Friday, June 23, 2017

Save our Spring - SOS

I am now part of a community group going by the name of Save Our Spring (SOS) in response to the proposed closure of the Ancaster Well where we get our drinking water. The groups website and details on our actions can be seen here:

We had our first public meeting with over 85 people in attendance. Here is a short intro to the evening, with additional videos on the website.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact myself or the group. Thanks.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Kingston Participatory Event.


Our team at Waterlution & Greatness: The Great Lakes Project would like to thank all of you for participating in our Great Art for Great Lakes' Great Food. Great Lakesevent last week! We are writing to let you know that we have drawn the names for the Tales from the Toilet Giveaway, and have contacted the winners. 

Here's a special invitation from artist, Andy Berg, inviting you to join her Free Lake Ontario Shoreline Discovery Walk, Wednesday, June 21st at 3pm!

"Guided by Andy Berg, the community is invited to engage in the artistic discovery of the Lake Ontario shoreline and environs. Participants will learn to use Andy Berg’s artistic process of by-chance random discovery of the local lake environment while we walk along the waterfront and explore our local Great Lake.  

We will discover both natural and human made contributions to our Lake environment, gather information about our Lake through all of our senses and learn how to “read” the Lake Ontario environment.  We will record observations, sketches, stories, impressions of the day, and key words about Lake Ontario into a Great Lake Sketch journal which will be provided for each participant.  

Participants will then be invited to bring their Great Lake Sketch Journal to the Free Aqua Viva Free Clay-Making Workshop on June 28th as a resource for generating ideas, as well as for creating special community elements for the stoneware clay wall work called Aqua Viva.  The completed Aqua Viva community wall work will be installed and unveiled at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning at the end of the summer.  

Join in the creativity, celebration and sharing of Kingston's Lake Ontario greatness!" - Andy 

- 3pm: Meet at The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, Front Entrance 
- 6pm; Walk ends at The Tett Centre

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:  Be sure to bring a snack, water bottle, sun hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Wear sturdy shoes as we will be off the paved trail at times.


Andy's Free Aqua Viva Free Clay-Making Workshop coming soon on June 28th also at The Tett Centre!!

Get ahead of the line and sign up for her Clay-Making Workshop. Email with your choice of time of day for June 28th:
11:00am - 1:00pm, or
2:00pm - 4:00pm, or
5:00pm - 7:00pm

"Participants are invited to join with local sculptor, Andy Berg in the Activity Room at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning to assist with the Kingston Great Art for Great Lakes Community Maker Event.  

The June 28 Maker Event will involve making special community elements in clay for the shallow relief wall sculpture entitled Aqua Viva, which will be unveiled at the Tett Centre in late summer as part of the Ontario sesquicentennial celebrations.  The creative focus of Aqua Viva will be our interrelationship with the waters of the Great Lakes and in particular, Kingston’s local lake, Lake Ontario. 

 Kingston is uniquely situated in the Great Lakes fresh watershed as Lake Ontario narrows to form the gateway to the St. Lawrence River. As a community we have much to consider and celebrate.  Each Maker session will include a guided visualization process, learning about artist gathered shoreline objects that are both human made as well as from Nature (including objects made by a local keystone inhabitant, the beaver!), group brainstorming for visual meaning, content, keystone words and/or text about Lake Ontario, and finally creating a unique clay element which will be included in the completed Aqua Viva wall work.  Get your hands on some clay and celebrate by helping to build Kingston's  Aqua Viva community art project!  This is a FREE event open to teens and adults and no prior art experience is required." 

For more details, visit us at follow us on FacebookInstagram & Twitter for updates & to see pics from last week's Great Food. Great Lakes. event!

From all of us at Waterlution -- a big thank you & we look forward to meeting in Kingston soon!

Thank you,
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Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Waterlution blog post

Here is a link to the submission to the Waterlution blog listed blow:

Art Gallery of Mississauga, Living Water wrap up.

The Living Waters Project creatively, interactively, and collaboratively explores and discovers the story of water in a Mississauga school community. Taking place inside The Roots garden, children in grades 1-5 completed workshops that included drawing, building, and planting in the garden as an access point for discussion around our connection and relationship to water.

I want to thank the Art Gallery of Mississauga and TD Friends of the Environment for providing the funding.

Here is my wrap up video. It has been fantastic, I hope that entire school community continues to enjoy the garden as it grows through the years.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Waterlution Blog

I was asked, as part of Waterlution's new website, to contribute to a blog with a focus on issues around the Great Art for Great Lakes project.

I thought I would share these thoughts here, as they point back to my practice, and the research taking place within it.

April 19th 

Art as a Tool for Social Engagement and Energizing Communities Toward a Sustainable, Collaborative Future

As a practicing socially engaged artist, I have directly experienced the impact my work has had on a community and the individuals that make up that community. Great Art for Great Lakes (GAGL) gives artists the opportunity to directly inspire, connect, and create a lasting impact within their communities—to inspire those around them, and specifically, to shape and construct our relationship with the Great Lakes upon which we all rely. Artists play a critical role in enabling the public to connect and reflect upon the often forgotten importance of the Great Lakes in our daily lives. With GAGL—through a socially engaged, participatory project led by a local artist—a platform is built where the public is integral to the project, dialogue, and the creation of the final work. The extended installation period of each final work really allows for a protracted narrative on the Great Lakes, and allows both the artist and the community participating to sense the impact of their actions.

The aesthetics of collaboration points to a process where co-creating is paramount, and the local narrative is accessible as a common ground all while working within the desire for beauty and empowerment. This process of uniting diverse experiences and knowledge culminates in the production of visually powerful artwork that is concrete in stating the participants’ involvement and pride of creation through. Collaboration is about listening and speaking to one another. The act of dialogue is an integral part of the final artwork truly operating alongside the object. The object will only become fully successful through that dialogue it has initiated.

Art and social function, as discussed by Stephen Willats, “[Is] the realization that all art is dependent on society – dependent on the relationships between people,” and that is a “culture founded on networks of exchange, fluidity, transience, and mutuality.” Great Art for Great Lakes embraces these methods in order to create a framework for public art that stimulates the sense of celebration and ownership. If we are to contribute to a sustainable future, we need to move beyond the established binaries in order to develop new processes, new uses, and new ways of understanding how we are, in ways we experience everyday, connected to the Great Lakes and the fresh water.

I encourage anyone reading this to inspire and be inspired by the contagious and powerful energy collaborative art can bring to a community, and join us as a participant, artist, listener and friend of the Great Lakes.

Christopher McLeod
Project Lead, Great Art for Great Lakes

The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness. Granville Island, Vancouver. BC. 2016

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bike Rack for GreenVenture

I was asked by GreenVenture if I could build a bike rack from recycled materials. Being an environmental education centre, they needed a bike rack, but didn't want to purchase a commercially made unit.

Three bike frames and a rowing machine frame later, their new bike corral is built,  installed, and ready for spring. It will secure up to 6 bikes comfortably. Thank you GV for the work and I hope it gets lots of use!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Great Art for Great Lakes

I very pleased to announce my new role as the Project Lead for the Great Art for Great Lakes project. This project will be my focus for the next 10 months as it unfolds across 8 communities!

For more details check out:

Calls for submission will be coming out soon, so if you have a collaborative, community based art practice, be sure to check it out. Thx.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Machine of Awesome back in the Studio

As I move The Machine of Awesome Bright liquid Blueness back onto the studio wall for fresh programming and a tune up, I wanted to post this video of a participant winning fresh water at the Charles H. Scott.

See here for addition info:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Interactive Educational Water bottle Drinking Fountain

I just did the initial install of drinking fountain at GreenVenture in Hamilton. They will be using it for their education programs, as well as for filling their water bottles.

Check: for more pics & vid.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sculpture Cleans River Water

I want to thank the Durham Art Gallery, the Ontario Arts Council, and Rainfresh for supporting the Aqua Lauta as it filtered water from the Saugeen river. 

After the exhibition in the gallery with Edward Burtynsky and Ernestine Tahedl, the sculpture was installed on a dock overlooking the river where participants had the opportunity to pedal pump the water from the river into a series of containers with Rainfresh ceramic water filters. The pumped water was either filtered and returned to the river, or available for drinking. Cups were provided and after the pedaling and waiting for the water to pass through the filters, most enjoyed the fruits of their labour by drinking the water. 

It was a beautiful day, and as you can see from the second video, the fish also enjoyed the newly filtered river water. Thanks again to all that supported the project!


Participants during the reception.
I love the Burtynsky's on the wall.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

This Sunday

Come out this sunday for the closing of the exhibition and to experience the sculpture connected to the Saugeen River. Weather permitting

The sculpture will be on this dock just across the road from the gallery.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Machine of Awesome on Granville Island, BC

The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness project on Granville Island, BC has now finished with great success, participation, and interaction. I wanted to post a quick update for those not able to make it out see the event.

Installed just inside the Charles H. Scott Gallery on Johnston St. Granville Island.
Hooked up to the main water line, insert your refillable water bottle to get started.

This family, working together found success and earned their drinking water. Afterwards,
they made the comment they had never been so excited about getting free water.

However, not everyone was able to access the free drinking water.

I will be updating the page : in the next few weeks with install images and full project photos. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments on the Granville Island project or The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness at

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New public water fountain

Finding Water's first new public water fountain is now installed on Locke Street thanks to Democracy Cafe. Very excited to see it up and running, just don't forget your refillable water bottle.

If you are interested in a fountain, contact me to discuss.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Heading to Vancouver

The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness is ready for Granville Island. Tim, technical director on the project, removes the crate in order to prep it for transport. Installation of the piece will begin July 14th at the Charles H. Scott Gallery and the opening is Friday July 22nd. Bring your refillable water bottle if you want to play! Free water! Check for details.

Tim, the technical director on the project, preps the crate for transport.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sculpture Test a Success

I want to thank everyone that made it out to the studio Saturday evening. The unveiling and testing of The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness was a great success. 

It was fantastic watching people try and figure out how to get their water bottles filled. The feedback has been very helpful. Tim and I have begun improving the programming and adjusted the bottle sensor which is operating much more efficiently now. 

Here is a video of the bottle sensor being adjusted to recognize several different bottle types, but reject single use plastic bottles. Thanks again to everyone that came.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Living Waters

Living Waters

The Art Gallery of Mississauga is proud to present, Living Waters, an interdisciplinary arts and environment project in collaboration with Corsair Public School and artist Christopher McLeod. Teaching artist Christopher McLeod will facilitate student projects that look at the centrality of water to all environmental and sustainability issues. 

Living Waters is generously funded by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Before and After

Progress on The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness is going well. We have run into a couple software issues that Tim worked his way through and the speakers seem to be acting up a little, so they may need to be replaced. Otherwise, we have all the LED's, buttons, and water bottle filling unit operating very nicely.

Here is a maquette to hardware install side by side.

Here is the interior almost fully wired.

The back of the sculpture with its custom modified french cleat hanging system.

And Tim, programmer extraordinaire working on the opening sequence.

The software running the sculpture has been written from scratch by Tim and utilizes three separate micro processors. We have now got him set up on a proper desk in the studio as he is no longer allowed to leave!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Granville Island new Water Fountain Map Icon

After several telephone conversations and one written request, the CMHC on Granville Island has agreed to an icon identifying the public water fountains on the Island.

I was hoping that the tourist map could be updated before next printing to include an icon identifying the locations of the water fountains on the island. I included a separate PDF illustrating the current fountain locations.”

From this request, and upon management approval, the graphics department within the CMHC developed this new icon:

It will be used on transit posters and is part of the new tourist map for Granville Island.

Thank you Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness.