and cut into loops that form plastic “yarn,” called “plarn,” which is crocheted into mats measuring roughly 3 ½ feet by 6 feet. The mats are given to soup kitchens and parishes in Detroit and Pontiac as well as to the Michigan Veteran’s Foundation. They provide insulation from the cold and damp for those with no shelter. (It’s estimated the City of Detroit alone has 10,000 homeless people.)

For more ways to help, tune to the virtual opening Friday, April 17 at 1 p.m.  via Zoom; register first at this link.

Additional information including a code to enter the meeting will be emailed to you after registration. 

About Huron Valley Council of the Arts 

Based in western Oakland County, Huron Valley Council for the Arts is committed to working with and supporting activities of established and aspiring visual and performing artists and organizations located in and around western Oakland County. For more information, please visit www.huronvalleyarts.org.


About Whatever It Takes Sanctuary W.I.T.S

Whatever It Takes Sanctuary (W.I.T.S.) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that focuses on educating others on the benefits of a healthy and wholesome lifestyle and protecting the environment around us through sustainable living. This fall, W.I.T.S. created an outdoor classroom at Frost Middle School in Livonia, MI, helping connect students with nature.  W.I.T.S. also hosts free movie nights to educate the community on the challenges facing our planet and how each of us can have a positive impact. For more information and a list of upcoming events and or health coaching or presentations, please visit: https://witsanctuary.org

About The Crossroads Group of the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members. Their goal is to protect the environment so that we all may enjoy our country’s natural beauty for generations to come. The Crossroads Group is the local affiliate and represents close to 1,300 members in Livingston County and western Oakland County. They offer fascinating programs, enjoyable outings and the opportunity to do meaningful conservation and political work. They welcome members and nonmembers alike to all of their events. There is something for everyone in Crossroads. For more information, please visit: www.sierraclub.org/michigan/crossroads.

About The Environmental Council of Huron Valley

The Environmental Council of Huron Valley (Eco HV) is a non-political organization committed to the greening of our community.  Founded in 2019 by a group of passionate Milford residents, Eco HV seeks to strengthen the connection between our community and the outdoors by bringing awareness to environmental issues, helping educate our community and inspiring action so that our beautiful, natural community can be enjoyed for generations to come.  Follow us @EcoHV

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ecohv/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ECOHV/ 

Website: www.EcoHV.org  

About the image for this poster...

With his permission, this beautiful, colorful painting by Grant Fischer* was adapted for the Our Changing Climate poster. Much of his work is inspired by the rich palette that our environment and nature brings. Grant was a previous resident of Commerce, Michigan, and taught art at Howell High School for a number of years. He and his family now reside near the magnificent Columbia River in Washington state, where he continues to paint.

*River Valley, acrylic on canvas, 36"x48", from a private collection in Grandville, MI
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Huron Valley Council for the Arts
205 West Livingston Road
Highland, MI 48357


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