Plumbum is the Latin word for lead because it was used in plumbing in ancient times. The elemental symbol for lead, Pb, is based on that word.

The City of Flints problems have been in the news for years, culminating recently in the tragic water crisis caused by a failure of government. All of us can sympathize with the horror of toxic water unknowingly entering our home and poisoning our families.

My installation piece, Plumbum, is a collection of 100 to over 225 (depending on the space) bottles and jars containing water. The bottles are contorted and bent to represent the effects of the toxicity of the lead. They are labeled with the results of tap water testing that was done on 300 homes in Flint as reported on in September 2015 and display the actual sample number, ward, and lead level of the first draw from those tests.  Other design elements, such as labels, make commentary on the situation.

Though it does not actually move, the piece has a visual kinetic property because all the bottles act as lenses, refracting light and causing motion inside them as one passes the work.  The installation also consists of a number of tables or shelves used to hold the deformed bottle elements.

While the piece is an overt commentary on the #FlintWaterCrisis, it is meant to be a subtle commentary on the truth.  The ultimate proof that there was a serious problem denied by government officials for so long. 

#Plumbum, #PlumbumArt, #FlintWaterCrisis 


Plumbum VIII - Installed Grace College - Solo Show, 2021

Plumbum VII - Installed at Studio 23, 2021

Show postponed until 2021 because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Murze Magazine, Issue Seven | July/August 2019

Photo of Plumbum III published in a British Art Magazine as part of their Assemblage Juried Call for Art.

Plumbum VI - Installed at Studio 23 - All-State Juried Exhibition, 2018

Studio 23, Bay City, Michigan

Plumbum V - Installed at ArtPrize 8, 2016

Fountain Street Church Lobby, Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • September 21 to October 9, 2016
  • Installation: 5' wide x 6' 6" long x 10' high, leaning wooden shelves with approx 230 contorted glass bottles, water
  • Plumbum Profile on
  • Honor: ArtPrize Public Vote Round One Top 25 Installations List
  • MLive Article: The Top 100 ArtPrize 2016 Public Vote Finalists
  • Interview with nightly news anchor on WOOD-TV.
  • Curated by Fountain Street Church Art Committee
  • Award: 2016 Artprize Special Recognition Award, ACLU, Fountain Street Church
  • Award Jurors:
    Paul Wittenbraker (

    Former Executive Director of UICA - in their early years; 

    Professor of Art at Grand Valley State University; 

    Founder of Civic Studio; 

    Coordinator of Visual Studies studio major


    Carol Sarosik (

    Co-founded a Professorship in Civil Discourse at Grand Valley State University; 

    Board member of Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Center for Women in Transition; 

    Co-Founder of "Our LGBT Fund" at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation; 

    Art collector and traveler

  • Jurors' statement about the five works selected for Special Recognition: 
    "The five pieces we selected for special recognition are a cross section of the full range of concepts and artistic styles in the exhibit. We feel that each of these five pieces deserves special recognition for possessing a unique combination of artistic technique and conceptual relevance."

Plumbum IV - Installed at Ann Arbor Art Center, 2016

RE: Formation Show, Ann Arbor, Michigan (curated by Gallery Project)

  • September 10 to October 16, 2016
  • Installation: 2' 6" wide x 1'6" deep x 4' high, wooden tables with approx 10 contorted glass bottles, water
  • Curators:
    Rocco DePietro (Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, Michigan)
    Gloria Pritschet (Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Plumbum III - Installed at Helios Art Gallery, 2016

Art Walk Central, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

  • August 20 to September 10, 2016
  • Installation: 5' wide x 3' deep x 6' high, wooden tables with approx 75 contorted glass bottles, water
  • Award: Jurors Top 10 Picks, announced at Jurors Round Table, September 7, 2016
  • Curator: Al Wildey
  • Jurors:
    Katherine Williams (UICA, Grand Rapids, Michigan),
    Kylie Lockwood (Cave, Detroit, Michigan)

Plumbum II - Installed at 600 Jefferson, Toledo, 2016

RE: Formation Show, Toledo, Ohio (curated by Gallery Project)

Plumbum I - Installed at Anton Art Center, 2016

Second Annual East Side Art Show, Mt. Clemons, Michigan

  • June 1 to June 30, 2016
  • Award: Honorable Mention
  • Installation: Outdoors, 3' wide x 6' long x 4'6" high, wooden tables, approx 20 contorted glass bottles, water
  • Jurors:
    Thomas Pyrzewski (Director of Galleries and Special Programming at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan),
    Jacklyn Brickman (Artist, Michigan),
    Kate Lapier (Artist, Detroit, Michigan),
    Hubert Massey (Artist, Michigan),
    and one Anonymous Juror


Plumbum Plumbum Plumbum Plumbum