Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek

Those of you who are poring over every detail of this blog (I know you're out there) may have noticed an as-yet-unspoken-of upcoming show sitting in my queue on the left for a few weeks now. I've finally finished my contribution to this project and wanted to share my efforts.

The show, entitled Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek, is a collaborative, traveling show documenting all the species of river life in Dunkard Creek, West Virginia that died off during a massive toxic algae bloom in 2009. The bloom was the result of chemical mine waste flowing into the river, already at a low level from industrial water withdrawals, and it was toxic enough and widespread enough to suffocate and kill most of the life within the creek. Dunkard Creek flows into the Monongahela River, a source of drinking water for many people in the region, and thusly eventually into the Ohio and, eventually eventually, the Gulf of Mexico.

Artists selected for this project were given a species and a panel, and asked to create a piece of art inspired by (but not necessarily representing) that species. People were assigned everything from herons to minnows to freshwater copepods. Get excited, folks, because I got the Round Pigtoe Mussel* (known by his scientific friends as Pleuroblema sintoxia). Here's my collage, constructed from engravings I made.

The show opens in Morgantown, West Virginia on September 9th, and will be traveling to locations throughout the Monongahela Watershed in 2012 (details over on the left - updated as I hear more). You can also read more about the creek and see what some of the other artists have submitted at the website created by the show's curator, Ann Payne. You may even live close enough to get to one of the shows in person!

*I am excited. Be honest, would you expect anything else from someone who voluntarily draws dead bugs?


  1. interesting show...and I KNOW you were excited when you heard the round pigtoe mussel was all yours to focus on...I mean, really who wouldn't be...;>)

    Hope its been a good summer!

  2. not as productive as I'd hoped my summer would be. But the season's not over yet. Looks like you've really been busy, though!