September 8, 2015

StreamLines Mixes Art And Science To Connect People With Local Waterways

StreamLines Mixes Art And Science To Connect People With Local Waterways

INDIANAPOLIS -- A series of new installations and programs blends art and science in hopes of connecting people to Indianapolis waterways and creating a culture of curiosity.  

Along Central Canal at Butler University’s Holcomb Gardens, Mark Kesling with daVinci Pursuit explains that the project called Streamlines focuses on Indy’s six main waterways that have a history of being overlooked.

"People I think turned their backs toward it where other cities would embrace their one waterway, for here we had so much water we started to say 'out of sight out of mind,'" Kesling said.

The project is funded by a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation and aims to inspire curiosity, says Molly Trueblood, community organizer with Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology.

"If you’re not aware of something, you can’t care about it," Trueblood said. "If you can’t care about it, you can’t identify it as something you’re proud of."

Five new interactive art pieces are in place along Indy waterways. The installations were created by New York-based artist Mary Miss, who also developed a public art installation project several years ago focusing on the White River.  

Discussions, music, performances and a website complement the new pieces and promote a different kind of learning, Kesling says. 

"How do we start to interpret cities, water, environment, climate," explained Kesling. "How do we do those thing and what are the best techniques for doing that in Informal Science Education." 

The learning project will be in place and evaluated over the next two years through the use of surveys, art/science discussions and family studies. 

The installations will formally open to the public Sept. 24. 

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