Press Contact: Trish Palao, Marketing and Communications Manager
Montshire Museum of Science, One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 

802-649-2200 x222 |

Montshire Museum Hosts Community-created Art Installation June 30–September 9.

Jun 12, 2012
For Immediate Release

How are words like water? "Stream of Conscience: River of Words," a public-participation art project at the Montshire Museum of Science by artist Christine Destrempes poses this question.

The condition of our water—lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and oceans—is an indicator of our collective and historical actions. As we listen, we become aware of the changes in water quality and scarcity. We notice that water speaks for the planet just as our words speak for us.

Throughout the summer, participants of all ages are invited to write their thoughts, memories, and reflections about water on serpentine-shaped tiles. The individual tiles are attached together to form a river flowing along a fence at the Montshire throughout the summer. Museum visitors are invited to add to the  installation so that the river of words continues to flow.

About the Stream of Conscience: River of Words exhibit
Destrempes conceptual foundation of Stream of Conscience: River of Words is based on a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” If one thinks of the earth’s waterways as representing life, each of us is like a ripple or wave. We rise up, crest, roar to the shore, then slip back to join all the other waves that have been or are about to be. For a brief moment in time, we are distinct, but never separate. This installation at the Montshire offers an opportunity for individual voices to demonstrate the power of collective expression through a river of emotion, which symbolizes our interconnectedness with each other and all of life. We live in a land of abundance, but elsewhere, available clean water is a luxury, diminishing in the face of a growing population. For many people all over the world, access to clean water is limited. As a result, five million people die every year from preventable, water-related diseases.

With the earth’s finite water supply increasingly sold, squandered, and sullied, Stream of Conscience: River of Words articulates a response. It is created by a multitude of individual voices reflecting on the importance of water, the inspiration it provides, and our responsibility to protect it. Stream of Conscience: River of Words taps our most abundant resource – our imagination – to raise awareness and promote advocacy for access to clean water. It is a hopeful appeal to our ability to change course.

The Montshire Museum of Science, Stream of Conscience: River of Words installation will consist of serpentine-shaped tiles in colors that evoke ripples of water in a stream. The tiles will be attached to one another and will appear to flow over the top of the fence and will run along its length in a curving line for about 50 feet. It will be approximately 3.5 feet wide and at the end, it will appear to flow into the ground. The Stream of Conscience: River of Words installation at the Montshire is made possible with funding from Benjamin Schore.

The Montshire Museum is located along the banks of the Connecticut River— the longest and largest river in New England, spanning over 400 miles from Canada through four states. It touches the lives of millions as a resource for drinking water, agriculture, transportation, recreation, wildlife, scenic beauty, and commerce. The river connects New Englanders to one another by our shared interest in its environmental health. The objective of creating this Stream of Conscience: River of Words installation along the Connecticut River is to raise awareness not only of the value of clean water in general, but also how water connects the towns, cities, and individuals along the river.

About the artist
After a career as a graphic designer and illustrator, Christine Destrempes turned to fine art. Her contemplative paintings and monotypes prints have been exhibited nationally and appear in numerous corporate and private collections.

As her concern for global water issues grew, Destrempes founded Art for Water and embarked on a mission to raise awareness of the shrinking availability of clean water through creating monumental, public-participation installations. Art for Water engages people of all ages as activists through creative self-expression as a path to social change, fosters stewardship of our most precious natural resource, and inspires advocacy for those living without basic needs. Art for Water's mission is to create a water ethic where everyone respects water for its necessity for all of life.

Destrempes has curated water-themed group and solo exhibits. Her installation, Stream of Conscience, is in Ripple Effect: the Art of H2O at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA through July of 2012. Stream of Conscience appeared in The Value of Water at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York, in Uncommon River at the Prichard Art Gallery, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID and in River of Words Stream of Conscience at the Sharon Arts Downtown Gallery, Peterborough, NH.

Stream of Conscience: River of Words public-participation event
Tuesday, June 26, 4:30–6 p.m.
Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich Vermont
Free and open to the public

Artist Christine Destrempes will talk about the Stream of Conscience: River of Words project and global water issues; and Rebecca Brown, author and president of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions board of directors will present a regional perspective with an overview of the river's challenges and opportunities.

Following the presentation, attendees are invited to contribute a personal message, memory, reflection, or idea—anything that conveys his/her thoughts and feelings about water on one of the blank 'waves.'

Each voice, combined with others, will make this a powerful river of words that will inspire greater awareness of one of our most precious natural resources.

The event is free of charge and open to the public.
Please RSVP to

For more information about Stream of Conscience: River of Words visit /exhibitsfeatured-exhibitions/stream-of-conscience/