MARCH 6 – APRIL 12, 2023


Wool and Water is a collaborative data art project that blends fiber art with scientific information to create visual representations of changing water quality conditions in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains and neighboring Lake Champlain Basin. Created in association with the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act, the aim of this project is to showcase the legacy of protecting clean water in the region and beyond. Knitting, crochet, weaving, and other fiber arts are used to illustrate concepts and trends related to our waterways and to provide inspiration for their protection.  

More than 30 works in the exhibition highlight water-related concepts and stressors ranging from the basics of lake stratification and turnover to the impacts of pollutants on aquatic life. Several pieces illustrate major research and monitoring subjects of the Adirondack Watershed Institute and the Lake Champlain Basin Program, including road salt contamination, aquatic invasive species, and climate change.

The Clean Water Act is the primary vehicle for the protection of water quality, and its object is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the country’s waters. The Wool and Water exhibition is a visual and tactile reflection on the successes of this 50-year-old legislation and the work that remains to safeguard our water resources.



Wool and Water is a project of the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and has been funded by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Funding has also been provided by the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership and Northern New York Audubon.

Most pieces in the exhibition were created by Michale Glennon, Senior Research Scientist for the Adirondack Watershed Institute, but the growing collection now includes works by more than 10 additional artists and makers, including SLU visiting assistant professor Carolyn Twomey. In relation to the exhibition, Dr. Twomey and students in her spring HIST 213 / ENVS 215 Global Environmental History course will interpret modern and/or historical water data through fiber art or a creative expression of their choosing.