Toward 2050: A New Community Art Exhibit Coming 2025 | Desert Botanical Garden


An exciting new art installation is arriving to Desert Botanical Garden in February 2025 that provides an opportunity for everyone to participate.

TOWARD 2050, organized by Valley-based textile artist Ann Morton, is an exhibition that invites guests to create hand-made artwork reflecting their perspective on the environment. Morton will then assemble each individual artwork to create a thoughtful and immersive installation in the form of a labyrinth.

Ann Morton

The project is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2023 Synthesis Report that established goals and pathways to reverse greenhouse gas emissions and arrive at net zero emissions by 2050. TOWARD 2050 will take visitors on a journey that looks 25 years into the future of our environment.

The project will unfold in four parts:

1. Participate to make flags

This project begins with YOU. Sign up to create 10”x10” double sided flags using a variety of techniques like weaving, sewing, embroidery, applique, screen print or fabric dyeing. Makers are encouraged to re-use materials you already have to create your own interpretation of beloved elements of our environment. Once you sign up, we’ll send you a packet with detailed instructions, cotton tags to add to your flag panels and postcards to send to your lawmakers.

2. Send postcards to local representatives

A critical step in this project will be to send urgent messages to your lawmakers in Washington DC or locally — wherever there is legislation being debated that should consider embedded climate mitigation policies. These cards carry their own message, and there is space for you to add your own as well. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a postcard for each flag you signed up to make.

3. Build the labyrinth

Participants will send their flags to project organizers in Phoenix, so that they can be used to build and define the pathways for the colossal labyrinth at the Garden. Visitors will have the opportunity to see their work and appreciate more than 5,000 flag panels that will come together to create the labyrinth. Not only will your work inspire contemplation about climate and our environment, but visitors will step over thresholds within the labyrinth, year by year, ever closer to the year 2050 – all combining to build awareness and foster responsibility

4. Re-make flags into blankets

As this project unfolds, each flag will be re-purposed to create blankets that will then be donated to communities affected by the next climate related catastrophe(s) that sadly, will surely happen as we have seen all too clearly in recent years.

The Garden’s ongoing commitment to advance excellence in education, research, exhibition and conservation makes it a fitting location to orchestrate this artistic and social action that focuses on the urgency of how we must take part in caring for our planet’s health.