Watershed gallery exhibition / events / talks

Watershed features installations by Sweet Water Organics, Colleen Ludwig, Jarod Charzewski, Raoul Deal and Nicolas Lampert; video projection by Lisa Moline, Dr. Rudi Strickler, and Lane Hall; prints by students at the Bruce Guadalupe Middle School and the Walnut Way Conservation Corp in Milwaukee; films by Laura Klein that document public intervention projects by Amy Mall and Sherwin Ovid, Tiffany Holmes, Maria Cristina Tavera and Xavier Tavera, Nance Klehm, Jesse Graves, Sarah Lewison, kathryn e. martin, Jenny Plevin and Allison Westbrook, Lisa Moline and Lane Hall, Ximena Sosa and Cristian Muñoz, Deal, and Lampert.

Milwaukee show opens Friday, January 28th, 5:00-8:00 pm

January 28 – February 25, 2011

Union Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2200 East Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53211, (414) 229-6310

Gallery hours: Monday – Wednesday: 12-5pm / Thursday: 12-7pm / Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm

Watershed also features a series of discussions by Milwaukee-based artists, scientists, urban farmers, and community activists, as well as a presentation by the Brooklyn-based environmental artist Betsy Damon. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 3rd: artist talk by Betsy Damon (Brooklyn-based Artist and Water Activist, founder of Keeper of the Waters), UWM Union, Wisconsin Room West. 7:00 pm. Reception following the talk will be held in the Union Art Gallery

Thursday, February 10th: Union Art Gallery, 7:00 pm- 9:00pm. Presentations by Eddee Daniel (photographer, author of Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed), Dan Brinkmeier (Chicago-based rural ecology consultant), Michael Carriere (MSOE General Studies Asst. Prof, Phd in American Urban History , University of Chicago)

Thursday, February 17th: Union Art Gallery, 7:00 pm – 9:00pm. Presentations by Emmanuel Pratt/Jeff Redmon (Sweet Water Organics), Sharon Adams (Walnut Way Conservation Corp), Jeff Filipiak (Phd in Environmental History, teaches at MIAD and UWM; focus of talk: History of the Great Lakes)

Thursday, February 24th: Union Art Gallery, 7:00 pm – 9:00pm. Presentations by Carmen Aguilar-Diaz (UWM Great Lakes Water Institute scientist), Lane Hall (artist, UWM English Dept), Nancy Aten (sustainable landscape designer)

Description of installations:

Sweet Water Organics “Future of Farming”

As water is one of the fundamental elements of life, water is also one of the fundamental elements in the production of food. Over the past 100 years, cities have experienced an increased shortage of the availability of water as cities have grown globally. Aquaponics, an ancient practice utilizing water in the symbiotic cultivation of fish with aquatic plants and vegetables, uses 80-90% less water than traditional tillage farming techniques. “Future of Farming” demonstrates a 21st century adaptation of aquaponics in an urban setting. With the goal of transforming waste into community resources, Sweet Water has transformed an abandoned industrial building into a showcase of aquaponics, urban agriculture, and a number of community development strategies as we strive to become a resource for local job creation and innovative educational models.

Raoul Deal and Nicolas Lampert “Tower of Power”

Tower of Power critiques the World Bank privatization schemes that have opened up the floodgates for multinational corporations to buy up and sell fresh water sources throughout the world. The World Bank logo adorns the outside of the water tank, while two sets of price tags hang down from the tower for viewers to read. One set details information about multinational water, energy, and bottling corporations including Veoloa, Vivendi, Suez, RWE, Bechtel, Thames Water, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi. The other set details information about organizations, community groups, and individuals who are organizing around water issues and environmental justice.

Lane Hall, Nicolas Lampert, and Raoul Deal “Basin”

Basin is a 20’ x 16’ blackboard with a chalked flow chart recording the perils and politics that confront water resources in the 21st century. Ideas and information stem from scientific, political, and poetic sources. Water issues are diagrammatically mapped with an intention to display deep interconnectivity.

Colleen Ludwig “Shiver”

Shiver is an immersive, interactive environment.  The title refers to the chill or slight tickle felt on the skin if activated from a light touch or closeness.  When entering the artwork, visitors initiate trickling flows of water.  These flows cling to, and seek paths along, the walls’ minor topographies.  Skin is used as a mechanism and a metaphor for shifting boundaries between self and space.   The connection between inner and outer ecosystems is made palpable, bringing into focus the critical importance of clean water sources for the health of our planet and ourselves.

Colleen Ludwig and Jarod Charzewski “10% Impervious”

10% Impervious is a three-dimensional graphing of the waterways that make up the Greater Milwaukee watersheds.  The river systems extend from Plymouth and Fond du Lac to Racine and Union Grove.  MMSD (Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District) plans to remove three miles of concrete along each of the Kinickkinnic and Menomenee Rivers. This is significant because concrete is impervious, and doesn’t allow water to infiltrate the soil.  Instead, it starves groundwater and washes pollutants and abnormally warm water into Lake Michigan.  10% Impervious is the percentage at which the health of a waterway starts to suffer from lack of contact with the earth.  Most urban centers in Wisconsin have at least 10% impervious waterways and sometimes as much as 20%.

Watershed is co-Sponsored by The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and the UWM Cultures & Communities Program.

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