A contemporary art exhibit presented by Art Works for Change and NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council)

Orange Fall (2020) by Inka EssenhighArt Works for Change


NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We combine the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild, and pinpoint the areas where action will accelerate change and amplify results.

Oil Fire (2014) by Richard FriedbergArt Works for Change

Climate Change

Fighting climate change by cutting carbon pollution and expanding clean energy is the best way to build a better future for our children. NRDC is tackling the climate crisis at its source: pollution from fossil fuels. NRDC works to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by expanding clean energy across cities, states, and nations.

Hot With The Chance Of A Late Storm (2006) by Jonathan Kneebone, The Glue SocietyArt Works for Change

NRDC wins court cases that allow the federal government to limit carbon pollution from cars and power plants. We help implement practical clean energy solutions. And we fight oil and gas projects that would pump out even more pollution.

Madame Lulu's Book of Fate by Kahn & SelesnickArt Works for Change

Mining II (2005) by Nicole EisenmanArt Works for Change


More than 80% of Americans live in cities and suburbs—and this number is skyrocketing. NRDC programs help create strong, just, and resilient communities—making cities healthier, more sustainable places to live.

Coral Reef by Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesArt Works for Change

NRDC works to lower energy bills, reduce flooding, improve access to healthier food, and make it cheaper and easier for everyone to get around. And when polluters threaten communities, our lawyers go to court on their behalf.

Smog Free Tower (2015) by Studio RoosegaardeArt Works for Change

Learn more about our work with communities, including how we address the threats posed by fracking and our roadmap for taking a stand against fracking activity in your hometown.

The San Gorgonia Pass (2018) by Jesse Homer FrenchArt Works for Change


Expanding clean energy protects our health, air, climate, and last wild places.

Learning to see: Gloomy Sunday (2018) by Memo AktenArt Works for Change

NRDC promotes policies that make our cars, buildings, appliances, and everyday gadgets more efficient.

Sustainable Cinema No. 5: Dual Windmill (2011) by Scott HesselsArt Works for Change

We help communities fight dangerous fossil-fuel extraction operations in their backyards. And we collaborate with other countries to promote a global vision for—and an accelerated transition to—a clean energy future.

Clean Energy Future (2020) by Al GrumetArt Works for Change

Learn more about our work on energy, including efforts to reduce diesel-fueled freight transportation, and steps that you can take to save energy at home.

Shift (Drought) (2018) by Heami Lee, Allie Wist, Rebecca Bartoshesky, and Victoria GranofArt Works for Change


Few everyday decisions are more important to our health—or the health of our planet—than choosing what we eat. NRDC pushes corporations and policymakers to reduce harmful chemicals in our food. We fight for stronger pollution controls on industrial farms and help small farmers safeguard their crops against climate change. We also develop initiatives to reduce food waste and promote sustainability from farm to fork.

Work Series: The Scale, The Scale of Justice, The Lift, The Carrying Pole, Colander (2015) by Kawita VatanajyankurArt Works for Change

Learn more about our work to protect the health of our food supply, including our efforts to address food waste, the use of toxic pesticides in agriculture, and the excessive use of antibiotics on livestock.

Lake Project 74 (2015) by David MaiselArt Works for Change


Getting rid of toxic chemicals in our environment—in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we buy—helps protect the health of millions of people. When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration fail to protect Americans, workers, and children from dangerous chemicals, NRDC takes them to court. We fought for reforms that took millions of pounds of the most harmful pesticides off the market. And we team up with communities to wipe out indoor health hazards, including mold in public housing.

Gowanus (2013) by Alexis RockmanArt Works for Change

Learn more about our work to protect the public from toxic chemicals, including our court battles, and how you can protect your family from toxic chemicals in your home.

Green Wave (2002) by Inka EssenhighArt Works for Change


Oceans help feed the world, provide a living for millions of people, and are home to most of the life on the planet. NRDC works to protect our seas from pollution and exploitation. We help implement laws that allow overfished species to rebound, and we fight to protect coastal communities from offshore drilling. We work to ban destructive fishing practices, conserve ocean treasures, and improve stewardship of the world’s shared oceans, which generate trillions of dollars in economic activity.

Tangerine Reef (2018) by Coral Morphologic / Animal CollectiveArt Works for Change

Floridawater 2 (2019) by Allison Janae HamiltonArt Works for Change


Clean water sustains our communities, economies, ecosystems, and health. In the early 1970s, NRDC helped win passage of the Clean Water Act, our nation’s bedrock water-pollution law. Since then, we have continued to fight for a clean, safe, and sufficient water supply. We push the federal government to strengthen protections for drinking-water sources, and we find ways for cities to keep pollution out of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters—both for our benefit and the benefit of fish and wildlife.

Dry Season (2007) by Mary MattinglyArt Works for Change

Our work also helps homes, buildings, farms, and power plants use water as efficiently as possible, so that there’s plenty for all of us and for future generations.

Flint Water (2017) by Pope.LArt Works for Change

Heritage (2013) by Cai Guo-QiangArt Works for Change

The Wild

We rely on wilderness not only to inspire and enjoy but also to protect our watersheds, clean the air we breathe, and provide a home for the diverse species that enrich our world. NRDC protects wildlife and unspoiled lands from the threats of industrial development, commercial exploitation, pollution, and climate change.

Red Wolf (2018) by Laura BallArt Works for Change

We partner with ranchers, farmers, energy companies, and the government to promote solutions that help wild predators coexist with livestock and people.

This Empty World (2018) by Nick BrandtArt Works for Change

We push for international agreements that shield polar bears, elephants, rhinos, and other animals from being killed for trade. And we fight to keep reckless oil and gas drilling out of wild areas, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Boreal Forest.

Welwitschia 22411 (2004) by Rachel SussmanArt Works for Change

Learn more about our current initiatives to protect wilderness areas and wildlife, including protecting the Boreal forest in Canada and the imminent threat of extinction created by illegal wildlife trade.

Credits: Story

This exhibit is a selection of works from "Footing the Bill: Art and Our Ecological Footprint", an online exhibition created in partnership with NRDC (The National Resources Defense Council). For more information, please contact us at or visit us at

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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