Grinnell News



On Friday, July 11, “Edward Burtynsky: Water” will open at Faulconer Gallery. There will be a number of events in conjunction with this exhibition, including an IOWATER presentation, a film screening, and a gallery talk with Bill Stowe ’81, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works.

Over the past five years, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky travelled the world to create a representation of water’s increasingly fragmented lifecycle through more than 50 large-scale photographs. In these images, Burtynsky traces the roles that water plays in modern life — as a source of healthy ecosystems and energy, as a key element in cultural and religious rituals, and as a rapidly depleting yet most vital natural resource.

For more than a decade, Edward Burtynsky focused on the impact of petroleum production on the environment, which resulted in the worldwide tour of an exhibition titled “Edward Burtynsky: Oil.” Burtynsky then turned to his current subject, water, after the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. “Edward Burtynsky: Water” begins with aerial photographs taken during the disaster’s immediate aftermath, one of which was acquired by the Faulconer Gallery in 2011. The exhibition was organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art, where it appeared last fall. The Faulconer Gallery is the exhibition’s second stop on an anticipated world tour.

“I feel this project encompasses some of the most poetic and abstract work of my career,” Burtynsky writes. “My hope is that these pictures will stimulate a process of thinking about something essential to our survival, something we often take for granted – until it’s gone.”

Faulconer Gallery will host the following public events during “Edward Burtynsky: Water”:

  • Thursdays, July 17–Sept. 25, 12:15 p.m.: Enjoy 30 minutes of yoga with Yoga in the Gallery. For beginners and experienced practitioners. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats are provided.
  • July 21, 23, 28, and 30, 1:30–2:30 p.m.: Drop in and Draw at Faulconer Gallery. Children and adults are welcome to spend time in the gallery drawing from “Edward Burtynsky: Water.” Stools and drawing supplies provided.
  • Wed., July 30, 4:30 p.m.: The community is invited to view the Exhibition of Summer Student Artists, with artworks created by students in Davis Stars, Galaxy, Montezuma, Genesis Development, and Grinnell Area Summer Camp, installed in Faulconer Gallery. Refreshments will be served.
  • Wed., Sept. 3, 8 p.m.: Lucas Verrastro ’17 and Rebecca Wong ’17 will present information about IOWATER in Grinnell, including ways to get involved. IOWATER is a volunteer program sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • Mondays, Sept. 8–22, 12:15 p.m.: Enjoy 30 minutes of yoga with Yoga in the Gallery. For beginners and experienced practitioners. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats are provided.
  • Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Faulconer Gallery and Grinnell College Public Events will screen a documentary film by Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal that explores the ways in which humanity has shaped, manipulated, and depleted one of its most vital and compromised resources: water. The documentary was voted Best Canadian Film at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Mon., Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Bill Stowe ’81, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works, will talk about Iowa water quality and land use. Co-sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies.
  • Fri., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Performance of water-themed works composed by Eric McIntyre, associate professor of music.
  • Fri., Sept. 26, 5–6 p.m.: Join the Faulconer Gallery in celebrating its 15th Anniversary and Family Weekend. Refreshments will be served.
  • Sat., Sept. 27, 1:30–3 p.m.: Join Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach, for water-based art activities including marbling and cyanotypes. Tour the exhibition, participate in a scavenger hunt, and enjoy refreshments. People of all ages are welcome.

 “Edward Burtynsky: Water” is open through September 28. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and admission is free.

Faulconer Gallery is located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at 1108 Park St. For more information about the exhibitions and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or

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