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About the Water Matters Program

"Water is the bridge between the physical and energetic domains of the human system, the interface between the living matrix and nature."
—Kevin Griffin, FotoFest 2004 Catalogue, 54.

My Mind is a Glass of Water by James Rosenquist
Water is the most vital element of life and of creative and spiritual expression. Nearly one out of three people in developing countries lacks a safe supply of drinking water. Large dams have come under closer scrutiny for their environmental and social consequences. Rivers, wetlands, and other critical aquatic habitats are being rapidly degraded and destroyed, threatening numerous species with extinction and undermining the ecological services those natural systems provide. Clean drinking water (re)sources are dwindling and the world's oceans are being polluted and depleted of life. Water wars are already determining who gets access to water for irrigation, for manufacturing, and for consumption. Artistic renditions of water affirm our connection to it, just as water's place in the world determines our existence and that of the planet.

The Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts, together with the Center for the Environment, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the Dean of Faculty's Office, and many departments and programs on campus, is sponsoring a yearlong series of events, exhibits, courses, and outreach activities to explore the political, environmental, and cultural meanings of water. Join us as we explore why water matters for survival in the twenty-first century.

The Weissman Center is indebted to many people for their time, creativity, and contributions to the water series. We especially thank Marianne Doezema, director of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; Wendy Watson, curator of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and Skinner Museum; Thomas Millette, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for the Environment, Mount Holyoke College; Wendy Watriss, artistic director and co-founder, FotoFest, Inc.; Ann Rosenthal, visiting artist in art and art history, Mount Holyoke College; Robin Blaetz, associate professor of film studies, Mount Holyoke College; Penny Gill, acting dean of faculty, Mount Holyoke College; Sally Sutherland, associate dean of faculty, Mount Holyoke College; and many students, staff, and faculty whose concern for water matters inspired us in the first place.

Above image:
James Rosenquist (American, b. 1933)

My Mind Is a Glass of Water
Color lithograph, 1972

Gift of Susan Matheson Burke (class of 1968)

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum