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Kansas City, MO, January 6, 2022: Opening to the public on Saturday, January 15 is Charlotte Street’s new exhibition Not Quite Fatal. Bringing together the work of seven visual artists practicing in printmaking, sculpture and drawing, this exhibition engages with our current collective state of climate grief and environmental anxiety. Exploring a range of artistic responses and personal identities, work by Flannery Cashill, Julio Del Rio, Ocean Escalanti, Luis Estrada, Most Ancient, Gilvon Greer and Danielle Wright addresses place/displacement within the environment and the urgency of community care.

mixed media on found book page 9 x 11” unique 2019

Danielle Wright, Untitled (The Truth), 2021, permanent marker on abandoned Amazon package

Luis Estrada and Julio Del Rio are studio artists at NIAD Art Center, a progressive art studio for neurodiverse and disabled artists located for the past 38 years in Richmond, California. During her time as a studio facilitator at NIAD Art Center, curator Chelsea Smith began to build the idea for the exhibition through her conversations with Estrada, exploring how living in Richmond impacts his practice, as well as his interest in the weather and natural vs. manmade disasters. On making work in Richmond, Estrada says, “Richmond has a lot of noise, too many cars, the noise is every day, every morning, every afternoon, every night. A long time I’ve been painting. I’ve been working at NIAD a long time, working a lot, I’ve been coming 15 years. 15 years I’ve been working real hard.”

Richmond is a city historically steeped in environmental racism and big oil pollution, specifically from Chevron towards predominately Black Unincorporated Richmond. Estrada’s work has a unique power in visualizing and interpreting stories of environmental racism and preserving intimate histories of climate change.

In conversation with Estrada’s paintings is Ocean Escalanti’s Nature’s on her Knees quilt, commissioned for this exhibition. Escalanti is an Indigenous printmaker and natural dyer living in Oakland California whose work meditates on the uncertainty of coexisting with nature and cycles of death and rebirth.

In the summer of 2020 the San Francisco Bay Area faced the trifecta of COVID-19, extreme heat waves and the largest wildfires in California’s recorded history. The effects of this were universally felt, but the works of Estrada and Del Rio depict the tedium and terror of it vividly. Similarly, in Veronica Graham’s screen-printed posters, we feel a sense of danger through the phosphorescent brilliance, what Graham describes as her ‘global warming agitprop.’ For the exhibition, Graham created the work Diatribes, a VR narrative experience that explores fears about climate change and is a lecturer of Virtual Reality in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University.

Flannery Cashill is a Kansas City, Missouri based artist and illustrator whose work is in dialogue with Graham’s print practice through their close network of small independent presses, such as Oddities Prints based in Kansas City and Tiny Splendor based in Berkeley California.

Another Kansas City based artist included in the exhibition is Gilvon Greer, a practicing artist at Imagine That, a similar studio to NIAD Art Center that supports neurodiverse and disabled artists in the Crossroads District. Greer’s delicately intimate depictions of the universe and earth’s biodiversity explore the wonder of the cosmos with a subtle hand and quiet revelations.

Danielle Wright is a Chicago based artist who has created a new body of work for this exhibition where she has transcribed Sun Ra’s Science Fiction-tinged poetry collection This Planet Is Doomed onto trash which she personally generated.

In Wright’s own words, “Who is disposable? What is disposable? How do small gestures of consumption, my consumer habits, contribute to impending global environmental collapse? Where am I located relative to the problems associated with environmental degradation? How does the language of “environmental racism” relegate conversations about race and capital to the fringe of environmental justice rather than center racial capitalism as the root of the problem? How does racial capitalism’s definition of who and what is disposable threaten this planet?”

In the wake of COVID 19, artists confront the diminishing returns of Earth and the power of visual art to reckon with the complicated possibilities of the world we are creating and living within.

This exhibition is dedicated to Jon Fukui (gone too soon).

This press release was adapted from the curatorial statement written by Chelsea Smith

For the original statement please click here

Chelsea Smith is an artist, curator and visual arts facilitator based in Kaw/Kansa Nation (Kansas City, Kansas). She holds a BA (Honors) in Ceramics from Camberwell College of Arts in London, United Kingdom. In 2020 she was the recipient of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Artists Now grant and the curator of The Rim of Morning at Open Windows Cooperative in San Francisco, California. In 2021 she curated The Smallest Great Unknown exhibition at Imagine That in Kansas City, Missouri. She currently facilitates online for neurodiverse and disabled artists at NIAD Art Center in Ohlone Territory (Richmond, California).

Not Quite Fatal opens to the public on Saturday, January 15. The exhibition will be on view during open hours (Tuesday – Friday 12-5 PM and Saturday 11 AM-5 PM) until February 15at Charlotte Street Foundation’s new gallery (3333 Wyoming).


Artist Talk with Flannery Cashill | January 20, 6PM CST, ZOOM
Artist Flannery Cashill will be sharing her inspirations and connections for her site-specific installation in the exhibition Not Quite Fatal, from viral videos to the Voynich manuscript, and from Silent Spring to The Uninhabitable Earth. Developed around the idea of migration corridors, Cashill’s work considers tubes, tunnels, and transitions, as well as what positive motivations might remain during an extinction event.

Poetry Workshop with Danielle Wright | January 28, 6PM CST, ZOOM
In this one hour zoom workshop, participants will draw upon a variety of Wikipedia entries to generate their own poems, appropriating found text around climate change to uncover novel connections between seemingly unrelated content and generate new meaning through literary collage techniques.

Veronica Graham, “Diatribes” Zoom Walking Tour Talk and Ocean Escalanti, Indigenous natural dye practices| February 11, 6PM CST, ZOOMArtist Veronica Graham will be guided tour of her work Diatribes, a work-in-progress VR experience that will be streamed on ZOOM. Graham will be providing commentary on the multilinear narrative with insights about crafting the 3D art.

Artist Ocean Escalanti will discuss her botanical dye process, Indigenous histories of natural dye practices and how it relates to contemporary work.

About “Diatribes”

Diatribes is an interactive narrative that uses Virtual Reality to explore the fears we internalize when confronted with the reality of climate change. In the current iteration, the player arrives in a surreal realm to witness the carnage left behind by the ongoing war between Nature and Civilization.
Diatribes is inspired by the ecological philosopher Timothy Morton’s description of climate change as a “hyperobject” — a thing so massively distributed that you can’t see it, in its entirety, but you can conceive it. The Diatribes experience distorts space and time to make the landscape feel deliberately dispersed. This is not a didactic narrative experience—it does not offer solutions for how to solve climate change. Diatribes uses the playspace of VR to explore the dissociation this crisis breeds.

For more information about the exhibition and upcoming programs, visit our website or contact Boi Boy, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected]


For the safety of our staff and patrons, Charlotte Street Foundation requires all visitors to wear masks indoors to lessen the transmission of COVID-19. All visitors, volunteers, and event partners for public programs will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry. Out of concern for our staff and visitors, we are unable to accommodate any unvaccinated guests, volunteers, or event partners without proof of vaccination, or children under the age of 5 for public events. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or do not feel well, please stay home.

We will continue to evaluate and update our COVID-19 protocols based on community health data and public health and government guidance to ensure that Charlotte Street’s programs remain as accessible to the public as possible. Please check back for more updates in advance of our public programs.

We thank everyone for their understanding and commitment to the health of the community.

Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $1.85 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit


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