Internationally known sculptor and environmental artist Roy Staab worked with students on the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire campus this past October to create a site-specific sculptural installation on the Chippewa River, called EAU CLAIRE CURRENTS. The installation coincided with an exhibit at the Foster Gallery chronicling three decades of Staab’s environmental art.
The installation is a series of long, Y-shaped ropes made from bundled weeds that have been hung from the north side of the university footbridge and float in the water below. The ropes have logs tied to their ends and the logs pull the ropes downstream with the flow of the current; when the water is low, the ropes and logs rest on the sandbar below the water.
Staab often creates work on or near water and incorporates the water as part of the work. He is a Wisconsin native who has lived in Paris and New York City but moved back to Milwaukee in the 1990s.