John D. Freyer’s “Free Ice Water” installation can be seen in the ICA office window through March 31. Here’s a bit about the project.
In 2013, VCU Professor John Freyer begun Free Ice Water, an art project in which he sits down with individuals for conversation over a Mason jar filled with ice water. Intended to be focused and uninterrupted, this conversation can be around personal, even difficult topics. At its conclusion, the participants sip the water, drop a small object of personal significance into the jar, then seal and sign the jar with its lid. This ongoing project is loosely based on therapeutic methods of treating substance addiction, and arose from the artist’s questioning of his own dependency on alcohol.
Free Ice Water offers the possibility of art as a gesture of giving; a humble service, free of charge, intended to encourage moments of self-reflection and sharing between people. Each jar offers something universal—water, one of the most basic, elemental needs—combined with something very individualistic, as captured in the object and signatures.
The thirty jars on display in the ICA window are the result of Freyer conducting sessions with participants of the Virginia Collegiate Recovery Conference, held at VCU’s Wellness Resource Center on March 27, 2015.