The exhibition celebrates the unique value and beauty of the Yahara River while encouraging neighbors to see the common with fresh eyes and enjoy the natural landscape in new ways. The hope is that people will see themselves as part of the history, geography, ecology and culture of the place.

This all started in the spring of 2013. The Fools Flotilla was turning three and it seemed time to up the ante. Get more people in boats and create an audience for the funky floating parade as it made its musical way from Tenney Park to the annual Marquette Waterfront Festival.

In June of 2013 we put a small piece of temporary and interactive art in the Parkway. It included a sign suggesting everyone should check out the Fools Flotilla. It also encouraged people to write a message on a ribbon reflecting on what was so lovable about the Yahara River.

It seemed the logical next step to put more art along the River, and to make a big deal of it.

In the fall of 2013, we put out a call for artists to submit ideas for temporary art pieces. The response was encouraging and five artists from Madison were selected. In February 2014, we received an award from the BLINK! program of the Madison Arts Commission. Each of the artists will receive reimbursement for (some) of their costs.

We worked with the Friends of the Yahara River Parkway, the neighborhood associations, our alders, and the City of Madison Parks Division to make this all come together.

You can go out your front door, throw your kayak in the river and explore this little blue vein of beauty and you’ve had an adventure. -Helen

I would love to stumble upon some art in the parkway. It’s one of my favorite things, being a tourist in my own city. -Jessica