What Color is Water?
March 17 – June 2
Reception March 16 , 5 – 7 p.m.
Programming TBD

Since April 2016, Perspective Gallery’s Art Reach Program has collected paintings on 9” x 9” watercolor paper that consider the question What Color is Water?  Designed as a Socially Engaged Art Project the question prompts awareness of what affects water quality.

Participants create an artwork of their perceptions about the color of water and engage in a dialogue about whether the color of water they painted is drinkable and why. 

Collaboration include, Virginia Tech Student Environmental Coalition, SEEDS Blacksburg Nature Center and Virginia Master Naturalists.  These associations have provided opportunities to discuss the science of water quality and link it to watershed health while participants painted.

Perspective Gallery interns, staff, and volunteers (Art Reachers) present the project through “Pop Up Art Events” in Squires Student Center, on the Virginia Tech Drillfield, and at Earth and Sustainability Week Events.

Perspective Gallery Art Reach also provided children and their parents the opportunity to participate in What Color is Water activities at the Wednesday Blacksburg Farmers Market, at SEEDS Blacksburg Nature Center, and public schools in the area and around the country.  In 2016, a one-week summer camp with SEEDS (Seek Education Explore DiScover) provided 16 teens the opportunity to explore the James River Watershed from the Virginia Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. Paintings from this trip are included in the exhibit.

The exhibit includes a wide range of styles including the first paintings of two-year olds to the art of well-known regional artists. 

As national attention has turned to the issue of water-quality in our cities, this project is designed to encourage our youngest citizens, guided  by Virginia Tech students concerned about living in a clean world, to become viscerally connected to one of our most vital and fragile resources, water.

If you would like to participate in our What Color is Water Exhibit please see our website for details https://campuslife.vt.edu/Squires/Perspective_Gallery/programs-and-events.html

Amanda Luo
The Color of Water