"Water: Our World"

Water surrounds residents of the Iowa Great Lakes. It has a major impact on many aspects of people’s day-to-day lives, not just in Okoboji, but around the world.

It is also the theme and inspiration for an upcoming event at the Pearson Lakes Art Center.

GRIT Collaborative, based out of Iowa and North Carolina, put out an open call for visual artists and composers around the world to create works of art related to, or inspired by, water.

“Water just struck a chord with us and we put out an open call for work,” said Joshua Marquez, artistic director for GRIT Collaborative. “We had several hundred submissions of work inspired by water. The ones that stuck out were all very different. It was a great survey of different work and people’s reactions to water.”

The result will be “Water: Our World,” a collaborative music/visual art event on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Pomerantz Hall at the Pearson Lakes Art Center. An artist panel at 6 p.m. will be followed by the performance at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public.

“We’re trying to encourage more collaboration between visual and performing arts here in our own institution and this certainly does that,” said Britney Hansen, visual arts director at the Pearson Lakes Art Center. “With water being so important to our community here and in the world in general, obviously, it’s a great fit. People have a connection to water especially those that live right next to it.”

The visual arts portion of the exhibition will be on display from Oct. 9-15 in Pomerantz Hall.

“Pomerantz will be used as an exhibition space for the first time,” Hansen said. “We’ll be using the walls and even the ceiling for a suspended sculpture. It’s kind of like a pop-up exhibition.”

GRIT Collaborative has been in operation for about a year-and-a-half having put on many events in Iowa City.

Marquez and executive director Dana O’Malley said part of their goal is to get more places interested in watching these kinds of artistic collaborations.

The organization and some of the artists for the event have already connected with the area through the Artist in Residence program at Lakeside Laboratory. In fact, some of the international artists are staying there and will be installing their work themselves at the art center.

Artists and composers in the event represent places ranging from New Zealand, Canada, Cuba and Isreal to California, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, Michigan and Louisiana. Six will be present for the event.

Each visual artist has been paired with a composer and visitors to the performance will get to hear and see both at the same time.

Three musicians will peform some of the compositions. Others are electronic pieces.

“We tried to pair them the best we could. All the submissions that bubbled to the top seemed obvious to us,” Marquez said. “There is a solo cello piece called ‘Motion’ that goes with the waterfall sculpture ‘Splash’ and a six-minute film that goes perfectly with a six-minute cello piece.”

The “Splash” sculpture is made up of a collection of water samples from all around the world.

Other musical compositions include both flute and violin solos.

All will be on display in the Pomerantz Hall.

“We’re so excited and thankful for the Pearson Lakes Art Center and this opportunity,” O’Malley said. “We don’t have a brick and mortar space of our own and enjoy collaborating with places to present these ideas.”

Water is important to everyone. In Okoboji and all around the world. Come see it through the eyes of artists representing all corners of the globe at the Pearson Lakes Art Center. 

At a Glance:

What: “Water: Our World” presented by GRIT Collaborative

Where: Pomerantz Hall, Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji, IA

When: Artist panel at 6 p.m. Performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13

Cost: Free

Contact: 712-332-7013

Online: www.gritcollaborative.com


Alondra Vega-Saldivar - composer

Reenie Charriere - visual artist

Philip Mantione - composer

Eva Redamonti - visual artist

J. Pouwels - visual artist

Joshua Marquez - composer

Yotam Haber - composer

Maggi Payne - visual artist

Lindsey Schoeneman - visual artist

Jean Ahn - composer

Robert Fleisher - composer

Dana O’Malley - visual artist

Edna Cantoral Acosta - visual artist

Suzanne Sorkin - composer

Nina Shekhar - composer

Stephanie Bauer - visual artist

Leonie Ressler - composer

Teresa Leung - visual artist