FotoFest 2004
FotoFest Home Volunteer Opportunities Sponsors Archive Store Festival of Light
FotoFest Home
About Us FotoFest 2006 Inter-Biennial Exhibits and Events Press Literacy
   Search FotoFest

Water in the West
- 11 U.S. artists looking at Water and land use in arid regions of the U.S. West.
Laurie Brown, 'WaterFront Living'
Wanda Hammerbeck, 'Horseshoe Bend in the Colorado River' ABOVE:
Laurie Brown, Waterfront Living, 1991
Wanda Hammerbeck, Horseshoe Bend in the Colorado River, 1997

More than oil or gold, our rearrangement of water has altered the landscape of the American West. Beyond the 100th meridian, the West begins-that vast territory defined by the need for irrigation in order to grow substantial crops. We have created man-made rivers with our aqueducts. We have created lakes where there were none with our reservoirs. We have even made our water flow uphill pushed by powerful pumps. Without seeing the full ramification of our actions, we have taken water from seven Western states and Mexico and made it flow to Los Angeles.

Wanda Hammerbeck
From Water In The West

Robert Dawson, 'GET TITLE' Peter Goin, 'Chair By Firelight'
Robert Dawson, Pipe Carrying Most of San Francisco's Water, Near Mather, CA, 1992
Peter Goin, Chair, Firelight, and Canyon View at Last Light, Davis Gulch, Esclanted River, Lake Powell , June 2003

Human tampering with the natural world has made the Earth itself an artifact, for the process of civilization has been one of domesticating environments. In the American West, perhaps the most apparent human effort to control nature is the management of water, particularly the Colorado River, which descends from the Rocky Mountains and concludes its 1,500-mile journey at the Gulf of California. This great river with its unparalleled rapids is oversubscribed.The Colorado River has become a symbol of the hope, conflict, and dilemma of managing nature's aridity.

Peter Goin
From Humanature

Terry Evans, 'GET TITLE'
Terry Evans, Frankfort; Illinois, September 2003

My photographs in the Water In The West project have evolved from my travels throughout the West looking at our culture's relationship to water. The work is concerned about our attitudes toward growth and related environmental controversies. Some of the work addresses the issues with irony. Some of it looks at our culture's desire to possess, control, and shape the land and water to our needs. Certain photographs document abuse, while others examine the complex, evolving relationship to water that I hope to influence with this work.

Robert Dawson
From Water In The West

Mark Klett, 'GET TITLE'
Martin Stupich, 'GET TITLE'
Geoff Fricker, 'GET TITLE'
ABOVE: Geoffrey Fricker, Disabled Space, 1995
TOP LEFT: Mark Klett, Viewing Thomas Moran at the Source, Artist's Point, Yellowstone, 2000
BOTTOM LEFT: Martin Stupich, Elephant Butte Dam, New Mexico, 1991

My photographs and installations create a contemplative space where one may consider the subtle and profound connections between humanity, nature, and our constructed environments. The subject of water provides endless material for ideas and artworks that bring greater awareness of the interdependence of human beings and the natural world. My artwork develops from the myriad meanings, mythologies, and metaphors associated with water, the universal solve(nt), integrated with ideas about nature, the body, and art experienced as a "sacred site."

Sant Khalsa
From Watershed and Western Waters

Ellen Land-Weber, 'GET TITLE'
Ellen Land-Weber, Catacean Sighting at Arcata Marsh, 1999

For further information contact Frank Rose at

    ©2003 FotoFest |