OSU Museum of Art Features an Interdisciplinary Experience in Arts and Science

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The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art presents The State We’re In Water: Constructing a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere, running through May 29, 2021. This exhibition is an interdisciplinary art experience delving into the humanities’ relationship with water and how its impact is felt regionally and globally. The OSU Museum of Art partnered with socially engaged and national artistic team Marguerite Perret, Robin Lasser, and Bruce Scherting for the exhibition rooted in scientific arts-based research.

Led by Perret, The State We’re In Water is designed to activate the visitor’s sense of place and social involvement. This exhibition also presents art as a powerful learning platform for science. Through sensory-rich video, sculptured forms, and visually complex constructions, the exhibition explores wastewater recycling, watershed habitats, and the imprint of water movement on land. Symptomatic of global issues, the local situations presented engage the audience in immersive experiences.

Installation by Perret and Scherting featuring diatoms, a major group of algae found in oceans, waterways, and soils, generating 20-50% of the earth’s oxygen.

“This exhibition obviously revolves around the theme of water. But the way that the artists have displayed the different connections that water flows through is very dynamic,” said Christina Elliott, the museum’s associate curator of education. “They are not only asking us how we develop a relationship with water on an individual level, but they are also asking us to think about water and environmental resources on a local level, state level, national level, and even on a global level. No matter where you are or how you interact with environmental conservation, you will find an aspect of this show that is highly relevant to your life.”

Estrangled/Tangled Bank encompasses a collection of objects cast in porcelain by Perret, reflecting themes of transmutation- the action of changing or the state of being changed into another form. Photo credit: Phil Shockley

The museum’s team of educators worked closely with the artists to create many virtual opportunities to experience the exhibition and dive deeper into the meaning of water by participating in programs such as Voices from the Hydrosphere, a lecture series, and Second Saturday Pick-Up Bags, art activities for families to do at home.

Blue River Sturgeon Mandela – The Gallery The Weather Report features similar multi-media work by Robin Lasser. Lasser used repetitive and reflective patterns of imagery representing water to create kaleidoscopic visuals, creating a meditative ambience. Image provided by Robin Lasser.

On Sept. 24, Voices from the Hydrosphere kicks off with attorney and Spears School of Business professor Jason Aamodt speaking on water law and sovereign rights. As a lawyer, he represents Indian tribes and individuals on a wide range of issues ranging from environmental contamination and natural resource protection to land, financial trust, and accounting matters. Aamodt also teaches environmental law, natural resources law, water law, international environmental law, and corporate and sustainable responsibility. Register online at museum.okstate.edu.

Mixed media installation by Marguerite Perret with porcelain slip cast, molded, and ceramic burnout specimens of debris found along fresh waterways and lakes. Photo credit: Phil Shockley

This project was made possible through partnerships. Notably, The State We’re In Water is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the OSU Museum of Art Advocates. The National Endowment for the Arts also granted funding to the OSU museum through the CARES Act, supporting the expansion of programming for The State We’re in Water.

 Inflatable raft cast in porcelain with coral-like features emerging. Perret creates a contradiction between organic and man-made and poses reflection on humanity’s impact on water. Photo credit: Phil Shockley

About the OSU Museum of Art

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange. Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all.  As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. As America’s Healthiest Campus, OSU is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees, and the community. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated around 255,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation, and the world.