8,500 recycled glass jars holding gathered water tell a visual story of one community's watershed.

Collected Watershed

Center for the Arts Gallery at Towson University Towson, Maryland, 2020

Materials

8,500 recycled glass jars, 1,000 gallons of collected stream water, vinyl letters

Thousands of recycled glass jars branch across the floor of the Center for the Arts Gallery, where visitors can literally walk within this giant living watershed map. More than 1,000 gallons of water collected from local waterways fill the corresponding jars, which replicate the dendritic pattern of the Towson area's watershed. An interdisciplinary team of Towson students and faculty accompanied the artist as she gathered water. Collaborators learned to read USGS maps and seek out hard-to-find suburban and urban streams, runs, and creeks.


The installation aims to bring to the forefront waterways that are often hidden and forgotten. “Our waterways are like capillaries across the land, carrying water from sky to sea,” notes Levy. “The same branching pattern as our blood vessels, the watershed carries the life blood of our planet. Nowadays we know our roads far better than our waterways. By not knowing where the water flows, we fail to protect it.”

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