Exhibition | Wisconsin Triennial 2016 at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Several weeks ago, after attending the last outdoor Farmers’ Market on the capitol square, I ventured into MMoCA and was pleasantly surprised by the Wisconsin Triennial exhibit. Featuring only local state artist, it opened on September 23 and will be on display through January 8, 2017. The exhibit aims to give an idea of the diverse types of art that are being created within Wisconsin. Below are a selection of photos from the exhibit, which I hope motivate you to go and see this free exhibit!


Fern Stations : On Invisibility by Meg Mitchell

Beads, Birds and Bombs series by John Hitchcock


Selections from the project Transmission Networks by Brendan Baylor

Selections from Remnants series by Amy Fichter


Blue Little Red Barn by Michael Kautzer


Pictorials | Madison, Wisconsin, USA – market month photo 13


Strawberries on the Square. 2013. Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Madison Bike! Bingo – A Celebration of Community Biking

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Tomorrow kicks of Madison’s first ever session of Bike! Bingo. From May 12 – June 12, 2016 riders will be able to participate in a celebration of biking in the Madison community by riding to participating local businesses and receiving bingo stamps and prizes. For a suggested $2 donation, riders can buy a bingo card with over 30 squares of bike enthusiastic establishments. When a rider completes a five in a row bingo s/he will be eligible to receive a row prize. Larger prizes exist for the ever popular cover-all or blackout, when a rider stamps all of the locations on the bingo card. Cards are now on sale at bingo business partner shops (list here). Bike! Bingo will also be tying in with some of the upcoming Wisconsin Bike Fed events including the New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour at Olin Park on June 2.

The event took place last year in Milwaukee and was a big hit with the cycling community. This Radio Milwaukee article provides some detail. Bike! Bingo was originally started by Ian Klepetar, founder of Bicycle Benefits, an organization that aims to get more people out biking and increase related benefits. I helped to coordinate Madison’s version with Zac Barnes from Wisconsin Bike Fed, a small group of Badger Volunteers from UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service, and a handful of other helpful locals. We’re really excited about the event and hope to be able offer future editions of Bike! Bingo with community support. Enjoy your ride!

Partner Businesses on the Bingo card:

4 star video, Ace Lakeside, Alchemy Cafe, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Anaala Salon, Bloom Bakeshop, Boulders Climbing Gym, Brasserie V, Community Pharmacy, EVP coffee, Isthmus, Mother Fools, Regent Market Coop, Servv, Short Stack Eatery, UW bookstore, Wine and Hop shop, Old Sugar Distillery, Wisconsin’s Water Library, Union Hair Parlor, Fair Trade Coffee House, Ian’s Pizza, Sardine, Higher Fire Clay Studio, Wingra Boats, Colectivo, Great Harvest Bread Co., Mimosa Books & Gifts, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Next Door Brewing Co., UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center and more!


How do you use your 68? : Drinking Water Week

The first week of May every year has hosted the celebration of National Drinking Water Week since the Reagan years. The purpose is to raise awareness and educate people about public and private drinking water issues. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is one of the main entities responsible for disseminating information about Drinking Water Week.

Locally, Madison Water Utility will be holding an open house on May 7th where they will explain some of the ways they interact with water in the process of supplying it to the community. There will also be other water-related displays and exhibits. An average Madison resident uses 68 gallons of water per day. Additional information about the open house and local statistics can be found in the City of Madison news release.

The EPA offers some helpful ideas about what you can do to help protect drinking water. View our recommended reading list on drinking water quality.

Photo credit: Portland Fountain by Amy De Simone

Library Instruction at the Water Library

This week individualized instruction sessions began to take place for Aquatic Sciences Center staff members interested in learning more about the UW-Madison library catalog MadCat and library resources in general.

A prepared handout (right) features instructions on how to find books, journals, known and unknown articles. Feedback has been very positive so far and staff seem excited when they hear about library services they were of which they were previously unaware. Spring is here in Library Land!

Ice Cover on Madison Lakes

Lake Mendota’s surface area at approximately 9,730 acres is about three times the size of Lake Mendota’s at about 3,272 acres, but Mendota’s deepest point of 83 feet is not much deeper than Monona’s at 74 feet. Another commonality these two lakes share is a pattern involving the seasonal formation and melting of surface ice. Records dating back to 1855 have helped scientists to identify the slow decline in the number of days that the ice cover is present on these two Madison lakes. In those 150 years, the lakes haven’t lost just a few days of ice cover, but about a month’s worth. This has several ecological repercussions.

Surface ice is responsible for regulating the lake’s temperature, dissolving oxygen levels, reducing evaporation, helping to maintain the lake’s surface area, and providing a holding place for snow, which in turn blocks the sun’s rays from the unseen waters, among many other things. Aquatic ecosystems are very complex and even minute changes can leave lasting effects. Ice cover decline is just one of the ways climate change can be seen around us.

Read the full story by climateWisconsin.org for more details. For further reading on climate change, view the library’s recommended reading lists here. To read more about Madison lakes, see this reading list.

Photo: Three students on frozen Lake Mendota by Amy De Simone

How’s that Madison Tap Water?

Keep drinking, there is no cause for concern at present. An article in the Wisconsin State Journal explains the recently detected presence of the contaminant chromium-6 in local drinking water, but at a level that is likely below federal health safety limits. According to the US EPA, this inorganic chemical usually comes from “discharge from steel and pulp mills or erosion of natural deposits.” Chromium-6 by itself is not monitored by the EPA, but as part of the chromium whole. They may be implementing new limits for chromium-6 though because a study found that after prolonged exposure to it, some mice and rats developed cancer. Madison wells are still safe though.

For more information, read the aforementioned State Journal article, visit the EPA’s Drinking Water Protection site, or browse the library’s recommended reading list on Drinking Water Quality.

Photo credit: John Hart, State Journal Archive