In May of 2006, 20 artists, 7 scientists and 6 educators met to learn about climate change and the potential role of art in increasing public awareness of science. The artists subsequently created pieces including paintings, sculpture, poetry and music reflecting their perceptions of the science of climate change, its impacts on northern ecosystems and the actions that can be taken now to lessen those impacts.
Henry David Thoreau said, lakes are "Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." For many people, lakes are a touchstone. Few people feel this connection as intimately as those who dedicate their lives to studying lake ecosystems. The collaboration between artists and scientists at UW-Trout Lake Station in Drawing Water seeks to explore the relationships between aquatic ecosystems and changing biophysical setting, climate, and land use. Through this atmosphere of discovery, Drawing Water allows for a deeper understanding of the complex, beautiful systems of the Northern Highland lakes.
The residency is intended to provide concentrated time for personal creative work that furthers exploration and understanding of scientific research at the Trout Lake Station as well as more philosophical reflections on the relationships between humans and the natural world. The resident artist will have the opportunity to interact with researchers and students who work at the Trout Lake Station during the season.
Ecological Reflections is a network of sites dedicated to long-term, collaborative science and art inquiry in places of ecological or cultural importance. The network grew from the NSF funded Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. Outreach efforts at more than a dozen of the twenty-six LTER sites have developed programs that foster collaborations among the sciences, arts, and humanities.
Sites represented in the Ecological Reflections network extend from the hardwood forests of New England to the old growth forests of the Oregon Cascades; from the fresh and saltwater wetlands of the Everglades to the temperate lakes of Northern Wisconsin. The creative responses cultivated through the network mirror the diverse scientific, artistic, and cultural facets and legacies of these places.