The neighborhood collects samples of their backyard waterways
and display them in a library of local water specimens.


Charlotte, North Carolina


Glass jars, lids, collected water, wooden shelves, paper labels

17 feet high by 32 feet wide by 6 inches deep

Part of Keeping Watch on Water, directed by Crista Cammaroto, June Lambla, and Mary Newsom.

Commissioned by UNC Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute with Lambla artWORKS. 

We created a space in the gallery to receive samples of water collected from people’s local streams. School groups and community centers were given empty jars and lids to send out with people so that they could find their local waterways and fill the jars with a sample of the water. Filled jars were returned to the gallery and each person wrote out a label and placed the water sample in designated areas, according to the watershed, on the shelves. The overall collection allows the visitors to compare the array of water quality throughout the region’s streams.

Each jar carried a sense of place.

Water samples varied from clear to opaque and some carried living forms.

The Watershed Pantry could be seen from both the outside on the street and inside the gallery.

During the run of the show, more samples were brought in and added to the shelves.