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Swimming is an activity that puts bodies into bodies of water. It is also a universally-understood metaphor for moving through water, literal and symbolic:
- A person can sink [fail] or swim [progress].
- A person can drown: in the water, in the shark tank that is one’s work, in a sea of expectations [one’s own, others’].
- Being underwater can mean one is drowning in debt, when the balance of one’s mortgage loan is higher than the fair market value of the property.
- One sometimes treads water in an effort to keep one’s head above water.
Swimming is a direct-experience activity that engages the senses: on the skin [how refreshing or freezing cold the water feels]; in the mind-body [how one feels weightless, and buoyant] in water. Swimmers hear sound differently under and on the water.
Consider, too, swim wear – from the burka-like wool/flannel “bathing costume” of the 19th century; to the barely-there bikini and Speedo of the 20th century. How does swim wear reflect the culture’s views of modesty? One’s perception of one’s body in a swim suit? And, how easily one is able to swim in one’s swim wear of choice?
Lastly: Land ownership dictates who can swim in the lakes, streams, and rivers; who gets to walk the beach and where; and who gets to dip their toe into the neighborhood pool.
SWIMMING exhibitors: Margo Burian, Barbara Bushey, Nancy Crisp, Royce Deans, Denise I. Dunn, Hank Feeley, Debra Howard, Jessica Kovan, Sonja Mattson Barnes, Nancy McRay, Chris Nettleton, Sarah Gornicki Pancost, Lynne Rae Perkins, Shanna Robinson, Angela Saxon, Judith Shepelek, Justin Shull, Sheila Stafford, Melonie Steffes, Kimberly Stoney, Michelle Tock York, Catherine Tonning-Popowich, Sally Wille.
Author Talk: A conversation with John H. Hartig, Ph.D, author of the 2022 book Great Lakes Champions, the story of 14 people who loved the Great Lakes so much that they devoted their careers to leading grassroots partnerships to clean up the most polluted of these freshwater seas. Watch the video here. FREE. Read more about John Hartig here.
Walk + Talk: No one walks into a gallery and fully understands what the exhibiting artists intended to say with their work. GAAC Gallery Manager Sarah Bearup-Neal leads a conversational walking tour of the SWIMMING exhibit, and talks about selected works. April 8 and May 13, 11 am. FREE.