The Virtual Water Gallery is a GWF-funded science and art pilot project that aims to provide a safe, inclusive and collaborative space for fully open discussions between scientists, artists, and the general public, to explore past, present and future water-related (scientific) challenges. As part of this pilot project, 11-13 Canada-based artists will connect with teams of GWF scientists to co-explore specific water-related challenges. These collaborations will lead to the creation of art pieces by the artists (with a variety of art media) to be exhibited online through a Virtual Water Gallery by Spring 2021. The Virtual Water Gallery will be open for all to see and interact with, with the hope is that these art pieces open up discussions about pressing water related challenges to a wider audience via the gallery space.

La “Virtual Water Gallery” (galerie virtuelle de l’eau) est un projet pilote scientifique et artistique financé par le GWF. Ce projet vise à créer un espace sûr, inclusif et collaboratif pour des discussions pleinement ouvertes entre les scientifiques, les artistes et le grand public, afin d’explorer des défis (scientifiques) passés, présents et futures liés à l’eau. Dans le cadre de ce projet pilote, 11 à 13 artistes collaboreront avec des équipes de scientifiques du GWF pour co-explorer des défis spécifiques liés à l’eau. Ces collaborations conduiront à la création d’œuvres d’art par les artistes (avec une variété de supports artistiques) qui seront exposées en ligne via une galerie virtuelle de l’eau d’ici le printemps 2021. La galerie virtuelle de l’eau sera ouverte à tous, dans l’espoir que ces œuvres d’art ouvrent les discussions sur les défis pressants liés à l’eau à un public plus large.


Louise Arnal

Project Lead
Postdoctoral Fellow
Centre for Hydrology and Coldwater Laboratory
University of Saskatchewan

Contact: louise.arnal@usask.ca 

Martyn Clark

Professor of Hydrology,
Schulich Research Chair in Environmental Prediction,
University of Calgary

john-pomeroy-150x200.jpgJohn Pomeroy

Director, Global Water Futures Program
Director, Centre for Hydrology & Coldwater Laboratory
University of Saskatchewan

Stacey Dumanski

Outreach Coordinator, Global Water Futures Program
University of Saskatchewan

Participating Artists

Louise Arnal is a scientist with a lifelong love of art. She is a postdoctoral fellow with GWF, as part of which she is leading the Virtual Water Gallery pilot project. She explores water-related topics using scientific tools on her computer and a diversity of artistic media (from watercolor paintings to multi-sensory immersive installations). You can see some of Louise's artworks at https://sciartfloods.wordpress.com/ and connect with her on Twitter and on Instagram.

Sam Baardman

Sam Baardman is a singer-songwriter and photographer living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a co-founder of “River on the Run”, a group of artists that creates work based on their shared experience of living within the Lake Winnipeg watershed. Integrating a variety of art forms and disciplines, and working in collaboration with biologists and climate scientists, their work investigates the increasingly fragile relationship between humans and their habitats. Environmentalism has been an enduring theme both in Sam’s music and visual art. His music is known for its lyrical depth and superb, singable melodies, while his photography has been exhibited in galleries in both Canada and the U.S.

Rhian Brynjolson is a visual artist, author, book illustrator, and art educator. Rhian taught K-12 in the Winnipeg School Division, and was awarded Canadian Art Teacher of the Year in 2014. She is the author of Teaching Art: a Complete Guide for the Classroom, and has illustrated fifteen children’s books. Rhian has exhibited her work in diverse venues, including a January 2020 group exhibit, Mother Earth and Her Lovers: Repair and Maintenance, at the MHC Gallery. She has worked with the River on the Run artist collective, making and performing art to raise awareness of environmental concerns affecting the Lake Winnipeg watershed. Rhian lives and hikes in the boreal forest in eastern Manitoba. Her work can be viewed at rhianbrynjolson.com.

Patrick Cheechoo is a Moose River Cree from Constance Lake First Nation. “I was always an artist,” says Mr. Cheechoo, “even as a very young child I was always drawing on everything like the margins of my school notebooks and on my binders.” Patrick began painting when he was 17 years old while attending high school in North Bay, Ontario, and he has loved painting ever since.

When painting, Mr. Cheechoo likes to tell stories; he tells stories about his childhood, his family or his culture. He likes to teach about living off the land along with other Cree traditions and ceremony. He finds inspiration in the outdoors – seeing geese fly by, or hearing a loon calling on a calm lake. Patrick also finds inspiration while attending traditional and community gatherings, observing ceremonies or listening to stories told by his parents, friends, elders, and knowledge keepers.

His paintings have been sold to collectors worldwide, including the U.S., England, China, and Australia. His sole international show was in the Netherlands when he was 20; Patrick takes pride in the fact that all the show’s paintings sold in 2 weeks.  Today you will find his artwork all over Canada, and you will find his graphic design and logos used by businesses and other organizations.

www.facebook.com/PatCheechooFineArt | Instagram & Twitter: @PatChComedy

Cam Forrester retired in 2017, after 32 years in the golf and club industry. In 2005 he met a group of guys who shared the same love of outdoor landscape painting. The group, known as the “Men Who Paint”, has had the great fortune of painting in many remote areas of Canada. Cam’s paintings hang in galleries and private collections across Canada, Europe and the United States. You can connect with Cam on Facebook @Cam Forrester and on Instagram @cam.forrester. His art can also be viewed on his website at http://www.camforresterart.com/

Greg Hargarten is a Saskatoon based painter, musician and graphic artist. As a founding member of the “Men Who Paint” collective, he has painted across Canada and abroad. He has exhibited in over 40 solo and group shows in Canada and over-seas. His artwork is held in private, corporate and museum collections including The Kunstmuseum in Schwann Germany, the Parks Canada Permanent Collection, and the Mann Gallery in Prince Albert.

Bob Haverluck is a storyteller, cartoonist, theologian who lives on the bank of the Red River on its way Hudson Bay. Underlying his work is the question “How might feathered and featherless, hairy and hairless, flippered and two footed meet, really meet?” The answer his love labours wager on is the great and ancient near forgotten Peace Treaty tween all the Creatures, sister Mother Earth and the Creator. Bob is a “mentor” with the Trudeau Foundation working with emerging young scholars to bridge the Academy to the Street. His most recent books include “WHEN GOD WAS FLESH AND WILD: Stories in Defence of the Earth” (2017) with 55 drawings, and the forthcoming joint work with Kathleen Dean Moore “TAKE HEART: Encouragement for Earth’s Weary Lovers”, book of 25 short essays and drawings.

Gennadiy Ivanov is a professional artist from Norwich (Norfolk, UK) for almost 35 years now. He has a little studio-gallery in the heart of Norwich where he works and sells his artworks. He is the Global Water Future’s artist-in-residence. After attending the Norwich University of the Arts (Masters Fine Arts), Gennadiy has realized a lot of projects through which he has tried to find himself in different styles, materials and types of art: as a dancer, singer, photographer, sculpture, writer, poet and painter. You can see Gennadiy’s work with GWF on this GWF webpage, on his website and on YouTube. You can also connect with Gennadiy on Facebook @Gennadiy V. Ivanov

Megan Leung is a visual artist, environmental advocate, and aspiring scientist. Both her art and her passion for a career in science are inspired by the intricacies of our natural world. With a background in environmental science, her graduate research on Arctic water resources is a continuation of her thirst for environmental protection. Megan resides in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, on the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The privilege of recreating and interacting with these beautiful landscapes brings her inspiration in her personal, creative, and academic life. You can connect with her via email or Instagram: @artful_megs

Rebeka Ryvola makes art and facilitates creative processes in service to people and Mother Earth. Her professional background is in environmental science, international climate policy, and humanitarian response, she has a masters degree from Yale University, and her collaborators and clients include the Red Cross Red Crescent movement, the World Bank, EIT Climate KIC, Black Lives Matter DC, VICE, and community organizations around the world. She lives in the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.

Paul Trottier lives in Saskatoon and worked at the University of Saskatchewan for over twenty years in numerous capacities and was the past director of the internationally acclaimed Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. Currently, Paul owns and operates Hues art supply store in Saskatoon.  As an artist, Paul has shown in various location across western Canada, often with the group “Men Who Paint”.  A recipient of numerous accolades, Paul’s work is collected throughout North America in both private and public collections.

Roger Trottier is a University instructor, teacher educator, curriculum developer and plein air landscape artist. He is a member of the “Men Who Paint”. Roger is interested in developing visual art strategies that effectively explain scientific findings and promote good utilization practices.

Ken Van Rees is a forest soil scientist in the Soil Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan and has been incorporating art into his soil field courses in the boreal forest. He creates soil and charcoal art and is a plein air painter with the group “Men Who Paint”. Webpage https://www.kenvanrees.com; University webpage: https://agbio.usask.ca/faculty-and-staff/people-pages/ken-vanrees.php#research_areas; Instagram: @kenvanrees; Facebook: @Ken Van Rees

Events and Recordings

Virtual Water Gallery Launch Event

The Virtual Water Gallery held an online launch event on April 29th to celebrate the 'opening' of the gallery online. 

Introduction to the Virtual Water Gallery

This webinar highlights the main goals and outcomes from the project, and provides context as to how it fits in with the GWF program. The artists participating in the project were also in attendance to introduce themselves.


Below are some frequently asked questions about the Virtual Water Gallery project! If you can't find the answer you are looking for, please contact Louise Arnal.

The pilot project was launched in the Summer 2020. Eleven artists are being paired with GWF scientists for the pilot project. Their collaborative artworks will be displayed on the Virtual Water Gallery in the Spring 2021.

No. Artists should feel free to select an art medium or a combination of media that they are comfortable with and/or that reflects the artwork’s narrative. The aim of this project is to display a diverse set of artworks, in terms of themes as well as media used.

We are in contact with a couple of artists who may still join the pilot project. Given the already advanced stage of the project and budget limitations for the pilot, we are not looking for any additional artists. However, if the pilot project is successful, the aim is to invite contributions from artists and scientists from around the world.

GWF scientists are highly encouraged to submit water-related inspired artworks created as part of their GWF project. We are aware that science-art collaborations have been going on in the program and showcasing these artworks on the Virtual Water Gallery will hopefully help increase the visibility of these artworks and strengthen the Virtual Water Gallery initiative. To discuss the artworks’ suitability for the Virtual Water Gallery, GWF scientists should contact Louise Arnal.

GWF wishes to retain the right to use digital versions of the materials produced as part of this project for the online gallery, presentations, knowledge mobilisations, communications, videos, website, and other relevant activities, ensuring that credit is given whenever possible. Artists will however retain copyright and their original works, which they can sell for their own profit.

We hope that the project will generate both short- and long-term momentum, with some successes more measurable than others. On the short-term, participants of the pilot project will be consulted to provide feedback on the project’s process and success (e.g. Were the artist-scientist collaborations positive and constructive? Did a wider public engage with the outputs created, and was this engagement valuable?), which we will use to further shape the project before seeking contributions from around the world. On the long-term, we hope that the artist-scientist pairs created as part of the project can foster continuing collaborations. We also hope that the Virtual Water Gallery will positively impact the work of participating scientists and artists for years following their collaboration and inspire many (viewers and participants). Perhaps a child looking at artworks on the Virtual Water Gallery will be inspired to, years after, study a water-related topic at University!

Progress made by the participants will be shared regularly on this webpage and during future GWF webinars. You are invited to monitor this space for further updates about the project.


Please contact the Virtual Water Gallery project lead, Louise Arnal (louise.arnal@usask.ca) with any inquiries.