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.
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
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.
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,
director and co-founder, FotoFest,
Inc.; Ann Rosenthal, visiting artist in art and art history, Mount
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.
James Rosenquist (American, b. 1933)
My Mind Is a Glass of
Color lithograph, 1972
Gift of Susan Matheson Burke (class of 1968)
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum