CMNS alumnus Sharon Roberts

CMNS alumnus launches art and essay exhibition

March 02, 2021

Growing up in Osoyoos, Sharon Roberts was no stranger to wildfires. In 2018, Roberts, a School of Communication alumnus working in project management, started a project called Fire Followers with local professional artist Megan Majewski.

The project aims to showcase the biodiversity and the resilience of communities and forests impacted by wildfire. Through their travels around BC, Roberts and Majewski collected stories and experiences that they’ve developed into an upcoming exhibit of art and essays at the Beaty Museum at the University of British Columbia.

By Megan Majewski
By Megan Majewski

“Wildfires are scary and impact communities every year,” says Roberts, “but the impact of current wildfire policy of constant suppression is one of the reasons for super wildfires.”

Roberts says we need to change the public perception about wildfires.

The project had the pair traveling the province visiting regions impacted by wildfires and controlled fires to hear stories and bring a greater awareness of the necessity of fire for a healthy forest.   

Co-creator of Fire Followers and professional artist Megan Majewski

Their exhibit will showcase a collection of paintings by Majewski inspired by wildfires in British Columbia and a collection of essays written by Roberts.

In one of the Roberts’ essays in the upcoming exhibit, she writes about one of their visits near Majewski’s hometown of Cranbrook to the ?aq’am First Nation where they learned about their wildfire and controlled burns experiences.

Robert says she hopes this is only the beginning of their Fire Followers project.

“The idea for this exhibit is it continues to be living, growing and going through cycles of stories and experiences, kind of like the life of a forest,” says Roberts.

“We hope to continue to build dialogue and invite people to share their own stories or experiences with fire and create a space about it, share stories of resilience and travel our exhibit around BC,” says Roberts.

The exhibit runs from March 1 until October 31 at the Beaty Museum at UBC.