Lake erie 1/15

BGSU continues to express the importance of the water supply in Bowling Green, and bringing attention to the water crisis happening at Lake Erie. The Lake Erie Photography Exhibition show the progression of the work being done to Lake Erie to ensure its water quality remains in good condition. 

The Lake Erie Photography Exhibition features two separate shows: Linda Butler’s “Lake Erie: On the Edge,” and Frank Gohlke and Lynn Whitney’s “The Great Lake Erie.” Butler’s photos will be on display at the Wankelman Gallery, while Gohlke and Whitney’s are showcased at the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the lobby cases and the back of the gallery.

The exhibition focuses on bringing awareness to Lake Erie while supporting BGSU’s organization, the Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health, which studies the algal blooms contaminating the water and prevents further plagues. The exhibition will continue to display the artwork open to the public and students through Nov. 24.

“Every exhibition stands out in ways unique to the artist presenting. This one stands out because of the urgency of the issue presented,” Whitney explained. “The issues are implicit in the work, asking viewers to notice, to pay attention and consider the consequences of not knowing.”

Because the event was planned to coincide with this year’s common read, Butler’s work was scheduled over a year in advance. However, Whitney was approached near the end of spring by the Gallery Director, Jacqui Nathan, to show her work. Because she agreed to show work only with the collaboration of Gohlke — an influential figure to her — time was an obstacle for this exhibition. Whitney gave a special thanks to Tim Walker and Clayton Peterson, who are technicians in the School of Art that helped with the exhibition. 

The three photographers offer different perspectives as they have their own aesthetic. Each artist brings a unique style into their photographs, regarding framing, angles and the use of color. Butler focuses on large aerial color photographs of the lake. Gohlke and Whitney’s are in black-and-white with an 8 x 10-inch frame. Furthermore, the pictures show a 12-year difference. It allows anyone to see the clear depictions of the comparisons and contrasts within Lake Erie’s algal bloom. Whitney mentions the need to show this depiction through imagery.

“Annual reports are notoriously dull reading. It was through this insight that the annual report’s designer, Mark Schwartz, commissioned fine art photographers to make work focused on the particular entity most helped by the Foundation in a given year,” Whitney said.

The Lake Erie Photography Exhibition provides a visual element to further show the effects within the lake’s algal bloom. As Butler, Gohlke and Whitney offer their photographs and interpretations to challenge attendees’ understanding of the issue at Lake Erie, the main idea is to no longer avoid the problem. As more counties plan to provide clean water to their citizens, scientists face the challenge of overcoming the algal blooms in Lake Erie. The first step in solving an issue is to acknowledge it, which the artists and exhibition show in their media. 

For additional information on the artist’s works or the event, follow the links for more information:

Event Links

Lake Erie On the Edge Exhibition 

Great Lake Erie Photography Exhibition

Author’s Works and Other Organizations 

BGSU’s Great Lake Centers for Fresh Waters and Human Health 

Linda Butler’s Website

Frank W. Gohlke Biography

Lynn Whitney’s Website

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