Shaped By Water: Los Altos History Museum Exhibit Provides Provocative Educational Opportunity

In Drought, What River Are You Made Of? by Elizabeth Dougherty

  • I am always happy to see the theme of water taken up by artists.  The exhibit, Shaped by Water, provides a stunning visual display of California’s water history, present and future, seen through the lens of art, educational materials and a lot of plastic – plastic refuse gathered from oceans and rivers turned into art and plastic bottles that show by gallon how much water we use for daily tasks. When Wholly H2O highschool intern, Sasha Kramer, and I stopped by two weeks ago, we were smitten with “Ohhhs” and “Ahhhs” both at the beauty and the information.  Don’t miss the chance to see this exhibit, organized by water artist and education maven, Linda Gass.

    Exhibit is a Journey through Water’s Role: Museum Makes a Case for Conservation through Art, Ideas and a Sweeping Historic View

    By Rebecca Wallace

    “A few years ago, when volunteers at the Los Altos History Museum started planning “Shaped By Water: Past, Present and Future,” they had no idea how timely the exhibit would be.

    The display of artwork, photos, maps, drawings, activities and multimedia shows the crucial role that water has played in Santa Clara Valley history, and the challenges that could affect the resource in the future. All this is on display during a season that’s been mainly dry and warm. This month’s storms notwithstanding, rainfall this year is at a low that worries many.

    “I feel it strongly this year. I feel this sense of internal distress about how dry it’s been,” exhibit chair Linda Gass said.

    But in the history museum, the lush sound of rushing water is everpresent. An audio recording plays as visitors walk around the exhibit hall, virtually traveling through the centuries. They go from listening to tribal stories from indigenous people — who used the creek and Bay waters for drinking, bathing, fishing and cooking — to reading about modern-day Peninsulans who are restoring native plants and recycling graywater from showers.”

    Read More about the Shaped by Water Exhibit

    Read about Water Conservation and Reuse