Art Supports Climate Justice at Iowa Environmental Council’s First Green Gala


IEC staff at their Green Gala and Art Auction on November 10, 2022 — Courtney Guein/Little Village

The Environmental Council of Iowa (IEC) Gala and Artwork Auction filled the Mainframe Studio Great Hall on Friday, November 10, with guests dressed in shades of green in support of a greener future. .

Green Gala & Art Auction attendees support clean energy by wearing green — Courtney Guein/Little Village

As people sipped their wine to the tunes of DJ Jaide Knight, eyes scanned works of art that were to be auctioned off. The main event was the IEC commissioned piece by Des Moines artist Ben Schuh. This piece sold at a live auction at the event for around $800.

Bidding was available online, which was cut off at midnight, and in person, with most pieces physically present at the event.

Each piece focused on climate change for “[make] sure the public understands the concerns and dangers associated with it,” as Chris Gloninger, Green Gala emcee and KCCI Chief Meteorologist, explains.

Gloninger also shared his own work for climate justice. As he traveled across the country as a meteorologist, he began to see startling patterns of severe weather.

“So I launched the nation’s first weekly series on climate change and started connecting the dots,” Gloninger said. “It is so important that we all have one voice on this important issue. It’s a little disheartening when you look at, admittedly, the TV coverage, the debates and the polls, and you hear, “What are the important issues? Because if you think about what’s most important to you, that common denominator, oftentimes, is climate change.

KCCI’s Chris Gloninger talks about climate change at the 2022 Green Gala and Art Auction — Courtney Guein/Little Village
The original painting commissioned by Ben Schuh specially made for the 2022 Green Gala and Art Auction – Courtney Guein/Little Village
Ben Schuh’s “The Road Ahead” for the Iowa Environmental Council’s 2022 Green Gala and Art Auction – Courtney Guein/Little Village

After sharing his personal story, Gloninger announced four “clean energy champions” who have received IEC awards. The awards were presented to the Iowa Chapter of the Blue Green Alliance for its involvement in labor justice and climate issues; the City of Waterloo in honor of its 24/7 carbon-free energy resolution; Greenpenny Bank of Decorah for its history of financing solar projects; and Keith Denner, president of Professional Property Management in West Des Moines, for reducing unnecessary energy and water expenses for his tenants.

Keith Denner receives an award from the Environmental Council of Iowa. —Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

Proceeds from the gala will be shared, with 25% going to the artists and the rest to the IEC’s clean energy initiatives.

Missed the event, but want to follow the IEC? Visit their website to learn more about their projects and to donate.

Lily DeTaeye contributed to this story.

Photos “Osprey” and “Trumpeter Swans” by David Thoreson at the Green Gala & Art Auction 2022 – Courtney Guein / Little Village
Michael Wilson’s ‘Primitive Jazz’ and Rob Sunderman’s ‘Stream Dancer Save Us All’ assembly piece for the 2022 Green Gala & Art Auction — Courtney Guein/Little Village
Gala-goers analyzing art made for the Iowa Environmental Council’s Green Gala & Art Auction on Nov. 10, 2022. Paintings include Brie Hodges Miller’s “Growing Wild” (left), Sunny’s “Our Remaining Waters” (in middle left), Laura Todd’s “Botanical Dreamscape” (middle right) and “I Shall Use My Time” (right) – Courtney Guein/Little Village


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