H2O Exhibit Opens in Washington State – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

H2O Exhibit Opens in Washington State

An art exhibit focusing on water and the human body, developed by Hobart and William Smith Colleges professor Jo Anna Isaak, is currently on display at Western Washington University Gallery. After a brief tour, the exhibit will showcase in Geneva in April 2003.

GENEVA, N.Y.— Water is the element of artistic contemplation in the exhibition titled “H2O,” which recently opened at Western Washington University Gallery in Bellingham, Wash. In the exhibition, artists working in various media explore water as the major component of human bodies and of human origin. Numerous works in the exhibition convey the experience of pleasure and fear, or impart sensations of weightlessness and timelessness—the body buoyed by water or engaged in ritual cleansing, recreation, physical or spiritual healing.

Jo Anna Isaak, curator of the exhibition and professor of art at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1984, spoke at the opening earlier this month.

“The artists in the exhibition H2O explore our relationship with the element that is the major component of our bodies, the site of our origins, and a matrix of the imagination,” Isaak said. “They focus on the water contained in our bodies and water that contains our bodies, actual ponds and rivers, as well as water that populates our dreams and reveries.”

“H2O” will be on display at Western Gallery through January 2003, and then will be shown at the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., from Feb. 7 through March 21, 2003, and finally showcased at Houghton House Gallery at Hobart and William Smith in April 2003.

Isaak is the curator of other exhibits such as “Looking Forward Looking Black,” which has been on national tour since it premiered in 1999. Most recently “Looking Forward Looking Black” was on display at the Dayton Art Institute and will open at its next venue YMI Cultural Center in Asheville, N.C. on Dec. 13.

One artist’s work featured [pictured above] in the show is Mark Jones, associate professor of art at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Jones’ “Environmental Aesthetic Series #3” is a photograph of a pulp mill in western Pennsylvania. The mill, photographed in black and white, looms above the river; the river is hand-painted red, as if the mill’s effluence were bleeding into the water.

Other artists in the exhibition include Laura Aguilar, Janine Antoni, Janet Biggs, Carol Cole, Jenny Gage, Amy Jenkins, Nadav Kander, Samm Kunce, Annea Lockwood, Sally Mann, Eileen Neff, Christy Rupp, Bonnie Rychlak, Jeanne Silverthorne, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, May Stevens, Susan Unterberg, and Mia Westerland Roosen.

The Bellingham Herald covered the opening of “H2O.” Read the story “Source of Life” from the Oct. 26 issue.