Great Lakes beauty, Flint Water Crisis shown in University of Michigan art exhibit

ANN ARBOR, MI – Watershed has two meanings — a area of land that drains to a particular physique of drinking water and a crucial event or interval marking a turning stage.

The new “Watershed” exhibit at the College of Michigan Museum of Artwork encompasses both equally meanings, made up of items that depict the magnificence of the Great Lakes location as perfectly as the heritage inside it.

The show, curated from the get the job done of 15 artists, was was made probable by a $35,000 grant from the Countrywide Endowment for the Arts secured by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn.

“Arts and society, much like our Wonderful Lakes, encourage creativeness in individuals of all ages, enable electricity our local economies and carry joy to a great number of people,” Dingell stated in a information launch. “With this funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, UMMA will convey recognition and educate site visitors on significant challenges impacting the world’s largest concentration of freshwater.”

Dingell has usually been a “stalwart supporter” of the arts at UMMA and all through Washtenaw County, stated museum spokesman Christopher Ankey.

“Her perform has been crucial for making it possible for companies like UMMA to keep on supporting artists and developing powerful encounters with the arts that our communities require to thrive,” he mentioned.

The “Watershed” exhibit opens to the community for absolutely free on June 4. For extra info, go to the museum internet site at umma.umich.edu/exhibitions/2022/watershed.

The show functions artists from throughout the Great Lakes, which is made up of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It also attributes international artists, as very well, these kinds of as an acrylic portray on canvas by Dubai-dependent painter Khaled Al-Saa’i.

The theme of the exhibit is to showcase “the influence of h2o scarcity, air pollution, and economic and cultural displacement on the communities of the Fantastic Lakes area, earlier and current, though also highlighting how those same problems impact people across the country,” in accordance to a UMMA information release.

“The Fantastic Lakes are a way of existence, and the communities listed here really feel passionately about their social, financial, and cultural significance,” explained Jennifer Friess, the show curator. “The remarkable artists showcased in Watershed look at the ability of drinking water and the ramifications of corporate and political wrongdoing, although fostering important dialogues about our environmental and cultural futures.”

For illustration, a photo series by Chicago-dependent LaToya Ruby Frazier highlights the effect of the Flint Drinking water Crisis. One particular example demonstrates a Black youngster brushing their tooth working with bottled water thanks to the direct contamination in the community water offer.

Other artists contributing to “Watershed” are Dawoud Bey, Pope.L, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shanna Merola, Doug Fogelson, Matthew Brandt, Senghor Reid and additional.

Other than the NEA grant, the show been given guide assist from the UM Office of the Provost, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, Susan and Richard Gutow and the UM Institute for the Humanities, in accordance to the UMMA launch.

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