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.