When Water Speaks

Iakonikonriiosta, Blake Lavia, Rachael Marne Jones, and Charlie Reinertsen

Griffiths Room 123
October 16, 6:30 p.m.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Listening to Water, on display at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery from October 16 to December 9, 2023.

Iakonikonriiosta is a mother and grandmother of a large family. She currently works at the Akwesasne Museum and quilts as an expression of love and life. She uses her quilts to share her insights, often speaking to gatherings of people interested in art, quilts, or indigenous culture. She grew up in Syracuse, New York, and moved to Akwesasne as a young woman to support the Mohawk Nation in the ongoing struggle to maintain a strong presence in the north country.

She was one of the founding teachers of the Akwesasne Freedom School and continues to support the school as a grandmother. She lives with her husband in Akwesasne.

two women at the river's edge
Lorna Maie Thomas and Iakonikonriiosta braiding
by the River, 2023, photo documentation by Talking Wings
Blake Lavia

I am a multimedia artist and community organizer. My art practice dances between filmmaking, writing, photography, animation and mixed media illustration. From documentary filmmaking to novel writing, my work focuses on societal issues, cultural memory, and our current climate crisis. I am an advocate for change, and I imbue my art and writing with strong social messages and calls for action.

Through my work with Talking Wings, I collaborated with multimedia artist Tzintzun Aguilar-Izzo on the “North Country Art , Land, and Environment Summit”  and on “The North Country Rights of Nature Symposium.

I am the current president of Talking Rivers, Inc.  Talking Rivers works to educate communities across the St. Lawrence River/Kaniatarowanénhne watershed to grant rights of standing to the region’s Rivers. – Blake Lavia

publicity shot of Charlie Reinertsen

Charlie Reinertsen, founder of Twolined Studio LLC, has worked in the field of science communications for more than a decade. He is a photographer, videographer, writer, exhibit developer, naturalist guide, and commercially licensed drone pilot. He holds a dual master’s degree in natural science education and environment & natural resources from the University of Wyoming.

His work studying the conservation genetics and population dynamics of soft shell turtles in the Mississippi River watershed identified an at-risk species of concern, Apalone mutica, and helped prioritize conservation efforts in Minnesota to ensure the future viability of this riverine turtle.

Charlie is an expedition leader for World Wildlife Fund and Natural Habitat Adventures, guiding week-long wildlife photography and ecology trips. He currently guides expeditions in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks. In the winter, he guides trips to visit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico, where more than 250 million monarch butterflies overwinter in the high-elevation oyamel fir forest.

Charlie Reinertsen