Plans for Water/Ways exhibit taking shape

University of Texas Permian Basin and Midland College will be collaborating on Water/Ways, an exhibit from the Smithsonian that takes a “deep look at water component of life on our planet.”

Currently, the exhibit will run Nov. 13 through Jan. 1, 2022, at Midland College and then Jan. 8 through Feb. 26, 2022, at University of Texas Permian Basin.

“The wonderful thing from my perspective is that we’re actually going to be partnering with our friends at Midland College to bring another Smithsonian experience to the Permian Basin,” Associate Professor of Art Chris Stanley said.

He added that he has teamed up again with UTPB History Professor Derek Catsam and will be working with Howard Marks, library director at MC.

“We think this one’s going to be very topical because it’s all about water. And so considering the fact that water is spiritual, water is political, water is a physical necessity for all of life, especially considering some of the stuff going on in our communities with water treatment plants and things like this. This will be an on ramp for the citizens of the Permian Basin to see the whole picture of water,” Stanley said.

Activities are still being planned. Stanley said he’s hoping they can have a series of community discussions about the spirituality of water similar to talks held several years ago in Midland.

“Yet again, Dr. Catsam and I are attempting to engage in high-impact practices with our students, but then also projecting academic research out into the community.

“Then taking the things that we’re learning and putting it into exhibitions for the whole community,” Stanley said.

“We’re excited to be working together again. This project is going to be even bigger than the last one,” Stanley said.

A previous Smithsonian exhibit, partially curated by students, Catsam and Stanley, with contributions from the community, was held in 2018.