Here Is Your Country

September 4 – November 14, 2015
First Friday reception September 4, 7-9pm
Introductions at 6:30pm
Curated by Sarah Ferrieri and Haley Van Camp
Sponsored in by Sara Ransford the Water Center at CMU

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for you children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Drought and concerns about water have become part of our collective consciousness regarding the health of our nation and its natural environment. California is often on our radar due to its current drought; however, issues surrounding the conservation and efficient use of water also reach into our own state. Today, approximately one quarter of the total US population is affected by drought.[1] In the Western region, about three-quarters of the population is affected by drought.[2] Most notably in California, our most populous state, 97% of the population is affected by drought.[3] These numbers are striking, but what does this have to do with the Permanent Collection here at the WCCA? Many of the objects held within the collection depict our local natural environment – an environment that today is under threat due to increasing demands for water. We hope to highlight a selection of images featuring Western slope canyons, riverbeds, and weatherworn trees. In addition to the displayed images, we will also display several quotes by notable conservationists, such as Mollie Beatie and Theodore Roosevelt. By weaving images and text together in the gallery space alongside a locally acquired beetle kill tree, we intend to initiate a conversation about art and environment and what water scarcity means for the future of our desert home.

Image: Desert Walls by Alfred Nestler

 

[1] David Simeral, “U.S. Drought Monitor: Contiguous U.S.,” United States Drought Monitor, National Drought Mitigation Center, 14 July 2015, Web. 20 July 2015. “U.S. and World Population Clock,” The United States Census Bureau, 2015, Web. 20 July 2015, http://www.census.gov/popclock/.
[2] David Simeral, “U.S. Drought Monitor: The West” United States Drought Monitor, National Drought Mitigation Center, 14 July 2015, Web. 20 July 2015.
[3] David Simeral, “U.S. Drought Monitor: California,” United States Drought Monitor, National Drought Mitigation Center, 14 July 2015, Web. 20 July 2015.


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