“Art shapes culture, and changes people and communities. Art tells a universally powerful story that communicates the value of water beyond words.”
Art4Water, a program of the Watershed Association, is an initiative that advocates for environmental protection through the lens of art.
Artists have always served society as visionaries, translators and storytellers– they help share powerful stories and elements of the human experience that are limited by spoken language.
Art4Water is devoted to uplifting conservation-inspired artists as they help us more deeply understand and connect to the necessity of water– the life it brings, the meaning it holds, and the threats that face it.
Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition
Celebrating the Great Springs of Texas
Art4Water’s inaugural program, The Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition, is a collaboration between The Watershed Association, Terry Zee Lee and 30+ national artists in the creation of water-inspired art kites. Hanging like an oasis in the sky, The Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition brings together diverse communities around the respect for Texas’ great springs–their history, their value, and the threats to their existence.
Through this exhibition, the Watershed Association partners with Terry Zee Lee, a renowned facilitator and curator of kite exhibitions, to raise awareness of the vital connection of water to life. With Jacob’s Well as one example, “Sacred Springs” seeks to float a collection of groundwater icons in the sky.
The Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition will be on display at the Austin Central Library (710 W. César Chávez St, 78701) for free, through November 2022.
Water creates the most magical parts of our world. This is especially true for the Hill Country. We are seeking art that captures that magic. The Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition focuses on water in all its forms and the life that springs from it and the efforts to preserve it.
Texas is a land of many more than eleven hundred springs. Like the stars at night, the springs that dot the state are too numerous to count. Water flowing underground through rock wells up through faults in plentiful springs, which became the watering holes and the sources of life for early outposts and cities. Today, many are dwindling, drying up under twin threats of climate change and over pumping to serve a bursting population.
“Sacred Springs” recalls the reverence of indigenous people and an enduring mystical connection with the source of life. Water falls as rain from the sky, filters into the ground, and emerges later through cracks and openings to form the great river basins. Many Texans drink from the groundwater that powers these springs every time we turn on the tap. As growth and demand for water grows, many of our springs have been lost, draining more than just a piece of our history or a source of water.
We are thrilled to announce the inaugural event of Art4Water, the #sacredspringskiteexhibition
We had almost 200 artists submit water-inspired works of art to be made into flyable art kites! Over 30+ artists and 50+ pieces were chosen to represent the Sacred Springs of Texas and raise awareness of the vital connection of water to life.
The exhibition, which will transform the Austin Central Library into a colorful oasis, is free to the public (starting May 7th!) and features work from artists across the country.
We hope that this exhibit inspires you to connect to water in all its forms, the life that springs from it, and offers a refreshed commitment to preserve it.
Terry Zee Lee, president of SkyWindWorld.org, has organized and presented art kite exhibitions in major public venues, festivals, and workshops to preserve and promote the art and craft of kite design and construction. Highlighting her 23-year career are the signature kite exhibitions, “Visions of Lewis & Clark,” telling the story of exploring the Louisiana Purchase, and “The Flying Buffalo Project,” featuring work by Native American artists and students flown over sacred buffalo jump sites.
David Baker, executive director of Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, has combined his training and exploration in painting and sculpture with a 25-year devotion to the water quality and quantity to sustain Jacob’s Well and the many thousands of artesian springs that carry sacred meaning, not to mention lifegiving groundwater to communities past and present. His Art4Water conception powers this inaugural joint program to promote awareness and conservation through fine art.