Keepers of the Waters: Art, Planning, Design and Projects

Betsy Damon, Artist Initiated Projects

Living Waters of Larimer: A Fresh Infrastructure    A community action project in Pittsburgh PA that uses rainwater harvesting as the basis of a neighborhood revival, and a resilient and flexible water infrastructure.

Water Rules-Life    Exhibition at the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, PA and citywide community projects to remediate water. Betsy Damon, artist and organizer.

Resources: Saving Living Systems    Resources: Saving Living Systems is a global project and its purpose is to research and honor water sites around the world that have sustained human life and deep cultural traditions for centuries. The first project under the auspices of 'Resources' is the research of Tibetan water sites.

Chinook Bend Natural Enhancement Project, Carnation, WA    A 59 acre natural resource park is returned to the wild. Betsy Damon was selected to create artwork in celebration of the beauty and power of the water flowing throughout the site.

Sounds of Water Fountain, Redding CA    Sounds of Water is a multi-functional water feature and a metaphor for the mountains and earth -- the sources of water -- at the Turtle Bay Arboretum. Designed by Betsy Damon.

Living Water Garden, Chengdu, China    With the vision and determination of Betsy Damon, The Living Water Garden, completed in 1998, is a large, award winning public park in the center of downtown Chengdu, China. Polluted river water moves through a natural, and artistic treatment system of ponds, filters and flowforms, making the process of cleaning water visible.

Artist Performance, Tibet and China, 1995-96    Curated and organized by Betsy Damon, artists performed and created artworks that reflected the public concern of water issues in Tibet and Sichuan, China.


Planning and Design

Olympic Forest Park, Beijing, China    This park, as part of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, will become a model for a sustainable city and as a 21st century solution for water management. It will clean the water to a level suitable for significant human contact and will become the ecological-economic model for parks of the future as well as places of recreational activity. Betsy Damon was a member of the design team.

Wenyu River Model Project, Beijing, China    The Wenyu River Planning Project, is designed to transform a large urban tract in Beijing into a model of modern environmental planning. It includes a return to some natural wetlands, bird sanctuaries, paths, sewage treatment, forested parks and other diverse uses. Betsy Damon was a member of the design team.

TongZhou Ecological Park, China    In collaboration with the Beijing Planning Bureau, Betsy has worked on projects for ecological model plans and designs for numerous places. The first was for TongZhou a town of less than a million whose water supply is already too little per capita. In the plan all the water is recycled and cleaned through a biological system which include solar aquatics and wetland indicters.

Trinity River Corridor Project, Dallas TX    Betsy Damon, the artist /eco design team member, participated in the Trinity River Corridor Project to create innovative sustainable features for the largest green infrastructure initiative in the United States – a 9-mile urban park, floodway and transportation improvement project that will anchor the transformation of central Dallas into a quilt of mixed-use and transit-oriented neighborhoods. They received the American Society of Landscape Architects' 2009 Professional Award.


Keepers Inspired Projects

Model Village Project, Chengdu, China    Inspired by the Living Water Garden, the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association was formed to work with down river villages to create proper waste streams, restore rivers, protect the watershed and improve the standard of living in the villages by producing organic food.

Watershed: Art, Activism and Community, Milwaukee, WI    Inspired by Betsy Damon's lectures, this project addresses the shifting ecological and political dimensions of water. This project, organized by Raoul Deal and Nicolas Lampert, uses art as a form of activism to comment on water issues in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Basin, and their impact on the world at large.

EcoArt Treasure Coast, Stuart, FL    EcoArt Treasure Coast was a pilot project that evolved over a year's period in Martin County Florida. The program was the first project of EcoArt South Florida, Inc., sponsored by the Arts Council of Martin County and involves six Treasure Coast artists. Betsy Damon was the mentor artist, working closely with this group to develop projects and collaborations with numerous community groups.

The DaVinci Water Garden, Portland OR    The DaVinci Water Garden, completed in 2003, was a community based collaboration between Urban Water Works and DaVinci Arts Middle School in Portland, OR. Located on an abandoned tennis court, it redirects stormwater from rooftops and a parking lot through an educational and artistic water garden. Startup funding and mentoring was provided by Keepers.

Edwards Aquifer National Park, San Antonio, TX    In a month as an eco-activist artist teaching at Trinity University in 1993, Damon focused her students and the community on the Edwards Aquifer and on the San Antonio River. Although the aquifer was rapidly being encroached upon by development, few people understood the implications of losing their water source. The citizens action group that formed succeeded in protecting the thousands of acres with the creation of the Edwards Aquifer National Park in 2003.