Open Water

Librarian Anne Moser is no stranger to projects that explore the connections between art and science. As the senior special librarian for the Wisconsin Water Library and an education coordinator for Wisconsin Sea Grant, she has curated or co-curated numerous art exhibits focused on plastics, maps, lake sturgeon and water and supported education projects that include displays of underwater photography.

But she had never been on the other side — an inspiration for an artist — until now.

Moser partnered with Samantha Martinez, an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, on a project that resulted in Martinez’s artwork titled “Open Water.” Martinez describes the work like this:

“Five ceramic tiles were carved with a flowing water texture to represent each of the Great Lakes. The tiles were bound with a variety of paper materials from Anne’s workspace, including research papers, pamphlets and posters, art from public programming events, informational handouts for literary and scientific databases, USGS topographic maps and publications by Wisconsin Sea Grant. These materials reflect Anne’s focus on the water library and highlight her work that intersects art, science and the humanities. This includes efforts in the expansion of the Wisconsin Water Library collection with resources about climate change, Traditional Knowledge, amplifying voices of marginalized and underrepresented groups and preservation of oral histories. The permanently open position of the books in this piece represents the radical accessibility of these carefully conserved and cataloged resources.”