Dianna Cohen

Dianna Cohen—October 17, 2018

Video of Dianna Cohen’s lecture

How can we stem the tide of plastics overwhelming our planet? The Oregon Humanities Center’s O’Fallon Lecture in Art and American Culture presents a talk about the pervasive problem of plastic pollution with artist and activist Dianna Cohen on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in 156 Straub Hall on the UO campus.

Inspired by her creative work with ubiquitous plastic bags, artist Dianna Cohen co-founded the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment.

In her lecture, “Plastic Pollution: Art to Action,” Cohen will speak about her 2D and 3D artwork, sculptures, and installations. She hopes to inspire conversation and action around the issue of plastic pollution, alternatives, and solutions. At a time when sustainability is an international concern, Cohen asks us to rethink our relationship with plastic and consider the material as a valued resource instead of waste.

Cohen will be one of the 30 artists featured in the exhibit “Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials” on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art September 22 through December 30, 2018. The JSMA will be offering public events surrounding the “Plastic Entanglements” exhibit, which will include an opening reception, panel discussions and research presentations, a lecture by another featured artist, and a family day. For more information about these events go to: jsma.uoregon.edu/peprograms.

Cohen’s talk is the first lecture in the OHC’s year-long theme “The Common Good” in which speakers will examine critical topics that impact the nation we share, such as civil rights, environment, economics, incarceration, law, and technology. The series will provide audiences with a variety of perspectives on how the common good has shaped—and sometimes failed to shape—our shared social, political, cultural, and ethical history, how it is working or not working in today’s society, and how it might contribute to and strengthen American identity and society in the years to come.

The Colin Ruagh Thomas O’Fallon Memorial Lectureship was established by a gift from Henry and Betsy Mayer, named in memory of their nephew, son of law professor James O’Fallon (1944–2017) and his wife, artist Ellen Thomas. The subject of this lecture alternates each year between law and art and American culture. Past topics have included philosophy, jurisprudence, American political life, architecture, and art theory and criticism.

Cohen’s talk is free and open to the public and will be live-streamed. For information or disability accommodations (which must be made by October 10, 2018), go to ohc.uoregon.edu or call (541) 346-3934.

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