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The Wave Held at Public Library of New London Tomorrow

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The third shoreline installment of The Wave, an interactive exhibit created by Connecticut artists to raise awareness of water and the vital role it plays in the life of Earth, will be held at the Public Library of New London May 3. Across the state, four urban libraries whose communities are addressing water concerns are hosting The Wave installations.

The Wave engages people of all ages and abilities in a conversation about water through its simple design and colorful materials. Participants cut a wave out of recyclable, polycarbonate film and see it hung aloft in the library along with hundreds of other individual shapes to create a wave. This serves as a tangible reminder of their mutual connection to water as the foundation of life on Earth, said Library Director Suzanne Maryeski.

Artists Susan Hoffman Fishman, of West Hartford, and Elena Kalman, of Stamford, created The Wave two years ago in response to the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan. The Wave's first installation in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. was so well received, Kalman said, that the artists decided to expand the celebration of water by making it a national effort.

"There's a limited amount of water on this planet," Fishman said. "More and more of it is being polluted, and also, the climate is changing. A lot of areas in the world are now having water shortages, and it's really important that people are paying attention to that."

The artists, organizers and sponsors hope participants will grasp their responsibility to conserve and protect this vital natural resource.

"By participating in The Wave, we hope people will take action to address water issues locally, nationally and internationally," Fishman said.

Through the shared process of contributing to a work of art that's in their community and part of a national movement, people feel connected to an important global issue, said Jennifer Keohane, executive director of the Connecticut Library Consortium, one of The Wave's sponsors. And as an art installation, she added, The Wave stands alone as a compelling work of art.

At each installation, the artists join public participants to build community and celebrate water. At the Public Library of New London, wave-shaped pieces cut by individuals will then be hung from a cord that is strung through the library, creating a dynamic, flowing wave in bold colors, calling attention to the beauty, power and essential nature of water.

The Wave installation will be Saturday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington St., New London. At the library that day, from noon until 2 p.m. the Mystic Aquarium will display its aquatic touch tank, with lobsters, horseshoe crabs, sea stars and other sea creatures. At 2 p.m., the library will host a make-a-splash themed story time.

On Monday, May 5 at 5:30 Juliana Barrett, PhD, will present Climate Change in Connecticut: What is already happening and what do we expect? Storms Irene and Sandy showed just how vulnerable coastal Connecticxut is to damage from storms and tidal inundation. This presentation will explore predicted climate change impacts for Connecticut over the next 100 years and adaption strategies to improve ourresidlience.


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