By Alex Houdeshall for the Daily Campus
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan washed away thousands of houses, stranded or destroyed tens of thousands of boats, took more than 25 thousand lives and planted an idea in the mind of Hartford-based artist Susan Hoffman Fishman. Seeing how the wave reached every coast in the world, Fishman realized how water connects all of humanity. Working with Stamford-based artist Elena Kalman, Fishman created “The Wave,” an art exhibit emphasizing the universality and importance of water, which visited the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut over Family Weekend on Saturday.
Hanging across the large window on the second floor of the Benton, The Wave filtered the sunlight through its multicolored polycarbonate strips and sheets. Everywhere The Wave goes, visitors are invited to cut out a wave from a sheet of polycarbonate or recyclable plastic. Whatever they think a wave looks like, or however they want to visualize the wave, they cut it out of a sheet of plastic. Then all these cutouts are strung together by the artists and hung as they travel around with their exhibit.
Benton Operations Manager Karen Sommer saw the exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and, in order to help expand the scope of the exhibit further, she invited the exhibit to the Benton over UConn’s Family Weekend. The goal of the project is to show communities and institutions, like museum visitors, how far-reaching our impacts on water can be.