Michael Gresalfi

Michael Gresalfi
is a ClimateCultures Author

An artist who seeks to incorporate art with climate change data, and whose work in encaustic medium, glass paint, oils and acrylics includes 'Our Changing Planet'.

Now retired, my professional career began with military service, then a decade with several major international corporations, followed by twenty-plus years with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. During my career I conducted research and strategic policy development, as well as technical assessments and emergency preparedness planning.

Concurrently, and throughout my adult years, I enjoy creating art and volunteering across a wide spectrum of organizations, primarily associated with the disability community. 

In my art, I use melted wax, known as 'encaustic medium' as well as occasionally glass paint, oils and acrylics. I work on a variety of surfaces including canvas, fiberboard, poster board, wood, and mirrors. My style moves between the semi-realism of my 'Flower Series' and 'Our Changing Planet Series' to the more expressionistic, and abstract styles of my 'Reflection' and 'Abstraction' series.

Of particular interest, I have created twelve paintings in a series I have named 'Our Changing Planet' and then I produced a short video of the same name that presents these paintings along with science-based narration. It is my contention that we need to fully incorporate the humanities, and particularly the arts, with climate change-related data if we are to successfully build global advocacy for the difficult decisions we all must take and support in order to manage and mitigate the inevitable world-wide climate based disruptions we are already beginning to experience.

I am a proponent of 'Charitable Art'. I regularly donate art (or the profits from the sale of the art) to a wide range of charitable non-profit organizations that I am engaged with.

I've also worked in film production, including as interviewer on 'Bluestown Rising', a documentary dealing with a music festival's rise over a 30-year history in a small industrial town in Norway and what the festival meant to the town of Notodden as its manufacturing industries closed down.

I am a resident of Boyds, Maryland, USA, and am a service-connected disabled Army veteran, supporting numerous boards over the past decades, including the national-level board of United Cerebral Palsy, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Montgomery County's (Maryland) Commission on People with Disabilities.

Creative Showcase

Michael has contributed three pieces to our Creative Showcase, an evolving collection of new and recent works from our members. 

Mother's Lament, a painting of past, present and possible future states of our coral ecosystems - the 'rainforests of the seas' - points to a grim outcome if we cannot rapidly implement international strategies. He finds inspiration in the "elegant tit-for-tat" coral-algae relationship of shelter, food and, photosynthesis: "the algae also paint their coral hosts with their famous colors -- the riotous colors of a reef are actually a symbol of one of the world’s oldest alliances." 

His earlier pieces are available in our Creative Showcase archive:

"What Man Has Wrought", a seven-panel installation, offers an opportunity for self-reflection, making creative use of styrofoam with melted wax, acrylics and a heat gun to reflect humanity’s darker side and visions of a world we risk if we fail to make restoring our Earth our shared priority. 

Our Changing Planet  is an art-and-science video presentation of his artworks with his own narration offers educators and advocates one example of personally communicating the science of climate change through a creative medium — from the failure of major global COP conferences that don’t engage imagination and trust, to the clear evidence of environmental collapse and some of the many positive actions we can take to counter this.

Michael's ClimateCultures posts

"Where Have All The Birds Gone?"

“Where Have All The Birds Gone?”

Artist Michael Gresalfi shares an artwork that uses repurposed materials dating from before our mass communications 'information age' to witness the extensive decline of bird species and populations in his local area and the loss of natural spectacle.