Monday, September 14, 2009

"Water is the foundation of life..." -Betsy Damon

Eco-artist Betsy Damon is on campus this week. She will be coming to the River Stewards mini-course on Friday to talk to the Stews about her work. Betsy seems to share a similar mindset that the Rivers Institute posesses. Betsy has said, "I believe that a group of committed people can address any challenge concerning water, and solve the difficulties in ways that respect the dynamic Universe and every individual. The key to our success is relationships!"

Here is a short bio about Betsy from her collaboration's website

"At a crisis in her life thirty-five years ago, Betsy Damon turned to her dreams and visions as a source of imagery and action. Abandoning her traditional training, she initiated performance art projects creating temporary spaces for herself in public ‘unclaimed’ spots. Then, after a seven week cross country camping trip with her two children, Betsy found herself reconnected to primal elements in the natural world – the sound of wind, the flow of water, the forest, the rain.Rooted in the women’s movement of the 70’s, she founded a national network of support groups for women artists. Through the performance work and building of a network, she evolved numerous skills that began to understand the value of relationships as a foundation for initiating new forms. After casting 250’ of a dry river bed and committing herself to water as a central metaphor and theme for her life and work, she moved increasingly away from the artist as individual to the artist as central to community.Since the forming of Keepers of the Waters with the Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota in 1991, she moved increasingly towards creating community based models of her own unique vision. These works communicate the essence of water and inspire hope. She sculpts, she mentors, and she leads workshops and lectures. Her work in China includes the first public art event for the environment. The now world known Living Water Garden, numerous award winning master plans, city planning are all a part of her ongoing repertoire. In the U.S., she is no less productive with active green groups modeled from Keepers and public/private art commissions.Her inspiration comes from extensive research of sacred water sites and ever probing knowledge of biologic and earth sciences involved in living systems. Always seeking new ways to articulate the complexity of water and to engage everyone in caring for this precious resource, Betsy continues her passion" (

Read more about Betsy:

LaChute River Walk "celebrates the extraordinary variety of industries that clustered around the waterfalls and rapids that punctuate the river's course through town" (

What is Dayton did something like this? Would people appreciate our rivers more? Let's ask Betsy what she thinks!

Check out more information on the LaChute River Walk:

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