How art teaches us the value of clean water

GREENSBORO, NC – It’s an art exhibit that draws our attention to our most precious resource. The water.

“Through public art installations, a multi-faceted gallery exhibition, and robust programming, H2O stimulates community conversations and calls to action to protect and preserve our water systems,” explained Barbara Richter, CEO of GreenHill. “Exhibiting artists explore the converging disciplines of art and science to innovate, raise awareness and rethink the roles we can all play in creating a better future.”

Curator Edie Carpenter shared, “The artists in this exhibition engage us in a deeper understanding of our relationship to water as individuals and communities. Their work invites reflection on ecological issues such as the proliferation of single-use plastics, the pollution of groundwater and the oceans, as well as on the questions of social justice raised by the loss of access to drinking water. H2O offers creative approaches to reusing waste and advocates for change.

The centerpiece of the H2O is a cascading public “waterfall” made of 10,000 plastic bottles by environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck. Located in the atrium of the Greensboro Cultural Center.

“Holsenbeck’s work provides a compelling example of community building around environmental stewardship,” said Barbara Richter. “Collaborating partners for sourcing and preparing discarded bottles for the massive facility include Unifi Corporation (a world leader in plastics recycling), Greensboro Day School and the Rotary Club of Greensboro.” Prior to the exhibition, workshops at GreenHill offer the public the chance to help build the “waterfall” by cutting bottles and binding plastic into spirals. “When H2O is finished,explained Richter, “Repurposed water bottles will be transformed into high-performance fibers at Unifi’s Reidsville plant.”

the H2O was created in partnership with the City of Greensboro Water Resources Department. GreenHill Director of Education Jaymie Meyer notes, “Many North Carolina residents are unaware that they, as individuals, are impacting our waterways. People may not realize, for example, that 80% of ocean debris comes from inland sources and storm drains that carry debris directly into waterways.

The exhibition opens this Saturday, March 5 and will continue until June 25.


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