Flood of color
The Santa Fe River has been designated one of the country’s most endangered rivers. Though it is hard to believe, the trickle-strength river is further stressed by its function as the source of up to 40 percent of the city’s drinking water during wet years.
To raise awareness about the plight of the river, the Santa Fe Art Institute is helping to bring an expected 3,000 people to the river this weekend. Near a southern stretch of the water, participants will walk into the riverbed and hold aloft blue-painted recycled cardboard so the river will appear to run deep. Organizers are calling the event a “flash flood.” It’s one of 20 global waterway sites where activists are taking the same action on the same day as part of a worldwide project by environmentalist Bill McKibben that will be shown at the Cancun Climate Change Summit from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10. The river art will be visible from space, where satellites will render images to be posted on McKibben’s website, www.350.org. In Santa Fe, local cinematographer Doug Crawford will document the action aerially (from either a balloon or helicopter depending on winds).
The event takes place along the Santa Fe River between the San Ysidro Crossing and Caja del Oro Grant Road between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Parking is available at Agua Fría Park and free bus pickups begin at 8:30 a.m. from Santa Fe Place (southeast corner of Cerrillos and Rodeo roads) and the Santa Fe Art Institute (1600 St. Michael’s Drive). A show of related work opens at 5 p.m. Friday Nov. 19, at SFAI. For information, call 424-5050.
Illustration by Patrick McFarlin; courtesy Santa Fe Art Institute