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Blasted glass "cards" give visitors to the Fairmount Water Works Freshwater Mussel Hatchery exhibit a visual sense of the aquatic food web.

GLASS FLASH CARD

Fairmount Water Works, Freshwater Mussel Hatchery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2019

Sandblasted glass

31 inches high by 110 inches wide

Part of the Mussel Hatchery Exhibition and Aquatic Field Station

With Victoria Prizzia of Habithèque Inc.

Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Philadelphia Water Department, with additional support from The McLean Contributionship and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

What do freshwater mussels eat, and what eats them? What does the ecosystem look like for these endangered bivalves? These blasted glass images give visitors to the Fairmount Water Works' Mussel Hatchery Exhibition a visceral sense of the intricacy of freshwater mussels' food web. Freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled animals in North America, and their existence is interwoven with a whole range of other plants and animals. 

Visitors can take rubbings of each flash card, creating a tangible interaction with the food web. This artwork is part of a multidisciplinary permanent exhibition designed for scientific discovery and creative expression and exploration. The Mussel Hatchery at Fairmount Water Works has been created to raise awareness about the need for revitalizing and protecting our freshwater systems for the health of all living things.