Water exhibit coming to government center

An exhibit celebrating the relationship between water and humanity will open Dec. 1 at the Hennepin County Government Center.

The exhibit, called “Water Connects Us All,” touches on questions such as, “Is water a privilege or a right?” and “How much water do we need and use?” according to Forecast Public Art. The nonprofit has teamed up with the Hennepin County Multicultural Arts Committee on the exhibit, which is curated by Sandy Spieler, who founded In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s MayDay festival.

The exhibit’s aim is to create awareness about humanity’s relationship to water, said Jen Krava, creative services manager for Forecast Public Art.

“We see these large bodies of water all the time, but we don’t actually make a connection to them through our actions,” Krava said. “I think people will walk away from this exhibit understanding that more.”

Forecast Public Art has been working with the committee for over 10 years to help facilitate exhibits, Krava said. The nonprofit aims to create exhibits that reflect the diversity of culture and people that work at the Hennepin County Government Center, she said.

Water is “something that was one everyone’s mind,” Krava said, noting interest in the protests against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline this past year. Protesters expressed concern that the pipeline could harm water resources near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Spieler said water has been a big focus of hers since almost the beginning of MayDay. The festival has featured many works about and for water over the years, with the aim of honoring water and bringing humans closer to it.

“I’m hoping it’ll provoke just attention to this incredible, beautiful, mysterious mother-of-life force that is in peril in the world,” she said of the exhibit.

“Water Connects Us All” will be on display Dec. 1–Jan. 18 on the A level of the Hennepin County Government Center. The county and Forecast Public Art will hold two special events in relation to the exhibit.

One, called “Cabinets of Water Curiosities,” is noon–1 p.m. Jan. 12 at the public service level of the government center. The county will also hold a brown bag talk noon–1 p.m. Jan. 17 in the auditorium on the A level of the center.