NRDC lights up Art Expo Chicago using water

NRDC Lights Up Art Expo Chicago Using Water

NRDC's recently marked its fourth year at Art Expo Chicago, one of the foremost arts expositions in the world. Even among this elite arts crowd, NRDC stands out thanks to the engaging work of the artists we work with and the interactive nature of the installations. This year was no exception as we featured Paris-based artist Antonin Fourneau's work Water Light Graffiti, a water-activated LED light board that invites people to create ephemeral works of art and graffiti using nothing but water, a paint brush and their imagination.

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Water Light Graffiti is made up of several black panels in which over 14,000 LED lights are embedded. The artist cleverly created a water-activated switch that turns on each individual LED with a brightness that responds to the amount of moisture applied. People "paint" on the installation using water and the LED's light up in response. Attendees at Art Expo loved the installation.

In addition to giving NRDC exposure at one of the largest art expositions in the world, we also used Water Light Graffiti as a way of getting people interested in our advocacy around the Clean Water Rule LINK TO approp blog.

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Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 095.jpgOver the course of Expo Chicago, hundreds of arts lovers signed letters to President Obama thanking him for his leadership on the Clean Water Rule.IMG_11.JPG

Water Light Graffiti was a huge success for NRDC and Art Expo. Our booth drew a huge crowd over the entire four days. People couldn't wait for their turn to express themselves by painting with water. The results were often whimsical, sometimes striking, and always fun for the multitudes of Art Expo attendees that visited NRDC's booth.

NRDC worked with the Art Institute of Chicago to curate "Water Works", a series of five performances by artists using Water Light Graffiti. These included Linda Tegg, Aspen Mays, Doug Fogelson & Alex Wider, Meg Leary, and NRDC's own artist in residence, Jenny Kendler.

Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 042.jpgLinda Tegg - "32.5 kg" Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 059.jpgWater Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 061.jpgAspen Mays - "Mandatory Restrictions" Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 087.jpgDoug Fogelson and Alex Wider - "Set My Bow" Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 201.jpgJenny Kendler - "Tracing Migrations" Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 217.jpgMeg Leary - "Spit Take"

Even I got into the act, with friend and colleague Cooper Foscz illustrating "Extreme Gradient", which highlighted my talk on the impacts of climate change on water resources.

Water Light Graffiti-Art Expo 2015 - 012.jpgCooper Foscz (left) and Rob Moore (right) - "Extreme Gradient"

NRDC is lucky to have Elizabeth Corr, our Arts Outreach Director, who has curated our booths at Art Expo Chicago each year, started our Artist in Residence Program, and gotten NRDC involved with a number of artists and art-related event over the years. Her work has helped introduce us to thousands of potential new supporters and enabled us to work with artists to reach people in ways that we would never have conceived of otherwise.

We want to thank everyone associated with Expo Chicago for making it possible for NRDC to have a booth for the fourth year in a row.

IMG_16.jpgMore images of Water Light Graffiti below.

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About the Authors

Rob Moore

Senior Policy Analyst, Healthy People & Thriving Communities program

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