Water. Where would we be without out it? Probably nowhere. We’d all be dead.
This vital compound is the conceptual springboard for “Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian’s “Museum on Main Street” Program. The six-week exhibit will take place in the events hall of Commonweal Theatre from Saturday, Jan. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 19. There will also be a host of water-related activities throughout Lanesboro during this timeframe.
Events will include Dinner on the Bluff at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center on Jan. 14 and Feb. 4, a Candlelight Snowshoe also at Eagle Bluff on Jan. 21 and Feb. 18, and an ice bar at the High Court Pub and Root River Saloon on Jan. 27 and 28.
A companion exhibit, “We Are Water MN,” will be on display at Commonweal Theatre, featuring an interactive story collection. It will include stories from people reflecting on the meaning and experience of water in Minnesota.
Organizers say the project has been in the works since spring 2015. Celebrating water seemed appropriate, given the state’s unique position as the headwaters of three major U.S. watersheds. That Lanesboro, a 754-citizen town, was able to host the exhibit reflects the close collaboration of the agencies involved, Lanesboro leaders say. They include Lanesboro Arts, Commonweal Theatre, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, the Lanesboro Museum, and Friends of the Root River in collaboration with the Minnesota Humanities Center.
“With all the activity in Lanesboro during the warmer months, winter is really the only time of year the community could engage in an initiative of this scope,” said Cheryl Krage of the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Other free Water/Ways events include:
• Currents of Change — an art exhibit at Lanesboro Art Gallery. The show combines historical water photos of Lanesboro with commissioned mixed media artworks. An artist reception will be held Saturday, Jan. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and include a water bar.
• Ripples of Reflection — a performance at the Commonweal based on stories and events collected by the Lanesboro Museum. Stories will relate the dangers of rafting during a flash fund and being caught on the top of the Lanesboro Dam. This will take place Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8.
• Science Sundays — a speaker series presented by the Friends of the Root River. Every Sunday from Jan. 7 to Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre, an expert will share their knowledge about water.
• Bass Fish Snow Sculpture — This will take place in Sylvan Park on Jan. 14 and features La Crosse artist Michael Martin. There will be activities for both kids and adults starting at noon. It will also include a second, text-based sculpture allowing for audience participation.