Water/Ways Exhibit Debuts in Rock Springs

Water/Ways Exhibit Debuts in Rock Springs
Water falls over a picturesque set of boulders. Water and its role in Western life will be examined at Western this summer.


ROCK SPRINGS — This summer, Western Wyoming Community College will join the Wyoming Humanities Council – Think WY, the Sweetwater County Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibition Service to present a series of programs and events related to water, waterways and their impact on life in the American West.

Headlining the summer series is Water/Ways, an exhibit curated by the Smithsonian Institute and presented in cooperation with its Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibition Service. Water/Ways looks at the relationships between people and water. The exhibit is making its national debut in Rock Springs, and Western will host a ribbon-cutting when it opens on Monday, June 27, at 10 a.m.

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The Water/Ways exhibit will be accompanied by a local exhibit presented by Associate Professor of Biology Will Clark, Ph.D., of Western, and Exhibits Coordinator Dave Mead, of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. Water/Ways will be on exhibit in the Natural History Museum at Western for six weeks. It is free and open to the public. For more information on this exhibit, visit this link.

Bookending the Water/Ways exhibit are two other programs related to what is perhaps the most vital and storied waterway in the American West – the Colorado River.

On Thursday, June 23, Laramie resident and retired educator Jessica Flock will present “John Wesley Powell, Myrtle, and Me: Journeys on the Colorado River,” at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 on the Rock Springs campus. Flock chronicles explorer John Wesley Powell’s expeditions on the Green and Colorado Rivers, which he launched from Expedition Island in what is now the City of Green River. Flock intertwines her own adventures on the Colorado with other contemporary river experiences.

Flock and her husband own a bicycle shop in Laramie and are very active community members. She is a former teacher and youth librarian. Flock’s program is presented in cooperation with Think WY’s Road Scholars Tours.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, Western and Think WY will conclude the summer’s events with a film screening of “Voyagers Without Trace,” a documentary feature that tells the story of the French Trio, three adventurers who, in 1938, became the first people ever to run the Colorado River in kayaks. Director Ian McCluskey and his team recreate the Trio’s perilous journey and discover unexpected artifacts and information about the group and its daring quest.

The filmmakers will attend the event, which will be held on Green River’s Expedition Island and is free and open to the public. Discussion with the filmmakers begins at 8 p.m. and the film screening begins at 9:30 p.m. Visit French Kayak Film for more information.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our community,” said organizer and Think WY Board President-Elect Nish Goicolea, who is also an assistant professor of Spanish at Western. “I hope people will take advantage and come to these events and see the Water/Ways exhibit. It is not every day that a Smithsonian exhibit comes to town.”

Western and the Sweetwater County Historical Society will also sponsor an all-day birding tour at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, July 16. Prof. Clark and Dave Mead will lead the tour. This program is free and open to the public; however, participants MUST PRE-REGISTER by calling the Sweetwater Historical Museum at (307) 872-6435.

As part of an ongoing service project by Western students in support of the residents of Flint, Mich., water donations and monetary contributions will be accepted at each of this summer’s events. All proceeds will support the effort to bring bottled water to Flint for those citizens whose tap water remains unsafe to drink.

Western is proud to partner with Think WY, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, and the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibition Service to present this series of summer events focusing on the central role that water plays in the lives of Western residents.