Press Release: WATERWASH Welcomes

WATERWASH Welcomes commences on Sunday, June 22nd at 12 noon.

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WATERWASH® Welcomes is one of seven projects in inClimate: Climate Change Solutions, Awareness and Action, a citywide exhibition under the auspices of Franklin Furnace that confronts global warming through art, calling upon artists, in collaboration with climate change specialists, to find solutions and antidotes for mitigating or adapting to our world’s most catastrophic problem. Our aim is to see the artworks, together with accompanying events, encourage and embolden new and veteran local leaders and community members to build widespread grassroots action on global warming.
Ecological Artist Lillian Ball will collaborate with Rocking the Boat to bring participants to her WATERWASH ABC, along the Bronx River in the South Bronx, the site of a permanent public wetland and grassland park which she completed in the fall of 2011 with a team of engineers, scientists, and excavators. With the help of Adam Green, Director, and his crew from Rocking the Boat–a Bronx-based  non-profit organization that teaches youths how to build wooden boats and do environmental work on the river–thousands of indigenous plants were used to transform a landfill site covered in invasive species.
For the inClimate river experiences, a bus will bring participants from locations around the five boroughs to WATERWASH ABC to see the flora and fauna there and have a picnic discussion about wetland green infrastructure with the artist. Then Rocking the Boat staff will row participants to their home base one-half mile down river as they hear about climate change issues on the water from job skills apprentices, some of whom were involved with the planting of the native wetland and grassland plants.
The recently completed, yet still evolving, WATERWASH ABC offers extensive opportunities to demonstrate how this wetland acts as a natural buffer for sea level rise and storm surge, while improving water quality through a created wildlife habitat. What’s more, this innovative collaborative green infrastructure cleans commercial parking lot runoff before it enters the river and opens private property to public use.
WATERWASH ABC was a recipient of a New York State Assembly citation for its green infrastructure approach of using native plants to filter pollutants from the runoff of a 30,000 square foot parking lot. Ball and the project partners were also awarded special citations from the State Assembly for cooperation between local business and the community. Drexel University environmental engineering students and professors have produced two annual reports documenting the project’s effectiveness.
Working with community organizations during the coming year, inClimate is going directly to underserved neighborhoods in three of New York City’s five boroughs—the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Curator Regina Cornwell conceived and is organizing inClimate. Seven artists/collaborations have been selected to participate:  Lillian Ball, Lynn Cazabon, Billy X. Curmano, Agnes Denes, Alicia Grullón, PlanetaryOne, and Andrea Polli. Their solutions and antidotes may be practical, conceptual or metaphoric and take shape as visual or media art, performance, architecture or design.

Participants must email to reserve bus transportation and rowboat ride.
Opening Event: Sunday, June 22, 12:00 noon 
Van Service Pickup for October 18th:
14th Street, 8th Avenue – 1:00 PM
125th Street, St. Nicholas Avenue – 1: 45 PM


Dates for upcoming WATERWASH Welcomes events:
Saturday, July 12, 12:00 noon
Friday, August 15, 12:00 noon
Friday, September 19, 12:00 noon
Saturday, October 18, 02:30 pm 

Franklin Furnace gratefully acknowledges support for
 inClimate from The Compton Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; and the National Endowment for the Arts. For their support of WATERWASH Welcomes, we wish to additionally thank the Bronx River Alliance; Rocking the Boat; Wildcat Catering and Hydroponics; and Jean Marie Offenbacher, whose documentary, BRONX RIVER WATERWASH, will be screened in the vans that carry participants to Rocking the Boat. The construction of WATERWASH ABC was funded by a grant from the New York State Attorney General’s Office through the Bronx River Watershed Initiative.
SUBWAY INSTRUCTIONS TO WATERWASH: Take the #6 Lexington Avenue train to Hunts Point. Walk along Bruckner Blvd, crossing the Bronx River on the blue Bruckner Bridge. (The dark blue gate on the left immediately after the bridge is for WATERWASH; if you pass the Gulf station you have gone too far!)    Like us on Facebook!