River Bookends

Art and science intersect in “River Bookends: Headwaters, Delta and the Volume of Stories in Between,” an exhibit running through November 4 at UW-Fox Valley’s Aylward Gallery in Menasha. 

The exhibit is a collaboration between UW-Fox Valley art professor Judith Baker Waller and James A. Brey, a former UW-Fox Valley geology and geography professor and current senior science consultant for the American Meteorological Society (AMS). 

“As an artist (me) and an earth scientist, (Jim), and both having taught on the UW-Fox Valley campus, we often took students into each other’s studio or lab,” Waller says. “After Jim took a position with the AMS, we discovered another way to teach and that is through art and science exhibitions.”

“River Bookends” is the duo’s third collaboration and will showcase paintings, drawings, essays, poems and interactive experiences on the theme of rivers. Waller created the visuals and Brey authored many of the accompanying essays.

While their two previous collaborative exhibits informed gallery visitors of catastrophic environmental loss and threats, “River Bookends” focuses less on disasters and more on cultural and other human activities linked with rivers.

“While the resulting art does not always focus on specific people, it addresses how elements of human culture have been shaped by rivers and how both individual and collective human experiences have historically been, and still are, inextricably linked,” Waller says. “One of our goals is to present an opportunity for students on the campus—and members of the public—to consider a subject, in this case, rivers, from different points of focus.”

In conjunction with the exhibit, a one-time event titled “River Bookends: Fox Wanderings,” will take place at the Barlow Planetarium in Menasha at 7 p.m. on October 11. The performance will include visual art, spoken word and music. 

“In both the gallery and the planetarium shows, we celebrate the connections between disciplines in our focus on one topic,” Waller says. “These collaborative links are important in teaching and learning about so many of the stories in our world.” 

For updates, visit

Arts & Culture, Events

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.