PANEL: Water—A (Re) Source of Inspiration

Alexis Rockman, photo: Daniel Gonzalez; Shane Weeks, photo courtesy Shane Weeks; John Bouvier, photo: courtesy John Bouvier; Edwina von Gal, photo: Inez and Vinoodh.

Artist Alexis Rockman, landscape designer and Founder/President of Perfect Earth Project Edwina von Gal, Southampton Town Councilman and Member of the Conservation Board John Bouvier, and artist and Shinnecock Nation member Shane Weeks lead a provocative discussion on water and climate change as part of the Museum’s two-day symposium. Moderated by Joe Shaw, executive editor at the Southampton Press Group, the panelists will connect through their diverse perspectives and expertise as leaders in varied fields (science, design, art, community, and public service) to explore new thinking, behavior, technology, and policy. The goal of this investigation is to illuminate and enable action to address pollution, rising tides, flooding, and other extreme weather resulting from climate change. 

About (Re) Sources: Symposium on Water and Climate Change

Climate change is not just an environmental, social justice, or economic issue—but all of those at once. As the devastating news from Houston and Florida to South Asia vividly illustrates, climate change is one of the most profound challenges humanity has ever faced—one that requires a massive collaborative effort to solve. A special two-day symposium at the Parrish with workshops, a panel and a performance explore water from various vantage points—from a source of artistic or spiritual inspiration to a resource that is at once threatened and threatening. The symposium will emphasize interdisciplinary exchanges and cross-fertilizations that explore innovative solutions and new thinking. Participants will include artists, architects, designers, policymakers, farmers, fishermen, technologists, and scientists from Long Island’s East End and beyond. 

About the Panelists

John Bouvier holds an MSME, University of California, Davis & Berkeley, and currently serves as Southampton Town Councilman, working on numerous water quality and related initiatives including the establishment of the Tiana Marine Center, a cooperative effort with Cornell Cooperative Extension. He led Town efforts to pass the water quality amendment to the Community Preservation Fund establishing funding for numerous water quality initiatives, as well as the Town’s efforts to create new laws to replace residential and commercial septic systems with new Innovative/Alternative systems. Bouvier worked extensively as a commercial diver and led design efforts in the design of submersibles and submersible technologies including underwater robotics. As General Manager for Oceaneering Space Systems, he was lead engineer for the NASA Space Station robotics systems. As a Flight Test Engineer, he worked with the Naval Weapons Laboratory, the Grumman Corporation and the ONR Deep Submergence Laboratory.

Artist Alexis Rockman is known for his paintings of future landscapes depicting the impact of climate change, species extinction, and evolution influenced by genetic engineering. His work has been exhibited since 1985 at the Brooklyn Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum as well as numerous galleries around the world including the Salon 94 and the Camden Art Center in London. In 2012, Rockman worked with Oscar-winning film director Ang Lee on watercolor concept paintings and visual sequences for Life of Pi.  Many of Rockman’s works have been inspired by his travels to Costa Rica, Brazil, Madagascar, Guyana, Tasmania, Australia, and Antarctica. He often consults scientists, molecular biologists, and architects, and he has worked with conservation groups including the Lemur Conservation Foundation and is an ambassador for the Rainforest Alliance.

In 2013, Edwina von Gal founded the nonprofit Perfect Earth Project, dedicated to raising consciousness about the dangers of toxic lawn and garden chemicals to protect the health of people, their pets, and the planet. As principal landscape designer of Edwina von Gal + Co, her work is focused on simplicity and sustainability for clients worldwide, collaborating with architects including Frank Gehry, Annabelle Selldorf, Maya Lin, and Richard Meier and has been published in major publications. Von Gal is currently on the board of The Philip Johnson Glass House, as well as What Is Missing?, Maya Lin’s multifaceted media artwork about the loss of biodiversity. In 2008, she founded the Azuero Earth Project, promoting reforestation on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula. She received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Arthur Ross Award in 2012, and is the 2017 recipient of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts.

Shane Weeks is a member of the Shinnecock nation, multidisciplinary artist, and cultural consultant. He has always been instilled with a sense of responsibility to better his tribe, which inspired travels up and down the East Coast to study the history and culture of other native peoples. At age sixteen, Weeks founded the Shinnecock Pow Wow stand, a business that incorporates tribal artists’ work. He learned to carve wood, reindeer antler, whitetail deer antler, and wampum, made from the rare Quohog shell and the first currency of the original colonies. [He now works for the largest wampum manufacturer in the country, run by the Unkechauge tribe in Mastic.] Weeks has dedicated his life to education, bridging gaps between the local community and the Shinnecock Nation. He worked for the Shinnecock Cultural Center and Museum. A distinguished member of the Shinnecock community and government, Weeks’ mission is to bring knowledge to both the Shinnecock people and neighbors in order to build a better future for the Reservation and the community. In June 2015, Shane was invited to be a resident of the Watermill Center. 

Joseph Shaw (Moderator) is executive editor of the Press News Group, publishers of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press, as well as the website A native of Pittsburgh, and an obnoxious fan of that city's sports teams, Joe has been with The Press as editor for 20 years. He is only the eighth editor in the 120-year history of the flagship newspaper based in Southampton Village. During his tenure, the publications and website have won hundreds of state awards, and The Press is regularly honored by the National Newspaper Association as one of the nation's best community newspapers.

Space is limited; advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by the generous support of The Corcoran Group, Bridgehampton National Bank, and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder.

Panel: Water—A (Re) Source of Inspiration
Part of (Re) Sources: Symposium on Water and Climate Change and Inter-Sections: The Architect in Conversation
Friday, September 22, 2017 - 6:00pm
ticket group
$12 | Free for Members, Children, and Students
social tickets