The Waterworks: Hecker Sculpts Water from Glass, Show Opens March 4 at Turchin Center

Published Monday, February 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm

The sculptor Jennifer Hecker has been thinking about water a lot lately, particularly its disappearance.

In fact, every single work in her major show of bronze and glass constructions, “The Waterworks” (opening March 4 at TCVA), explores the fluid foundation of our lives, an element increasingly taken for granted even as the world supply becomes dangerously scarce.

By the time Hecker turned her full attention to “sculpting” water, in 2013, experts had long begun to agree that a worldwide water crisis was imminent in the 21st Century.

Jennifer Hecker, Drain Shelf No. 4

Jennifer Hecker, Drain Shelf No. 4

California was well into the second year of the worst drought in recorded history. The tragic and disgraceful events that would lead to the water scandal in Flint, Michigan, would soon be set in motion.

When NASA’s Mars Rover discovered evidence that water had flowed on that barren planet, causing speculation that there was once life there as well, Hecker began to wonder: Will our own planet, with increasing droughts, pollution, and climate change, one day be as bereft of water as Mars is today?

“It’s crazy to think about,” says Hecker, who was inspired to work with glass for the first time in her career, intrigued by its water-like transparency and fluidity.  “That is, however, exactly what I was thinking about while ‘sculpting’ water.”

“Jennifer Hecker’s new sculptural pieces are stunning,” say Turchin Center Curator and Assistant Director Mary Anne Redding. “She beautifully blends glass and steel into giant drains that show water (glass) cascading gracefully though street drains. Hecker manages to capture both the effervescence of water and the enormity of the problem the world will face as we run out of it.”

“The Waterworks” represents the first time Hecker’s H2O-related, mixed-media constructions have been exhibited in one space. The show will feature 16 works, all created since 2013, incorporating such materials as leather, wax, tin, cast-iron drain covers, boots and a belt buckle.

In related events: Hecker will present a talk about the exhibition (March 2 at 7pm, in the TCVA Lecture Hall), as part of the Turchin Center Lecture Series; she will be on hand for the TCVA Exhibition Celebration, March 4 from 6-10pm. (This traditional event, which features live music, cash bar, food and more, is free and open to the public.)

Also opening on March 4 at the Turchin Center: the ever-popular Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest (AMPC), now in its 13th year, showcasing images by photographers who have steeped themselves in the local land and culture, and Pieces of the Puzzle: Outreach Programs at the Turchin Center, an exploration of how the Boone Community makes art.

ARTIST BIO: Jennifer Hecker is a professor in the Department of Art at The College at Brockport, where she received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999. Hecker’s recent exhibitions include “The Next: A Studio Glass Movement Continuum,” at Tower Fine Arts Gallery in Brockport NY (2015);  “Taos Art Glass Invitational,” at David Anthony Fine Art in Taos, NM (2014), and “Water: A Universal Human Right,” at the State Street Gallery in Chicago (2014). For more information about the artist and her work, 

At the Turchin Center:

The Waterworks: Jennifer Hecker

Main Gallery: March 4 – June 4, 2016

Exhibition Celebration: Friday, March 4, 2016, 6 – 10 PM

Turchin Center Lecture Series: Jennifer Hecker Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 7pm

13th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest

Mezzanine Gallery: March 4 – June 4, 2016

Exhibition Celebration: Friday, March 4, 2016, 6 – 10 PM

Pieces of the Puzzle: Outreach Programs at the Turchin Center

Community Gallery: March 4 – June 4, 2016

Exhibition Celebration: Friday, March 4, 2016, 6 – 10 PM

About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts presents exhibition, education and collection programs that support Appalachian State University’s role as a key regional educational, cultural and economic resource.

The Turchin Center is located at 423 West King St., in Boone. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. and Saturday, and Noon-8 p.m., Friday. The Center is closed Sunday and Monday, and observes all university holidays. There is no admission charge, although donations are accepted.

For additional details about the Turchin Center, becoming a donor, the upcoming exhibitions, to be added to the mailing list or to schedule a tour, please call (828) 262-3017 or visit You can also follow the Turchin Center on Facebook and Twitter @TurchinCenter.


The Turchin Center receives critical support from a group of outstanding media sponsors that are dedicated to promoting the arts in our region, including: WNC Magazine, Charter Media, Mountain Television Network, High Country 365, Classic Hits 100.7, 106.1FM & 102.3FM The Highway, WFDD 88.5, WDAV 89.9, WETS 89.5 and WASU 90.5FM.

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