Posted by: janamatusz | April 8, 2011

(Not Bermuda!) Dunkard Reflections project

Before I left Boston, I was able to finish up my contribution to a group art project.

A description of  the project follows. The more people who know about the issue the better.

I was assigned Cambarus bartonii, the crayfish. Very nice people at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology provided me with access to their specimens so I could draw from observation, not photos.

Cambarus bartonii


Homage to Dunkard Creek

It is said that the living can freely move on only when they have helped the newly dead rest in peace. Reflections is a collaborative installation by more than 100 artists to commemorate the lives of the 116 species who perished in Dunkard Creek during the warm days of late summer 2009. The creek literally died when a fatal combination of chemical mine wastes and low water, exacerbated by “frac” drilling water withdrawals, set off the bloom of an alien toxic algae, suffocating an estimated 18,000-22,000 animals.

Forty-three mile Dunkard Creek meanders across the Pennsylvania and West Virginia state lines before it flows into the Monongahela River, recently listed as one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers. The Monongahela River supplies drinking water to 850,000 people.

Water is an age-old symbol for purity, clarity, and calm. The artists participating in Reflections are united by a common body of water, the Monongahela Watershed. To honor the tragedy that befell this watershed, each artist will ‘adopt’ and memorialize one of the 116 species of animals who perished, to celebrate the life of that species with an original work of art.




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