Mapping the Spokane (River) – Spokane, WA

“Mapping the Spokane (River)” was an art installation in the Spokane Falls Community College Gallery. The exhibition addressed issues about the river's rich cultural and natural history, the quality of life and the condition of the water, within the Spokane River watershed.

Listed as the 6th most endangered river in America by American Rivers in 2004, the Spokane River continues to be in jeopardy. The Spokane River contains excessive amounts of sewage, PCBs, lead, arsenic, zinc, and cadmium. This 111 mile-long river was once “a pathway of life” for the Spokane Tribe. Before the construction of the seven dams, the Spokane River was home to five species of salmon. Today, there are no salmon.

As the title implies, this exhibition was an activity during its time on display. I invited the community to contribute to the “mapping” dialogue. {Please, bring in a sample of water collected along the river. Add your story, your experience, your adventure, your concerns, your passion, your hopes, your dreams.}

I am fascinated with the concept of mapping and the artistic aspects of a cartographer. Maps change over time for various reasons. Can a map be of a moment? Can a map mark a story? Can a map illustrate an experience? Can a map tell your story?

During my brief explorations of the Spokane River I have observed the public interacting with the river. I noticed people having many different relationships with the river. They are engaged with the waterway for various reasons. It is these moments, these narratives that I am interested in mapping.

Please join me in “Mapping the Spokane” together.

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