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Confluence Art Project

Confluence: Stream Science, Handwriting and Urban Curbs, will be a temporary public artwork, a mile-long poem about water and land, to be read as you follow the flow of water through Reno.

Water flows from mountain peaks to oceans and lakes, moving through forests and cities, bodies and pipes. While scientists study ‘wild’ water in mountain streams, that same water flows through urban landscapes and waterways. This project will bring these connections to light along pedestrian ways running to and along the Truckee River.

Using bright yellow, adhesive-backed sheets and a digital cutting process, the text will be rendered in a font made especially for this project from the handwriting of Claude Dukes, the Federal Water Master in the Reno area from 1958 until his death in 1984. The text is based on four years of work with ecologists in the Sierra Nevada, as well as research on ancient water systems, and field work with urban structures and buried streams. Water ties everything together, shaping the world while changing from one form to another. Attention to the crucial role of water affirms our interdependence with the land.

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A Fragment of the Test Text
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Installing a Materials Test on First Street

With your support, Confluence will become a lively and personal public artwork. The budget of $83,000 is partially supported by a $10,000 grant from the City of Reno and a $7,500 grant from Nevada Humanities. Costs include materials, typesetting, cutting, preparation of surfaces, transportation and lodging, artist and installation assistants’ fees, monitoring, documentation, and a printed catalogue.

Supporters and critics, audiences and collaborators are essential partners in creating artworks. Please consider a donation if you are able. 

For a detailed prospectus, timetable, and budget, or just to reach out with questions and comments, please contact - todd@toddgilens.com

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