Confluence Art Project
Confluence: Stream Science, Handwriting and Urban Curbs, is a temporary public artwork, a mile-long, six-thousand-word poem about water and land. It’s meant to be read in pieces as you follow the flow of water through Reno.
Our Vision: Water flows from mountain peaks to oceans and lakes, moving through forests and cities, bodies and pipes. While scientists study ‘wild’ water in mountain streams, that same water flows through urban landscapes and waterways. Confluence playfully brings these connections to our attention through poetry, running along the Truckee River through Reno’s parks and neighborhoods.
Using bright yellow, adhesive-backed sheets and a digital cutting process, the lettering is done in a font made especially for this project from the handwriting of Claude Dukes, Federal Water Master in the Reno area from 1958 until his death in 1984. The text is written by Todd Gilens, based on four years assisting ecologists in the Sierra Nevada, as well as research on ancient water systems, and field work with urban structures and buried streams. Water ties everything together, shaping the world while changing from one form to another. Attention to the role of water affirms our interdependence with the land.
With contributions from individuals, businesses, civic and governmental agencies, Confluence has become a lively and personal public artwork.
The Confluence Poem seen on the sidewalk near the river in Downtown Reno.
The Confluence Route Map
Confluence being installed.
A close-up of the script.
Funding Needs: We are now seeking funding to preserve and distribute the poem in book form. Photographs of the installation, and essays by William L. Fox and Elizabeth Koebele, scholars in environmental art and water policy, will add dimension to the meaning of the work. We hope to issue the book sometime in 2024. Please consider a donation if you are able.
To reach us with questions and comments, please contact - firstname.lastname@example.org