February 2, 2024


Tish O’Dell


Cleveland, Ohio – Andrea Bowers, Los Angeles based activist artist, learned of CELDF when she heard about the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR). She grew up in Ohio just a few steps from Lake Erie. After hearing about LEBOR Andrea reached out to CELDF to learn more about our work with Rights of Nature and asked how she could help the movement. Art has always been a way to inspire people’s thinking and challenge their beliefs, along with activism. Andrea Bowers Exist, Flourish, Evolve opens at moCa Cleveland this Friday, February 2, 2024 and runs through May 26, 2024.

Bowers bears witness in her work, drawing attention to and inspiring action on urgent issues of our time. Her drawings, sculptures, installations, and films document collective action and amplify the labor and lived experiences of activists dedicated to change. Developed through an ongoing partnership with CELDF Exist, Flourish, Evolve is a new, multi-site, multimedia campaign that builds awareness and action around the dangers facing Lake Erie and the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

This project is anchored by a new, monumental neon public artwork installed on the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) building and facing Lake Erie that declares the right of Lake Erie to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve—words drawn from CELDF’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights. Created with commission support from VIA Art Fund, the bright, buoyant light sculpture obliges us to examine our role in damaging, repairing, protecting, partnering with, and ensuring the health of the Great Lakes that we depend on for survival.

Additional works in Bowers’s exhibition include a neon leaf chandelier, an LED text and light installation that is a corollary to the downtown neon sculpture, drawings of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and Great Lakes Bill of Rights, and a documentary film investigating the impact of factory farming on Lake Erie’s ecosystem.

Truth, Reckoning, & Right Relationship with the Great Lakes Gathering

Part 2 – April 22 & 23, 2024 

Working with Andrea and moCa Cleveland, CELDF developed a means to both confront ecological and human systems truths along with designing ways to move away from systematically harmful behavior and moving towards right relationship with people, communities, and ecosystems. Part 1 “truth and reckoning” was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October 2023 and featured testimony from a chorus of viewpoints including healthcare, higher education, youth activism, indigenous knowledge, and the environmental regulatory world. Part 2 “right relationship” will continue at moCa this spring and will include experiential breakout sessions, keynote speakers and panels, and more. The timing of these discussions coincide with proposals for Lakefront Development in many communities and the hope is that the Rights of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes become the central points of conversations.


About CELDF — Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Begun as a traditional public interest law firm seeking to protect the environment, CELDF sought to protect communities from projects that cause environmental harm. Along the way, we encountered barriers put in place by both government and corporations. Such barriers included corporate constitutional “rights” and the unilateral preemptive authority of state government – both of which are used to override community decision making and local democracy.

Our mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

The post Changing Culture, Changing Law through Art – Andrea Bowers and CELDF: Exist, Flourish, Evolve appeared first on CELDF.