Artists “Imagine a Day Without Water” with a Mural and Exhibition
Little Rock’s newest downtown mural was dedicated at 301 E. Capitol Ave. (a former LRPD substation) in a ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021. The mural is part of the Forest to Faucet program, which is a partnership between the local arts community and Central Arkansas Water. This program included the creation of the mural in partnership with a local artist, as well as a student art exhibition displayed in the CALS Roberts Library to highlight young artists from the community.
“Water Is Life” Mural
The mural was the vision of local artist Tanya Hollifield, who was selected to oversee this project and worked with local artists and community members to create a new vision of partnership between a public organization and the arts community.
“The idea behind my partnership with Central Arkansas Water and the community was to involve the community in the process and build bridges,” Hollifield said. “In the end, around seventy members of the community took part in the painting of the mural.”
This is the only mural in Little Rock with its own built-in water supply. Central Arkansas Water provided a water bottle filler that was integrated into the mural and will be available year round. A chalkboard was added to the mural to encourage conversation about water and how it affects our daily lives.
“My favorite part of this mural is the water bottle filler provided by Central Arkansas Water which gives every person on the street access to water,” Hollifield said. “I hope water supplies like this become more the norm around our city.”
“Imagine a Day Without Water” Exhibition on View
Imagine a Day Without Water: Artwork by LRSD students
On view November 12 to December 30, 2021
The Landing at the Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library
Little Rock School District students from 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool programs at Bale, Carver, and Chicot Elementary Schools tried to “Imagine a Day Without Water” through the creation of water-themed artwork. The effort was part of a partnership between Central Arkansas Water, the Little Rock School District, and the Central Arkansas Library System. Imagine a Day Without Water is an annual national day of awareness to impart the value of water to communities.
The student art was displayed at the mural unveiling and will be featured in an exhibition at the CALS Roberts Library, opening November 12. Katy Elliott, director of LRSD 21st CCLC Programs, said, “This is a great example of how partners can support positive student experiences in our afterschool programs and exactly the type of involvement we invite from the community.”
This project comes from the U.S. Water Alliance’s inaugural Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator initiative. Central Arkansas Water was one of four U.S. water utilities challenged to work with local artists to creatively address growing water-related issues such as aging infrastructure, climate change, and lack of access. It received a $20,000 grant from USWA to complete the project. Central Arkansas Water is Arkansas’s largest water system, serving nearly 500,000 Arkansans in seven counties.
CALS Roberts Library visiting information can be found here.