Several ongoing exhibitions highlighting water and its effect on humanity are part of the Making Waves initiative, a reflection of the commitment leaders had to connect their work to visual art.
Two separate exhibitions explore the initiative itself and the universality of water. There also is a curated set of water-related works from the Grand Valley Art Gallery collection that is viewable online.
It's no surprise that water plays such an important role for artists in a state that is surrounded by shoreline, said Joel Zwart, GVSU curator of collections.
"Water has also been, and continues to be a popular subject matter among artists in general," Zwart said. "I think much of that is due to its changing qualities, how it reflects and refracts light, presents challenges, and promotes contemplation and beauty. It’s also an important resource."
Peter Wampler, professor of geology and a co-leader of the initiative, said these exhibitions highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the Making Waves.
“Working with the Grand Valley Art Gallery to put together the Making Waves exhibit has been a great collaborative experience and is an example of what the Making Waves initiative is all about -- mixing expertise and experience to make something special,” Wampler said.