January Neighbor Nights Virtual Event Explores Watershed Cairns

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Marketing and PR, jdona@lc.edu


EAST ALTON, IL – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) will kick off 2022 with a virtual Neighbor Nights event, featuring the work of artists Libby Reuter and Joshua Rowan and their Watershed Cairns: Water Marked with Art project.

Reuter and Rowan, with a van full of glass, travel backroads in river watershed areas, where they create and photograph cairns made from thrift-store glassware.

“Cairns are usually made by stacking rocks found at the site to mark a trail or as a memorial,” said Reuter. “These cairns are made from repurposed vases, bowls and lamp parts that are assembled to create a cairn that amplifies the relationship between humans, water and land.”

Reuter builds the cairns then Rowan photographs them, capturing the sun-lit glass in a high-resolution image. Large-scale digital prints of the images are later exhibited with the cairns and watershed information at museums and at www.watershedcairns.com.

The pair have created about 400 images from watershed areas along the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri Rivers and will present their work in a presentation called “Love Your M.O.M.”

This Neighbor Nights is a virtual event and will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Registration is required. Sign up at https://conta.cc/3mQQTmu. The link will be emailed prior to the event.

For more information, contact NGRREC Environmental Educator Jen Young at (618) 468-2785 or jenryoung@lc.edu.

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠)

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds and their associated communities.

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