Western Pa. events set to honor Springdale environmentalist Carson
In commemoration of Rachel Carson's 108th birthday, which fell on May 27, events are planned to celebrate the enduring legacy of the famed Springdale-born environmentalist.
Advocacy though art
A new summer art exhibit celebrating Carson's environmental advocacy and writing will open at the Coverlet Gallery at St. Vincent College, Unity, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. May 29.
“A Sense of Wonder: The Nature Writing of Rachel Carson” integrates elements of art, history and nature to present the chronology of Carson's impact on the environmental movement, exhibit curator Pamela Curtin says.
The display, free for the public and open through Sept. 4, will include antique items such as three original copies of Carson's environmental novels and vintage pesticide advertisements that illustrate her opposition of pesticide use in her famous 1962 book, “Silent Spring.”
“I can guarantee people will come and see something they haven't seen before,” gallery curator Lauren Churilla says.
The exhibit's 24 coverlets from the 1800s will include a variety of woven-in nature motifs that convey Carson's belief in man's interconnectivity with nature, says Curtin, a former student of Churilla's at St. Vincent.
“(Carson) wanted us to look at the beauty of nature around us and realize that there's a need to take care of it,” Churilla says.
The gallery will provide free public programs throughout the summer where families can explore Western Pennsylvania's natural wildlife, including birds and turtles at the Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector.
On July 13, Robert Musil, president and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, will have a lecture at the gallery, as well as a book signing for his 2014 book, “Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America's Environment.”
The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.
Details: 724-805-2188 or mccarlgallery.org
Birthday cake for Carson
The Rachel Carson Homestead Association, which aims to preserve and interpret her original Springdale residence, will host a free commemorative event for her 108th birthday from noon to 4 p.m. May 30 at 613 Marion Ave.
The event allows the public to explore and connect with the home where Carson developed her “sense of wonder” while exploring the surrounding woodland as a child, association board member Jeanne Cecil says.
“People that visit the property usually treat it like a shrine,” Cecil says.
The casual celebration will include sample performances by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's new “eco-theater.” The group will perform the workshop performance “A New Kind of Fallout,” depicting Carson's spearheading of the environmental movement.
The title is a quote from Carson's 1963 Congressional testimony in reference to the use of pesticide sprays, according to the theater.
Adults and children also will be able to tour the home and surrounding scenery.
Matthew Zabierek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7948.