May 13, 2015: Photographer Burtynsky, “Unexpected Voices” to headline public Great Lakes event
Hugh McDiarmid Jr.: 248-660-4300 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Kornacki, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper: 716-852-7483 ext. 38, email@example.com
May 13 event is free, open to public at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky will headline an evening dedicated to the incomparable freshwater resources of the Great Lakes on Wednesday, May 13 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
The event, "Unexpected Voices of the Great Lakes," will kick off with a talk by Burtynsky, who specializes in images of nature transformed through industry. A panel discussion will follow, highlighting the connection between the lakes and quality of life for the millions who rely on them for recreation, commerce, drinking water and spiritual fulfillment.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. It is free and open to the public. Registration is requested at this link. It is cosponsored by the International Joint Commission’s Water Quality Board and the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.
"The Great Lakes system contains almost one-fifth of the planet’s fresh surface water," said Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. "An event like this one helps reminds us – through art, storytelling and unexpected voices – what a unique place we share and how important it is to be good stewards of, and ambassadors for, the Great Lakes."
Burtynsky has traveled the world to compile striking images that illustrate the uneasy contradiction between our dependence on nature for the raw materials we consume, and our concern for the health of the planet. His photographic depictions are included in more than 60 major museums around the world including the National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. His work is also displayed at the Albright-Knox Gallery.
The panel discussion following Burtynsky’s talk will include:
- Allan Jamieson, a member of the Wolf Clan of the Cayuga People. He has worked with numerous native communities on issues related to water access. He is a founder of Neto, a Native American nonprofit based in Buffalo that started the Buffalo Creek Treaty Canoe Paddle held annually on the Buffalo River.
- Sandy Smith Cunningham, an educator from Nichols School in Buffalo whose innovative seventh-grade science curriculum teaches the principles of chemistry through the lens of the Great Lakes and environmental resources. She has been deeply involved in Great Lakes education and outreach.
- Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Jedlicka is a recognizable local expert on water quality issues and Great Lakes policy. She will provide a rare insight and reflection of her own personal journey to lead one of the world's largest Waterkeeper organizations.
The panel will also include a student from South Park High school who is active in his school’s efforts to educate and inform a new generation about the importance of the Great Lakes and its tributaries.
The evening is part of the 188th meeting of the IJC’s Water Quality Board. The Board is the Commission’s principal adviser to the IJC in identifying, assessing and addressing water quality matters under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The Board meets May 13 and 14 in Buffalo. The meetings run from 1-4 p.m. May 13 and 8:30 a.m. to noon on May 14 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, 120 Church Street, Buffalo. They are open to the public.
Dave Ullrich, U.S. co-chair of the Water Quality Board, said the evening’s events are a welcome addition to the science and policy matters that the board typically discusses at meetings.
"Mr. Burtynsky’s perspective, and the inspiring ideas of these panelists help remind us why we spend our days immersed in Great Lakes science and technical issues," said Ullrich. "It is the emotional, visceral connections that link people to their lakes. Those connections ensure that we have new generations of people who will be strong stewards and steadfast defenders of our fresh water."
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is a community-based organization dedicated to protecting the quality and quantity of water, while connecting people to water. We do this by cleaning up pollution from our waterways, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, and enhancing public access through greenways that expand parks and open space. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is a member of the global WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE. More information is available at bnriverkeeper.org.
The Water Quality Board is the principal advisor to the International Joint Commission on matters involving the U.S./Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share. Its responsibilities include reporting on progress made under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the nations toward restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes and connecting waters. More information is available at www.ijc.org.