A one-and-a-half-ton, 14-foot-tall educational sculpture meant to teach about water will be making its home at the Bozeman Public Library through October. “One World, One Water” was installed in April, after making the trip from Denver, Colo. The six-month residency is being sponsored by the Project WET Foundation and the sculpture’s owner, Colorado-based conservationist Valerie Gates.
“The sculpture was inspired by Project WET lessons about the interconnectedness of water around the world,” said Project WET President and CEO Dennis Nelson. “We are looking forward to using it as another way to educate people about water.”
The impressive “One World, One Water” sculpture includes intricately formed, tactile details that illustrate how water connects all living things—from whales to waterfowl. Working in clay, Denver-based artist Rik Sargent sculpted approximately 20 different habitats and more than 100 separate animals—along with other water users such as factories—showing how water flows from one use.
“We’re all part of the one drop of water, no matter where we are in the world,” Sargent explained. “It is such a fabulous, consciousness-opening thought, and one that comes directly from Project WET’s teachings about how water moves through the world.”
Programming at the library around the topic of water will take place throughout the sculpture’s stay. Children’s workshops, coloring pages, contests, a lecture and more are planned throughout the spring and summer to highlight the importance of teaching about our most precious natural resource: water. Project WET will also host an international water education conference, Sustaining the Blue Planet, in Bozeman in September.
“This sculpture offers a lot,” said Paula Beswick, director of the Bozeman Public Library Foundation. “It’s not just public art—it’s meant to fit into the Library’s whole model, which is to enlighten, educate and entertain. In terms of what we do, it really hits the mark.”
About Project WET: Since 1984, Project WET, an award-winning American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has dedicated itself to the mission of reaching children, parents, teachers and community members of the world with water education. Project WET is active in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 50 countries worldwide. projectwet.org