Norfolk County artists Michael Barber, Suzanne Earls and Holly Anderson have been chosen to participate in Great Art for Great Lakes this year.
They were among the artists to submit proposals for a community-engagement project to strengthen local residents’ relationship with the Great Lakes. The project is in partnership with Norfolk County.
Barber is working on a piece, entitled Water Mother, a wood-and-resin sculpture that combines woodworking and sandblasting, among other things.
“My work had to reflect the body of work that I do on a day-to-day basis,” said Barber. “I wanted to create something for this project that people would look at and recognize as my work regardless.”
He will be teaching residents a technique so they can leave their mark on the sculpture.
“Having your mark in this sculpture is your commitment to take care of water and respect nature more,” said Barber.
Earls and Anderson are working together on a project entitled Depths & Consequences.
Anderson said that, during the information session about the projects, she was looking for someone to collaborate with. Earls walked up to her and showed her a note that said she wanted to do a collaboration with Cleaning Up Norfolk, which Anderson founded. The pair began discussing possible projects.
They are creating is a 2-D mosaic of a sturgeon made of recycled glass tiles, mixed with single-use plastic found along the Erie shores during planned clean-up days.
“The inspiration is the reduction of single-use plastic waste, as well as the regeneration of lake sturgeons,” said Earls.
The pair noted that sturgeon were once plentiful in Lake Erie, but their population has dwindled due to over fishing.
“Lake Erie has in some spots a greater concentration of plastic pollution than even parts of the ocean,” said Anderson. “The reality is Lake Erie has a major plastic problem and we need to address that.”
The public will be invited to participate by designing fish scales from discarded plastic.
The public can find out when they are able to help with the two projects by visiting Great Art for Great Lakes website.
The pieces will be on display in the community.