12 Jul 2023 / 12 Jul 2023

Water Talk: A conversation between artists, activists, and experts on water justice, policy, and advocacy

Jul 12, 2023 At Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium

In connection with GOING WITH THE FLOW: ART, ACTIONS, AND WESTERN WATERS, co-curator Lucy R. Lippard will moderate a discussion on water justice, policy, and advocacy between artists, activists, and experts including Bobbe Besold, Zoe Isaacson, Sylvia Rodríguez, and Frances Whitehead.

2023-07-12 17:30:00 2023-07-12 7:00:00 America/Denver Water Talk Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org

About the Presenters

Bobbe Besold is a founder of the community engagement project Rivers Run Through Us (from 2011 to the present), artist in residence with Global Warming Express (Global WE) – the climate change organization created and led by kids, and a core member of SFRTCC (Santa Fe River Traditional Community Collaborative). Some of her public Water Work in the past 15 years includes the award winning underpass “Watershed”, the “Water Is Life” public event at the Botanical Garden in Santa Fe, “Downstream” (fungi project below the Santa Fe sewage treatment plant), “Welcome to the Waterhood” at SFAI, “Mapping the Santa Fe River”- a workshop for Americore at SFAI, “Water Weaving Women” performances with Dominique Mazeaud, “Flash Flood” climate event (SFAI and 350.org), the proposal “Water-ways/Water Street/Remembering the Rio Chiquito” (to paint Water Street) and currently the street art procession FLOW with Jo Christian. Besold has worked for Water awareness with public and private schools (at all levels), and multiple community groups: Littleglobe, Santa Fe Railyard, Wise Fool NM, Warehouse 21, Audubon, Sierra Club, Meow Wolf, New Energy Economy, Wildearth Guardians, 350.org, and more, as well as curating numerous exhibitions/events. Awards include residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and four at the Vermont Studio Center, with grants from Fulcrum, Puffin Foundation, McCune Foundation, the City of Santa Fe (for FLOW), the John Anson Kitteredge Educational Fund, a Railyard Stewards grant to create an installation there, and more. The ACEC Award/Project of the Year was granted to her for “Watershed”, the underpass for the City of Santa Fe. Other grants helped create murals, a bus wrap, a billboard, community engagement projects, performances, events and exhibitions. Besold has exhibited her visual art globally.

Zoe Isaacson, MWR is the River and Watershed Manager for the City of Santa Fe and has over 15 years’ experience in ecological restoration focusing on riparian systems and disturbed landscapes. Currently, Ms. Isaacson works to manage stormwater by prioritizing infiltration and water quality in concert with restoring the Santa Fe River to improve resiliency in the face of climate change and a limited water resource. Before joining the City of Santa Fe, Ms. Isaacson worked for the State of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department as a Project Manager for the Abandoned Mine Land Program where her mined land reclamation efforts included riparian and wetland system restoration.

Lucy R. Lippard is a writer, activist, sometime curator, author of 25 books on contemporary art and cultural criticism, including From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women’s Art, Eva Hesse, Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America, The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society, and most recently Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West, and Pueblo Chico: Land and lives in Galisteo Since 1814. She has co-founded various artists’ feminist and activist organizations and publications. She lives off the grid in rural Galisteo, New Mexico, where for 26 years she has edited the monthly community newsletter: El Puente de Galisteo.

Sylvia Rodríguez is a native Taoseña and professor emerita of anthropology and former Director of the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her research and publications have focused on interethnic relations in the Upper Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, where for four decades she has studied the cultural impact of tourism; the relationship between ritual and ethnic identity; and conflict over land and water. She has conducted ethnographic and community participatory action research with acequia organizations, and testified as an expert witness on behalf of acequia associations. She currently studies the politics and anthropology of water and collaborates with researchers in various disciplines on questions of acequia sustainability and resilience. Her publications include both popular and scholarly articles, book chapters, and two prize-winning books: The Matachines Dance: Ritual Symbolism and Interethnic Relations in the Upper Rio Grande Valley, and Acequia: Water Sharing, Sanctity, and Place. She is a commissioner on the Acequia de San Antonio in Valdez and a board member of the Taos Valley Acequia Association.

Frances Whitehead is a transdisciplinary artist bringing the methods, mindsets, and strategies of contemporary art practice to imagine possibilities for the future. Connecting emerging art practices and the discourses of climate change, post-humanism, and counter-extinction, she deploys the knowledge of artists, asking, What do Artists Know?

A long-term resident of the Great Lakes region, she has recently relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to focus on xeric landscapes for the future. Undertaking the Casa de Agua a home/studio demonstrating water conservation strategies, she is establishing a xeric laboratory garden, as she begins Walking the Ocean, traversing regional waterways that overlay the ancient seabed underlying New Mexico, thinking DeeptimeSW.

Whitehead has worked professionally as an artist since the early 1980’s and is Professor Emerita of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.