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In 2004, an initiative to increase the awareness of Project AWARE through the creation of an art piece made from volunteer-collected river trash was conceived and the Art of Project AWARE was born.
This artistic element of Project AWARE is intended to help reverse the damage to Iowa's rivers while increasing an awareness of their importance through art. It provides both a literal and symbolic representation of the accomplishments of Project AWARE volunteers while bringing the attention of the general public to the condition and status of Iowa's waterways. These artworks not only promote the good work of Project AWARE volunteers, but they are a living example of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
River Gates, 2008
The River Gates of Project AWARE, South Arch
Year Created: 2008
Trash collected from:
Winnebago, Shell Rock, and Cedar Rivers
What is it? The south gate on the west side of the Iowa DNR building at the Iowa State Fair was the first to be replaced. Installed in the fall of 2009, this gate is the first of five that will be built from trash collected on the Iowa DNR's annual river cleanup event, Project AWARE.
Song Lyrics: "Wild Ink"
Song Lyrics: "Arteries"
River Gates, 2007
The River Gates of Project AWARE
Prototype Gate Panel
Year Created: 2007
Trash collected from: Middle and North Raccoon Rivers
What is it?
The sculpture was constructed during the first phase of a multiyear project to replace the security gates on the historically-significant Iowa DNR building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds with gates made from trash collected on Project AWARE. This sculpture was constructed as a prototype from which the rest of the gates will be built - it represents one panel of a four-panel gate.
Collaborative poem: "Prospectus"
Year Created: 2006
Trash collected from: Iowa and English Rivers
What is it?
Aptly named Strongback (a "strongback" is a form from which canoes are built) this sculpture pays homage to hundreds of volunteers who used dozens of canoes to haul hundreds of tons of trash from Iowa rivers. Rebar canoes built from strongback forms can be found on the sculpture, with a paddle blade emerging from the center. Work gloves cast in aluminum depict the index, middle, and ring fingers in the shape of a "W," which is the American Sign Language word for "water."
"Strongback" Structure Poster
Collaborative Poem: "Bearings"