Potable Realized

Posted by lunar in Aging, art, Bayview, colorado art ranch, Milwaukee, water 3 Comments

This entry is dedicated to the family of Ayrie Mekai Jones Murphy.  A dear little four year old that put up an amazing fight in this world.  Love pours from many to your family like water should for all.

Potable Realized

I visited the site on Monday September 28th and put up two laminated posters about Potable.  When my mother and I arrived at 3:00p on Tuesday two people were waiting for us along with my sister in law Laurie Schwalbe, my niece Sheri Paape and her daughter Addison.

The couple waiting for us said “We want to know what this is about!”  The man said he just wanted a cup but the the woman he was with started in with many questions.  “Where are you from?”  “Why are you doing this?”  “What do you want with this neighborhood?  Is Channel Four coming?”  Before I could answer, properly set up, and get my bearings, she had another question.  Whew!  It really got better from then on.  After the discussion felt a little less heated, and my wonderful and calm mother shared supportive words about the project, I excused myself to unload the 100 cups, table, table cloth, basket of lovely MacIntosh Apples from Witte’s Farm stand (a destination whenever I go home during the growing season) and more with my niece.

It was a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin with the colors just turning, the sun shining, with the air still.  BayView WI, is the near southern neighborhood of Milwaukee.  It is home to a vibrant residential, retail, a stunning temporary public art project, and restaurant community.  It is also home to the last public water well pictured here:


Pryor Avenue Iron Well

I became aware of the well prior to my residency with Colorado Art Ranch via Milwaukee’s venerable paper the Shepherd Express. Their article by Sarah Biondich spawned a curiosity and level of interest I couldn’t shake through the rest of Spring, during the residency, and thereafter into Summer.  Then I heard from Wendy Pabich, PhD and Water Deva.  I met Wendy during the Colorado Art Ranch experience.  She is a well respected hydrologist and artist and is sought after to speak and assist with water solutions around the world.  She said she would be speaking in Milwaukee at the Tapping in to Solutions in September and wondered if we could get together…. then the piece that I had turning in my head had to be realized… during the conference!

Fast forward to Tuesday September 28, after the completion of 100 + terra cotta cups, a bit of glaze testing, (thanks Jiyeon Yim – my personal glaze consultant!), two Cone 04 firings , a special event permit with the city of Milwaukee, coordination with four generations of women, and voila, an art gesture.  Here is the flyer for the event:

Potable Invite/Flyer

Several people came by because they had seen the laminated flyer I posted on Monday on site.  Several others had stopped by because they saw something was happening that was out of the ordinary.  Most, however, came to the well because they always do, with their variety of containers, glass and plastic, recycled and reused, to fill their vessels at the well that they don’t take for granted.

Pictures of family, a dear  friend, and people who have come to fill containers from the well water are pictured below:

Two cars unloading containers to fill up with well water on the day prior to Potable.

Prepared to fill up.

Filling up
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSpgHfNGtqw]Eduardo, a “Holistic Healer” demonstrates how he fills his containers.  Eduardo sends people to this well for their water.  He said those that heed his advice have appreciated the water in their path to health.

Set up and ready to go.

Three generations drinking

A wonderful guy and one of the first Potable participants. We shared an extra cup for a nephew who is hospitalized with depression. He said "I will fill it with this water."

Addison loved the colors and the feel of the cups. So sweet.

Dear friend Bonnie Lowell came too = delightful!

Urban dogs benefit too. "Denali" is pictured here.

Cup holders getting used!

This gentleman expressed thanks when he received his cup when he came by to fill his refillable container.

A fun group of "walkers" were surprised and thankful for the cups. They walk in the neighborhood about 5 X a week.

Eduardo and I toasting. A dear guy that loved the cups and the sentiment.

A fun family that visits a new neighborhood each time they walk. Very excited about receiving their own cups.

Satellite Crepes - a delightful couple coming by for water. Check them out online!


Martin, the last Potable participant of the day.


End of Day - 50+ cups given away for Potable


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