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Larger-than-life diatoms illuminate a critical part of the food web for endangered freshwater mussels.

Diatom Lace

Fairmount Water Works, Freshwater Mussel Hatchery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2019

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


Laser cut acrylic


15' high x 22' long

This bold, colorful diatom artwork gives visitors to the Fairmount Water Works' Mussel Hatchery Exhibition a visceral sense of what's in the water, and why keeping these tiny single-celled algae viable is vital to the health of freshwater mussels. Freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled animals in North America, and diatoms are a critical element of these bivalves' food.

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