Zachary Melanson’s Islands of Change Exhibit at the Assumption Gallery

7/27/2017 12:00:00 AM

Until the end of August, the Assumption Gallery welcomes Zachary Melanson’s Islands of Change exhibit. The environmentally committed photographer features a collection of nine large colour photographs. This will be his first time at the Assumption Gallery.
 
“My interest in photography started while I was an arts student at the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design in Halifax. I quickly realized that mere photography was not fulfilling my aspirations for a greener, fairer and plentiful world,” shares Zachary Melanson.
 
His exhibit is dedicated to sharing photographs of the inhabitants of Pemba Island and surrounding islets, in Tanzania. These islands represent a fifth of Prince Edward Island’s geographic size and have been inhabited for more than 1,000 years. Their more than 400,000 inhabitants deal with the chaos related to climate change. To contend with that chaos, the inhabitants forgo their traditional ways and adopt more modern ways.
 
The inhabitants of these islands sow between the trees instead of cutting them down to sow and even plant new trees. They use sea water for household chores instead of using water from the streams. They use solar electricity for their lighting and to recharge their devices, and they regulate fishing so that schools of fish have time to regenerate. The aforementioned reflect the reasoning behind the exhibit’s title, Islands of Change.
 
In 2008, he co-founded Community Forests International (http://forestsinternational.org/), a non-profit organization based in Sackville, New Brunswick. He became its Director of Communications. Zachary Melanson becomes the man behind a cause. He puts his art to the service of environmental management by rural communities in the Atlantic Provinces and in East Africa. His photographs are a testament of how these communities took charge of their own environment and their personal commitment to climate changes.
 
Through his photographs, Zachary Melanson wants to uncover the communities’ efforts to grow in harmony with nature and improve their everyday life. The inhabitants of Pemba Island reinvented their way of living on land and sea, by evolving from past to present, and from destruction to revival, and so, his photographs are his personal way of shedding light on the growing menace that is climate change.
 
The Assumption Gallery exhibits contemporary and modern paintings, folk art, sculptures and photographs that are produced by professional Canadian artists. Six exhibits, running two months each, are presented each year. The Gallery is located at 770 Main Street in Moncton, on the ground floor of Assumption Place.