James May Looks for “Art of Water III” Submissions

The Art of Water III is a yearly exhibition at James May Gallery that focuses on water. Works encompass serious topics such as water preservation or simply explore the beauty of water. This year the show runs May 3 – 31. Entries are due by March 15. For more information on how to submit a piece, visit jamesmaygallery.com.

The following is a commentary by James May director, Kendra Bulgrin, on the inspiration behind this water focused exhibit. A full copy can be found on the James May Facebook page.

A year ago….

DNR veteran, Gordon Stevenson moved me into action after attending a talk on the effects of expanding agriculture in Northeastern Wisconsin. Since moving to this area (Algoma), I have been drawn to the water and its magical pull has found its way into nearly everything that I do. I have been thinking about ways I can make a difference for quite some time.

I have been learning about the water crisis in Kewaunee County largely due to large CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) in the area, spreading and spraying untreated manure onto the fields, which then seeps into the ground and surface water. I have openheartedly listened to arguments made on behalf of the farmers but we cannot ignore what is happening to our water because of their practices.

We, at The James May Gallery have been thinking of ways that can help raise awareness and we immediately resort to visual modes. If we could raise awareness through the silent protest of visuals it could have an effect on an entirely different level. Maybe it could reach people that are turned off by the heated politics. Water is not a partisan political issue – we all need clean water to survive!

We would like to have an exhibition focused entirely on water the month of May. This would be a huge change to the gallery’s schedule but it needs to happen. So, artists, activists, poets, writers, politicians, I need your help!

We are looking for artists both locally and nationally that deal with water in their work. I need help getting the word out. I am also thinking of how I can raise money for organizations that help protect the water in our area, mainly the Friends of Crescent Beach and if anyone has other suggestions, I am willing to hear them. The gallery will give a percentage of the sales to these organizations, along with a silent auction, and other modes of fundraising could take place.

We are also asking for participation of poets and musicians and would like the opening to encompass all the arts.

It is one of our main hopes that through these modes of communication we can better reach people that we would otherwise alienate. It can be a quiet protest but hopefully have great impact. The water is so important to us all. We drink it and feel its presence daily. If we have no water in this area, we have no tourism, no businesses, no life! This has an effect on us all – landowners, fisherman, businesses, farmers, families.

Please help us spread the word.

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The Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and about 21% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water.

The Great Lakes water system is the largest inland shipping system in the world.

The only Great Lake entirely within the U.S. is Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan’s shores hold the largest fresh water sand dunes in the world.

The Great Lakes were formed due to glacial movements that caused depressions in the earth that eventually filled with water.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are considered one lake hydrologically since they are connected by the Straits of Mackinac.

Although it falls under the category of what we define as a lake, Lake Superior acts more like an inland sea.

There are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures below Lake Huron.

The Lake Huron shoreline extends 3,827 miles and encompasses 30,000 islands. It is the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes.

The water in Lake Erie is recycled every 2.6 years, the shortest of any Great Lake.

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