Artist Highlight: Spencer Merolla - Coal Comforts is a concept bakery in which traditional baked goods are replaced with inedible versions made from coal ash. An evocative material, ash suggests both personal mortality (ashes to ashes, cremation) and communal annihilation by way of mass destruction. On the face of it, these baked goods look just like the real thing, but close inspection reveals that they are not what they seem. The familiar forms of cookies and cakes generally evoke fond memories, but the confounding of expectations about what is on offer at the “bakery” invites the viewer to question the nostalgic impulse itself. Nostalgia persuades us that what is familiar is innocuous, and in so doing masks a harmful reality—that our overindulgence in fossil fuels has been—and will be—our undoing.