Chatham News

Chatham University presents art exhibition about ecological disaster “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek”

Currently on view until May 25

Opening reception on May 10 to be held in conjunction with the Perspectives on Silent Spring at 50 symposium, Hosted by the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham and the National Aviary

"Variagate Darter 2" by Ron Donoughe

Chatham University presents the art exhibition “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” now through May 25 at the Art and Design Center mezzanine gallery, located on its Shadyside Campus, Woodland Road. “Reflections,” which opened April 10, is a collaborative installation art project created by 90 regional artists to commemorate the lives of the many species that perished in Dunkard Creek in September 2009. All of Dunkard’s gilled inhabitants died when a fatal combination of mine wastes and low water, exacerbated by industry water withdrawals, set off the bloom of an alien toxic algae, suffocating an estimated 65,000 animals.

The opening reception, to be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 10, is held in conjunction with the Perspectives on Silent Spring at 50 symposium, hosted by the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham and the National Aviary. The free and public exhibition will be on view Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 25.

Dunkard Creek, the site of the 2009 ecological disaster, is a 43-mile-long stream that flows through Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The creek empties into the Monongahela River, which was recently listed as one of the country’s 10 most endangered rivers. The river supplies drinking water to more than 850,000 people.

The exhibition celebrates the diversity of life in our freshwater streams while it raises questions about how our water and resources are currently managed. It invites the general public to consider the fallout that sometimes occurs when our society’s quest for energy damages our natural resources.  The traveling exhibit was organized by West Virginia artist Ann Payne, botanical art instructor at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and is supported by The Mountain Institute: Appalachia Program. Many notable Pittsburgh artists’ works are included in the show.

For more information, contact Prajna Parasher, director of Chatham’s Film and Digital Technology program, at 412-365-1182 or, or Patricia DeMarco, director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham, at 412-365-2702 or

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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