Student Perspectives on the Art Collection

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Permanent link for Rough Waters: An Exhibition About Water on December 14, 2020

Student Perspective Provided By:

Autumn Flachs
Major: Art Education
Class of 2022

During the Fall 2020 semester, Autumn Flachs, class of 2022, in collaboration with Curator of Exhibitions, Joel Zwart, selected artworks from the GVSU permanent art collection representative of a broad range of water-related issues for an exhibition titled Rough Waters, now on view in the exhibition cases on the first floor of Zumberge Hall, Allendale campus. They also conducted research for and wrote the labels and introductory statement to accompany the exhibition. 

"For this exhibition, focusing on the socioeconomic and environmental impact of modern-day water issues was important to us. I looked specifically for works that either commented on water rights or the environmental effects of water-based geographical change, or were able to contextualize these issues with informational graphics. I am particularly fond of the two pieces from the Young Flint Speaks project, where young students from Flint, Michigan made drawings about their experience with the ongoing water crisis in their city. Kids are very straightforward and genuine about what they think and it's that’s obvious in the drawings. Everyone hopes for children to be as happy and healthy as possible, so it’s a shock to see the horrible messages in the works. Words like, ‘help us…’ ‘save us…’; bring up sobering but necessary feelings and help spread awareness about the Flint water crisis. 

For me personally, I loved this project and the process of creating it. I am an art student myself and so much of my own work is social and political commentary, on issues like Queer rights and politics, so I connected a lot of the pieces that were contenders for this exhibition. Water rights are an increasingly important issue that impacts everyone around the globe and deserves broader attention from first-world media. I hope that this exhibition sparks a conversation between people, and showcases why we all need to come together to solve our climate crisis as a unified front."
-Autumn Flachs

View the artwork in this exhibition.

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Page last modified December 14, 2020