This entry is dedicated to the family of Ayrie Mekai Jones Murphy. A dear little four year old that put up an amazing fight in this world. Love pours from many to your family like water should for all.
I visited the site on Monday September 28th and put up two laminated posters about Potable. When my mother and I arrived at 3:00p on Tuesday two people were waiting for us along with my sister in law Laurie Schwalbe, my niece Sheri Paape and her daughter Addison.
The couple waiting for us said “We want to know what this is about!” The man said he just wanted a cup but the the woman he was with started in with many questions. “Where are you from?” “Why are you doing this?” “What do you want with this neighborhood? Is Channel Four coming?” Before I could answer, properly set up, and get my bearings, she had another question. Whew! It really got better from then on. After the discussion felt a little less heated, and my wonderful and calm mother shared supportive words about the project, I excused myself to unload the 100 cups, table, table cloth, basket of lovely MacIntosh Apples from Witte’s Farm stand (a destination whenever I go home during the growing season) and more with my niece.
It was a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin with the colors just turning, the sun shining, with the air still. BayView WI, is the near southern neighborhood of Milwaukee. It is home to a vibrant residential, retail, a stunning temporary public art project, and restaurant community. It is also home to the last public water well pictured here:
I became aware of the well prior to my residency with Colorado Art Ranch via Milwaukee’s venerable paper the Shepherd Express. Their article by Sarah Biondich spawned a curiosity and level of interest I couldn’t shake through the rest of Spring, during the residency, and thereafter into Summer. Then I heard from Wendy Pabich, PhD and Water Deva. I met Wendy during the Colorado Art Ranch experience. She is a well respected hydrologist and artist and is sought after to speak and assist with water solutions around the world. She said she would be speaking in Milwaukee at the Tapping in to Solutions in September and wondered if we could get together…. then the piece that I had turning in my head had to be realized… during the conference!
Fast forward to Tuesday September 28, after the completion of 100 + terra cotta cups, a bit of glaze testing, (thanks Jiyeon Yim – my personal glaze consultant!), two Cone 04 firings , a special event permit with the city of Milwaukee, coordination with four generations of women, and voila, an art gesture. Here is the flyer for the event:
Several people came by because they had seen the laminated flyer I posted on Monday on site. Several others had stopped by because they saw something was happening that was out of the ordinary. Most, however, came to the well because they always do, with their variety of containers, glass and plastic, recycled and reused, to fill their vessels at the well that they don’t take for granted.
Pictures of family, a dear friend, and people who have come to fill containers from the well water are pictured below:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSpgHfNGtqw]Eduardo, a “Holistic Healer” demonstrates how he fills his containers. Eduardo sends people to this well for their water. He said those that heed his advice have appreciated the water in their path to health.
Enjoyed the pictures seems like it was a successful event for you and the well.It was amazing that you got a permit when you really didnt need one.Years ago if someone told you that water would be sold one would say that they had a screw loose .Now finding fresh clean water is an ever increasing problem let alone free.I found your concern for this little natural resource to be extraordinary and as time goes by something that a majority of BayViewians should hold close in their hearts and minds as well as health.Clean Potable water is a huge issue in southeast Wisconsin particularly with a number of community wells showing up as contaminated either by agriculture or industrial reasons. Lake Michigan supplies many lake shore commmunities with their drinking water. But for how long? This issue should be one that never leaves the table.Keeping this on the conciousness of people is a good starting point.
Dearest brother David,
I am honored by your thoughtful response and sentiment. Clean water is a gift that few think about. Our homes in the Great Lakes Region, fondness for a cool glass of water, the Criptosporidium thing, witnessing drought on midwestern farms, my residency in Colorado related to water, and thinking about Mom’s well have all raised my awareness about water.
It was such a lovely day with the lovely women in your life! Laurie, Sheri, and Addison were jewels that day and I was thrilled to have them there. Mom expressed excitement prior to the day (at Addison’s 1 year birthday gathering) which was a good thing. Driving to Bayview she said “I have about as much business doing this today as I do flying!” I said, “Well you have been flying so that is why you are joining me today!” It was wonderful to have Shellie come as well as a good friend Bonnie too. Love to you today and always.
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