FRANKE JAMES

Who are you going to be?

by Franke James

On Labor Day weekend, I visited Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine to give a keynote speech and a Green Conscience art workshop. Holly Gurney, Associate Dean of Students, was the driving (and inspired) force behind my visit, writing to me that my artwork is:

“…a perfect example of the meeting/interweaving of two themes that I seek to encourage in the incoming class of 2013: namely environmental awareness and sustainability issues, and the role of art and artistic expression in the college’s community and daily life.”

The night before my talk, a small group of faculty and students joined me for dinner. (Since we were in Maine, fresh lobster was on the menu.) It was a great way to get acclimated and gave me a chance to hear about the creative ways that Bates is putting sustainability into action — from free-use bikes, to a car-share program, to an agreement with neighboring farms to take their food waste. As you’ll see in my visual essay below, it also provided added inspiration for me!

photos at Bates College by Franke James
photo of free bikes available for use at Bates College by Franke James

The Roadmap

Whenever I give a talk I like to let the audience know what the roadmap is (without giving away all the twists and turns)…

Part 1: Who are you going to be?
– I’m not who I thought I’d be…
– Making a difference through activism and storytelling

Part 2: Betting on the future
– Betting on the future: An industry that wins only if it correctly predicts.
– Can Society change? James Lovelock is doubtful.

Part 3: Taking Action for 350
– Taking Action: 350 on Campus and Around the Globe


Part 1: Who are you going to be?

illustration by Franke James

photo at Bates College by Franke James

bag photo by Franke James

350 photo by John Quigley, Text illustration by Franke James

illustration by Franke James

text illustration by Franke James;

photo of Franke James;

photo of Franke; chart illustration by Franke James;

illustration by franke james;

photo-collage illustration by franke james; cookie cutter photo istockphoto/juniorbeep

couch illustration by franke james;

photo of franke james by ken villeneuve;

imaginary billboard franke james;

press kit photos of Mary Pratt's painting and Jack Shadbolt's painting which were in 1987 Painting the Town exhibition; text illustration by Franke James;

reject art illustration by Franke James

photo of franke from 1987 by William James; text illustration by Franke James

text illustration by Franke James

scans of two print articles from 1987 - Montreal Gazette and Applied Arts

scans of Billi Award from 1987. Drawing of door by Franke James
photo collage by Franke James; typewriter from istockphoto/tradigi

apple drawing and laptop photo by Franke James

drawing by Franke James

drawing by Franke James

photo of paintbrushes by Franke James

photo of paintbrushes by Franke Jamesweb world by Franke James with istockphoto of spider web

drawing by Franke James

drawing by Franke James

drawing by Franke James

green conscience beer cap drawing by Franke James from No One Will Know essay

do the hardest thing first drawing by Franke James from My SUV and Me Say Goodbye

CO2 toaster drawing by Franke James from Book launch invite

think stupid drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay
I think the next generation will judge us harshly for our inaction on climate change.

think sewer drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay

We dump pollution into the air like it was a bottomless sewer. How different is this from us dumping raw sewage into our lakes? (Which almost everyone knows is bad for the environment and frowned on.)

polar bear drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay

In 2007, when I was writing To My Future Grandkids in 2020, I cited a headline about the “Arctic ice cap thawing faster than forecast.” Since then the Arctic sea ice has melted to record levels. This raises the possibility of an almost ice-free Arctic sea in the summertime within a few years.

cutting emissions drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay

The window on reducing our emissions is closing fast. Much faster than some of our political leaders are willing to admit.

“Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 390ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.” Science Facts at 350.org

Grandma Rocks drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay

bottle cap drawing by Franke James from 2009 No One Will Know essay

“Do the Hardest Thing First” became my mantra. I told the students about us selling our only car so that we could whack down our emissions — and feel that we were doing something. (You can read about it all here: My SUV and Me Say Goodbye.)

SUV and Me cover drawing by Franke James from 2007 To My Future Grandkids essay

Continued.. Part 2: Betting on the future

The Roadmap: Who are you going to be?

Part 1: Who are you going to be?
– I’m not who I thought I’d be…
– Making a difference through activism and storytelling

Part 2: Betting on the future
– Betting on the future:An industry that wins only if it correctly predicts.
– Can Society change? James Lovelock is doubtful.

Part 3: Taking Action for 350
– Taking Action: 350 on Campus and Around the Globe

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