Open Water by Samantha Martinez

Open Water

Ceramic, paper, hemp cord, beeswax, board, plant-based acrylic

Samantha Martinez, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

In Collaboration with Anne Moser, Senior Special Librarian and Education Coordinator, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant

Open Water celebrates the work of Anne Moser as a manager of Wisconsin’s Water Library and coordinator of hands-on learning experiences for environmental stewards of all ages and backgrounds. Five ceramic tiles were carved with a flowing water texture to represent each of the Great Lakes. The tiles were bound with a variety of paper materials from Anne’s workspace including:  research papers, pamphlets and posters, art from public programming events, informational handouts for literary and scientific databases, GIS water maps, and publications by Wisconsin Sea Grant. These materials reflect Anne’s focus on the intersection of art, science, and the humanities in her work. This includes efforts in the expansion of the Wisconsin Water Library collection with resources about climate change, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, amplifying voices of marginalized and underrepresented groups, and preservation of oral histories. The permanently open position of the books in this piece represent the radical accessibility of these carefully conserved and cataloged resources.

“Learning about Anne’s work was really inspiring. The resources that she provides to both formal and non-formal educators are invaluable, and her philosophies about the value of young people and their empowerment through Great Lakes literacy gives me hope for the future”

“Working with Samantha has been a gift. She and I share many passions, from education to watershed science to social justice but we have completely different backgrounds, training and experiences. Exploring our common ground has been the most rewarding part of this collaboration.”


Samantha Martinez grew up along the shores of a small lake in northern Wisconsin. She enjoys working with natural materials and creating things with her hands. She has spent time working in seed conservation, on organic farms, with a tribal environmental health program and ecological restoration cooperative, in native plant nurseries and community gardens, and cultivating bioregional herbalism and traditional handcraft along the shores of Lake Superior. She is currently studying to be an art educator and plans to focus her teaching practice on sharing earth-based media, ancestral skills, critical multiculturalism, and environmental stewardship.

ABOUT THE Water Partner

Anne Moser works for Wisconsin Sea Grant as education coordinator and librarian, so she has two pretty distinct roles. In both, she works to advance Great Lakes literacy in all ages (PK thru grade), in both formal and nonformal learning environments. In both roles, she has had the honor of coordinating or participating in projects where art and science intersect.

Wisconsin Sea Grant education does a wide range of things… we provide professional learning opportunities, education kits, and more. As a librarian, Anne Moser has done lots of outreach to libraries throughout the state and has created digital collections of important historical materials. A recent project anchored in the library that she is very excited about is our Maadagindan! book club where we work to elevate underrepresented voices in children’s literature.