On Saturday February 28, 2015, 6 SONSI members met at the McMichael Collection Art Gallery to view the exhibition “Vanishing Ice”.  This exhibition was perfect for a SONSI outing, as it presented science through art and highlighted the role of the artists who document these fascinating regions of ice: glaciers, ice shelves and polar regions.

The McMichael Gallery is nestled in wooded hills overlooking the Humber River Valley, and the galleries are built so that outdoor vistas punctuate the visitor’s journey from gallery to gallery—most refreshing! The dark evergreen trees and golden grasses were splendid against the white snow and bright blue sky.

At the entrance to the gallery a large stack of ice blocks greeted us, and inside we were welcomed into the world of ice: pure, sublime and awe-inspiring.  The artwork spanned centuries, and included oil paintings, lithographs, engravings, pencil sketches, watercolours, journals, books, videos, charts, photographs and digital prints. Historical attitudes towards ice regions were presented in tandem with the understanding we have today that these ice areas are vital to life on earth. We left with a greater appreciation of “ice on Earth” and the danger of Vanishing Ice.

The exhibit ended with a quote from an expedition artist, writing to the expedition scientist:

Photo by Karen Reczuch

Photo by Karen Reczuch

– Nellie Sue Potter