WATER: Mystery & Plight exhibition is over and the installation is packed up and stored at it's next venue, the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College in Keene, NH. The response to 13,699 at the Sharon Arts Exhibition Gallery was so positive and heartfelt. Lots of people emailed or sent me notes expressing their appreciation and the sign-in book was filled with supportive comments. My intention to raise awareness of global water issues through art was fulfilled and I am even more energized to continue this work. During the exhibition there was a film night at the local theater sponsored by the Harris Center for Environmental Education. People watched "The Water Front" which is about access issues faced by the poor in Highland Park, Michigan and the threat of privatization as a solution to fiscal crises. Afterwards there was a reception at the Art Gallery where guests were thrilled to receive an Innate Gear stainless steel water bottle. Later in the month there was a presentation by Water Quality Manager, Robert Wood, who had volunteered for Water for People in Guatemala. His slides of the Guatemalans' challenges in providing clean water for their families were moving. Robert also gave us all a lesson in the water challenges we face here in NH with storm water run-off, pharmaceutical pollution, algae blooms, bacteria, and development. Attendees received Innate Gear's awesome stainless steel water bottles.
I'm currently working on concepts for my next Art for Water installation, looking for venues for 13,699 for 2010 and 2011, and talking to a local university about working with students on an Art for Water installation this fall.
Here's one of the comments I received:
"I snuck in on Thursday afternoon before the opening and was completely blown away by beauty, the stature, the delicacy, the brilliance of your piece. But, I said to myself, "How can this beautiful piece represent the global water crisis? It's too beautiful, too delicate, too ethereal to transmit the tragedy, the desperation of those who are suffering in the midst of this crisis." Then, I thought of the many people dying and the souls those people represent and, all of a sudden, the delicacy, the ethereal quality, the beauty hit me: with the light shining on the piece the way it does, all those souls were shimmering, twinkling, sparkling like diamonds before my eyes, as if those who have died are still among us. It blew me away.
It is a transfigurative work of art, Christine. It is sensational, in the best sense of the word. It is beautiful and moving. It communicates the essence of the crisis loud and clear. It should travel far and wide.
Thank you for your creativity, courage and determination to mount such a show, and congratulations on a masterpiece."