There’s a sense of urgency and last chances in any discussion of the environment today. So with only a few weeks left to see “The Shape of the Environment,” a multi-artist exhibition at the Arts + Literature Laboratory, seize an opportunity.

Curated by Madison-based artist Lelia Byron and open Tuesdays through Saturdays through Nov. 4, “The Shape of the Environment” includes artwork in media ranging from documentary photographs to neon to textiles to twigs. The 13 artists who produced work for the show come mostly from across the Midwest, many of them from Madison, and delve into the past and future in imaginative and often stirring ways.

“One of the ideas was to bring together all these artists who didn’t know each other necessarily and are at different points in their careers,” said Byron, who recruited both longtime established artists and recent UW-Madison graduate students to think about how they considered the “shape” of the physical world.

“I wanted to bring a diverse group of voices,” she said. “As you can see, there’s lots of ways that different artists are approaching this topic, with different areas of focus. The idea was to get all these artists together, talking to one another, maybe collaborating in the future.”

“The Shape of the Environment” has also included a series of workshops, panels and films. It closes with a night of special performances and a chance to experience the artwork in person one more time.

Artist statements and eloquent essays were compiled in a zine, which proved so popular that print copies had been snatched up by early October. The zine remains online via a link at

But many works in “The Shape of the Environment” justify a first-person look.