About Layers

Layers addresses the confluence of human activity (including city planning and structure, design, locale) with increased hazard vulnerability due to global climate change (storms, drought, ocean acidification, rising sea levels), floods, wildfires and tectonic processes (volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis).Layers-Jim Brey in Acqua Alta in Venice

The title, Layers refers both to earth science, (the broad, density based layers of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and the mantle and core layers in the Earth’s interior) and in the layering methodology in art,(glazed layers of paint,  overlapped images and the like). For Layers, Waller and Brey employ a layered process in the development of paintings and text. Potent images and ideas are collaged, layered in ways to build meaning that is larger than the sum of the parts, and is both scientifically accurate and artistically compelling.

By looking scientifically at our layered world and depicting it in layered paintings, scientist and artist bring together academic elements that individually are interesting but which together scream out for attention and understanding.

Through Layers, Waller and Brey suggest that this work can lead to individual and collective planning and action of the most useful sort when it comes to our relationship with the natural world.

The following is a list of featured areas depicted in the large scale paintings and extensive scientific text that makes up Layers:


Layers  has been made possible, in part, because of generous financial support from the following:

University of Wisconsin Colleges Summer Research Grants Program; UW-Fox Valley Professional Development Fund; UW-Fox Valley Foundation; UW-Colleges Art Department Professional Development Fund; UW-Fox Valley Student Association.

We thank the following individuals for their tangible and essential contributions of support:

Celeste Lehrer, George Waller


Peter Baker,  John Beaver, Bill Bultman, Rich Cahill, Elizabeth Corbett, Cathy and David Crist,   Jim and Wendy Eagon, Tom Frantz, Rex Hieser, Lindsey Johnson, Kitty Kingston, Kris Kissling,  Joel Knocke,  Evan Kreider,  Mary Lenhard,  Evelyn Li, Janet McIntyre, John Meeuwsen,  Anna Olson, Katie O’Neill, Jim and Joy Perry, Martin Rudd,  Jennifer Sims, Matt Turner,  Mary Van De Loo, Max Verità,  Allison Waller,  Margaret Waller, Jeanette Webster,  Nancy Wise and many other individuals who gave us hope, help, inspiration and love.

Layers: Places in Peril


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