The ‘UnexpectedArtProject’ aims to enliven a small area of each of the six districts within our community. The idea is to transform locations that normally might be overlooked but with site- specific creations, the locations are turned into small gems of unexpected public art!  This art elevates awareness and is not meant to alter reality, but instead expose what is already around us and make us feel much more a part of it. The Public Art Commission invites the public to locate, discover and share the 6 unexpected outdoor art pieces created by artist Cheryl Ulrich Barnett!

barnettArtist Cheryl Ulrich Barnett was selected out of a dozen submissions. The Public Art Commission felt that not only was her concept intriguing but her sketches were playful yet powerful. Cheryl is a ceramic artist out of Floyds Knobs. The pieces that she has created for this project were all completed in a high fire clay body and fired to a temperature that will enable them to withstand the outdoor elements.

Cheryl’s Statement–

Water. I think about it a lot. Is there too much? Is there too little?

 Will we ever experience a drought? How else can I conserve water? How is climate change affecting something that most of us take for granted until it is in short supply?

 Even with this concern, I never thought about the many layers of impact that a water shortage could have on our lives and the people around the world who already face with these tough conditions. The recent crisis in California has brought these issues more into the spotlight for our nation and its people.

 According to the World Wildlife Federation, water covers 70% of our planet. Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water that makes up what we drink, bathe in and irrigate our farm fields with—and two-thirds of that is frozen glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use. 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.

 With almost one fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) living in areas where water is physically scarce, momentum is needed now to begin change. Even in areas like Kentuckiana, where it is mostly assumed that water is abundant and cheap, awareness of water efficiency and conservation practices is important. The discussions need to begin now and gain momentum while water is still plentiful. One way of increasing the momentum for discussion, water efficiency, conservation and new and innovative ideas is to educate adults and children about the many ways that water impacts lives. In doing so, awareness and efforts can begin now.

The 6 main areas where water greatly impacts our lives:

  • Economy/commerce
  • Food supply/agriculture
  • Health
  • Education
  • Wildlife
  • Nature
  • The medium for all of these is ceramic, glazed and fired to cone 6.
  • The pieces are made to a scale that is on a personal level. This is intended to draw the viewer in to consider each piece and how water impacts each of the areas of their lives.

We as a society should never assume that we are immune to a water shortage in the city or county we live in. The time is now, while water in our area is plentiful to get the momentum going, raise awareness and improve attitudes about water and conservation.


natureWhen water becomes scarce, natural landscapes often lose out. Besides the loss of the beauty of the natural landscape, it can also cause ecological catastrophes that have long term effects on populations and the health of ecosystems.




Access to safe water has an economic impact. Water scarcity can cause situations where adults and students can’t attend work because they have to spend their days looking for water.econ-commerce

A low supply of water can effect all kinds of businesses such as restaurants, hotels and shopping places, manufacturing, commercial farms, and mining processes, just to name a few. If economic activities or education can’t occur due to lack of water, people will be in constant poverty.


FOOD supplyWe all understand the vital importance of food for our survival. A lesser water supply will create greater impacts on our food supply creating lower crop yields and growing demand.
If given the choice that you only have a limited amount of water and your food supply is dwindling, which would you choose….water your lawn or use the water to grow a weeks worth of food?
Even though water is plentiful in our area currently, now is the time to allow these ideas to gain momentum to begin taking steps to insure our future water resources are secure.



Inadequate sanitation is a problem when there is a water shortage. Diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses can spread quickly. Many people, mostly children, die each year from diarrheal diseases
In many developing countries, people are forced to drink low quality water from flowing streams, many of which are contaminated. Simple rain catchers can help gather what little rain that does fall.
According to various websites, water scarcity causes huge sanitation issues for a society and its clinics, restaurants, public places, health staff and health facilities. A lot of water is required for optimal health benefits.


eduMost of us never even consider that a shortage of water could have an impact on education.
Many websites concerned with water shortages document that in various parts of the world, women and children have to wake up at dawn and walk miles to collect water for the family. This can often cause children to miss school. In other parts of the world, women aren’t allowed to go to school because they must serve the family needs and when water is in low supply, that need becomes the greatest for daily survival.



wildlifeWhen water is plentiful and clean, animals will come to rivers, lakes and streams to drink and in doing so their presense will be evident by their tracks. If the water supplies dry up, the animals will disapper and so will their impact and contribution to a healthy ecosystem.
According to the WWF, many of the water systems that support ecosystems have become stressed. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use.
Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world.
An unhealthy ecosystem affects not just humans, but every living thing on this earth.


Where are these fantastic pieces? That’s for you to LOCATE, DISCOVER & SHARE –
Check out the attached “Riddle Handout” to begin exploring!

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