OCTC art exhibit details importance of area waterways

Sep. 2—Owensboro Community & Technical College is hosting a show by two Indiana-based artists who hope viewers will gain an appreciation of the landscape around us and the beauty of area waterways through their art.

The show, “Ebb and Flow,” features works by painter/photography Betsy Stirratt and printmaker/photographer Tracy Templeton, who both teach and are affiliated with Indiana University in Bloomington. They have worked together since 2018 developing the exhibit, which focuses on hidden and underappreciated Indiana waterways and their importance through time.

David Wilson, OCTC art instructor and program coordinator, said the show is a “fantastic exhibition” for students, because it gives them an opportunity to interact with two artists who have shown work internationally, which is a rare opportunity for some students.

The content of the show, Wilson said, addresses not only the history, but the importance of water as it applies to southern Indiana, which is “just up the stream” from Daviess County.

“It’s rich for students, whether they are art majors or history majors, to embrace the work and see the power that’s right in their backyard,” Wilson said, referring to the Ohio River. “This is an important project for people in Owensboro to see.”

He said the Ohio River intersects lives in Owensboro, making it almost like a living organism.

“This show brings awareness to the importance of how we treat watershed as well as bodies of water in our area,” he said.

Templeton’s work incorporates elements from sites and architecture related to the history of mineral spring spas, which were popularized in southern Indiana in the 1900’s. Stirratt’s works highlight the beauty of hidden waterways.

In an email, the two artists described their work in this exhibit as bringing “awareness to the richness of Indiana’s past and adds insight to revitalized sites, and a sense of discovery to its hidden and more fragile natural terrains that once fed the medicinal waters trade and tourist commerce.”

They also said that Indiana has “a fascinating history often overlooked as modernization and economic and cultural shifts have moved many populations to urban centers, losing rural histories in the process.”

Water, they said, not only has a significant cultural history, “but is the basis of life.”

Stirratt is the founding director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at IU in Bloomington, and Templeton is coordinator of printmaker at the school. Both have exhibited their work across the U.S. and in other countries.

This exhibit will be on display in OCTC’s Dayman Gallery until Oct. 1. The gallery, located in the second floor of the Learning Resource Center on OCTC’s Main Campus, is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Masks must be worn while on the campus.

Bobbie Hayse, [email protected], 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, [email protected], 270-691-7315

Robert G. Mull

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