Getting the Water Right, a photographic and ethnographic exhibition, was installed at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Jan. 15 and will be on view in the park until June 1. In addition to the visitor center, the installation, consisting of photographs and texts, will be at Royal Palm, Long Pine Key Campground, Pay-hay-okee, the Flamingo gas station, Shark Valley, and along boardwalk trails and other popular sites in the park.The exhibition is a collaboration between prize-winning photographer Adam Nadel and UCLA anthropologist Jessica Cattelino. They said their effort grew out of the knowledge that together, photography and anthropology can challenge people’s views of the worlds they live in and encourage them to make positive changes.Nadel said his goal is to educate. He created his work to encourage a conversation about the past, present and future of one of the world’s unique ecosystems. The installation attempts to use the power of aesthetics to generate discussion about the health of the Everglades ecosystem and how the choices people make as individuals and a culture influence the future of South Florida, he said. By extension, the show indirectly discusses how humans are influencing the future of biodiversity on the planet.The project began in 2014, when Nadel was an artist in residence at Everglades National Park. The project is supported by the park’s partner, AIRIE, Inc. (Artists in Residence in Everglades), a nonprofit organization that supports artists’ residency and public programs.“Without AIRIE, Inc. this exhibition would not be happening,” he said. “They not only facilitated the creation of much of the work in this touring exhibition but also acted as the sponsor for its dissemination. In this case, AIRIE, Inc. is working to use art as a tool to educate the general public about significant issues confronting the park’s ecological health.”
Getting the Water Right is supported by the National Science Foundation, Magnum Foundation, Florida Humanities Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and UCLA’s Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies and the UCLA Social Sciences Dean’s Faculty Opportunity Fund.
Visitors can continue the Getting the Water Right experience on their mobile phones or at home. They can hear actual voices of Greater Everglades residents in short audio segments at: http://thewaterright.com