Blog focused on artists who examine, move over, look at, work with, journey on, use metaphorically, or create new connections to water, rivers, lakes, oceans, or boats.

Introducing the Works On Water Blog

You already know the mission of Works On Water: making art focused on issues surrounding water, raising the profile of artists in the field, bringing artists into the gallery, and bringing people to the water through art. For several years, I've been working in the field and have been trying to promote artists working with water and create a framework for collaboration. It seemed like a good fit. Plus, I'd be working with a great group of talented artists I knew and respected.

WorksOnWater curatorial team

WorksOnWater curatorial team

I'm still discovering artists daily, mostly through art and culture blogs, fresh-faced emerging artists, mid-career folks that I'm told I should already know about, artist retrospectives I have no business not already knowing. I follow a few dozen blogs mostly through RSS and Feedly, sometimes directly on their websites or through their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Typically, these posts feature a few evocative photos, maybe a linked video, and a paragraph or two of editorial text or context. Sometimes I'll read a review, an open call, or a longer article.  These blogs are posting a selection of submitted and found material, and their editorial selection process remains a mystery.

To the Works On Water organizational team, I proposed a blog (and corresponding RSS, Facebook, and Twitter feeds) focused on artists who examine, move over, look at, work with, journey on, use metaphorically, or create new connections to water, rivers, lakes, oceans, or boats. Like other blogs, the content will typically be a selection of contributed and discovered material, pulled from various sources and lightly editorialized. I would do my best to make the process transparent, as much for my own editorial ease as for you. They seemed to like the idea, and so here we go.

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“I follow a few dozen blogs mostly through RSS and Feedly”


The Works On Water curatorial team had already put thought into what we mean when we say water-based artists. The work must meet BOTH of the following conditions:

  1. The work self-defines, first and foremost, as art.

  2. A body (or bodies) of water is central to the work’s concept.

Additionally, the work recognizes that water is alive and dynamic, and therefore experiential rather than representational. It must meet at least ONE of the following conditions:

  1. If object-based, a body of water (and/or its shorelines) is used as MATERIAL in the physical production of the work.

  2. If time-based, a body of water and/or its shorelines is the SITE for the work, functioning as a “stage” and/or a central “character” that embodies the temporality and/or spatiality of the work.

In editing the blog, I will follow their lead.


Wes Modes, artist and director of  A Secret History of American River People

Wes Modes, artist and director of A Secret History of American River People

I should introduce myself. My name is Wes Modes and I'm the newly-minted editor of the Works On Water blog (I'm also an artist that works on water myself). I'll do my best to bring you artists, exhibitions, events, reviews, and articles that center on water-based practice.

You should be able to follow the Works On Water blog via RSS, Email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or via the Works On Water website. Please keep in touch. I'm happy to hear from you, particularly if you have work or artists you hope to share.