Watershed (noun)


  1. A region of land that drains to a particular body of water
  2. A crucial event or period marking a turning point

Curator: Jennifer M. Friess, Associate Curator of Photography
Gallery: A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I
On View: June 4–October 23, 2022

Doug Fogelson

Watershed brings recent work from fifteen contemporary artists to UMMA for an exhibition that immerses visitors in the interconnected histories, present lives, and imagined futures of the Great Lakes region.

Some of these artists give voice to the experiences of communities that have been marginalized, making personal and visceral the social, economic, and political relationships among people, water, and land. Others use water as part of their process—whether photography, painting, sculpture—to provoke reflection on its ineffable effects on our bodies, language, and lives. All demonstrate how art can contribute to and shape current dialogues on the critical problems confronting our region.

This exhibition will feature new commissions from those listed below as well as works by Dawoud Bey, Pope.L, LaToya Ruby Fraizer, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shanna Merola, Doug Fogelson, Matthew Brandt, and Senghor Reid.

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New Commissions

Watershed includes six new works commissioned by UMMA for the exhibition. Some artworks pictured are representative and not the actual works on view.

Exhibition Support

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the U-M Office of the Provost, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, Susan and Richard Gutow, and the U-M Institute for the Humanities. Additional generous support is provided by the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, Graham Sustainability Institute, and the Department of English Language and Literature. Special thanks to Margaret Noodin and Michael Zimmerman, Jr. for translating the gallery texts into Anishinaabemowin.