Zaria's Open Road


    Women in STEM Roadtrip


Artist & Climate Change Activist

“I'm trying to encourage people with positivity and hope. If you fall in love with something, you want to protect it.”


Art Environment & Nature


Inspiration Values Family Beliefs & Faith Passion Fulfillment Hobbies & Pastimes Determination Experience Exploration Doubt Fear


Being Creative


  • Her mother was a landscape photographer, and each summer, they’d spend one month traveling.
  • Her mom taught her artistic principles that Zaria still uses today, like how to set up a shot with an interesting composition, and how to follow and best make use of the light.
  • Years before climate change had become a huge topic of discussion, her family traveled to Greenland, where they got to see the effects of global warming up close.
  • She realized that she wanted to focus her work on amplifying people’s understanding of these issues.
  • She and her mother started planning a second excursion to Greenland, but before they could make the trip, her mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away six months later.
  • She decided to follow through on her mother’s vision, and took the trip to Greenland with a group of artists and scientists.
  • After that journey, she started making the giant pastel drawings of ice that she’s become well-known for.
  • Believes that when people read about climate change, they have a hard time empathizing, but when they see it depicted in her large-scale paintings, they’re more moved and inspired to act.

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