Project Aware

Photos of Project Aware


Meet the scupltor, David Williamson  

In a campus-wide collaboration, the Upper Iowa University School of Liberal Arts, School of Business, Andres School of Education and the School of Science and Mathematics, is pleased to bring three outstanding Project AWARE sculptures to the Fayette campus now through March 2014.

Over the course of nine years, volunteers and activists of Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition) came together for the purpose of cleaning up Iowa rivers and streams, and most importantly, to raise awareness. Leading the transformation of river trash to art, sculptor and poet David Williamson worked with volunteers at the request of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The sculptures are on display in the Andres School of Education. The building is open to the public during school hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


With unexpected intimacy,
a canoe measures us ...
welcomes our human width ...
encourages us with applause sustained by the dip of a paddle tip.
It’s easy.
It’s hard ...
upon our return
to the banks of an injured river.
Muscles amid mussels,
we are the bug-bitten
of colorful T-shirts
who, like tadpoles along the shore,
dream of leapfrogging
little miracles:
• two bare feet visible under 48 inches of freshwater ... clear
• the orange calligraphy of a mulberry’s descent through muddy shale... current
• the softshell turtle seeking refuge for her eggs ... bearings

Unfazed by bandits
whose refuse we refuse,
we move in confluence ...
banks, interest, return, flow.
Our footprints mint the fresh pieces
of green currency ...
whose economy is a wholly owned subsidiary
of the natural world.

Return on investment?
Another year of change ...
deposited in bags ...
ensuring those who follow
remain aware ...
and prepared to inherit
a wealth we’ve come to know
with unexpected intimacy. 

Collaborative poem from Riverse at the Iowa State Fair,
Project AWARE, 2007


Last Updated 12/17/13