PORT DOVER You could be part of a piece of art.Michael Barber, an artist from Port Dover, has started working on his piece entitled Water Mother, a wood-and-resin sculpture that combines woodworking and sandblasting.The project is being made for Great Art for Great Lakes (GAGL). GAGL commissions artists to create collaborative pieces to connect locals to their surrounding waters.Barber held his first participatory event at Powell Park in Port Dover on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The next event will be held in the same location on Saturday, July 13, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.“People are interested in the project, and the cause, and the whole waterlution theory,” said Barber. “It’s amazing when you ask people to create one mark that symbolizes their commitment to the water, just how much thought goes into it.”The public has been asked to participate by creating a mark that Barber will then sandblast into the piece, symbolizing the commitment each person is making to take better care of the water around Norfolk, including Lake Erie.Participants that wish to have their mark in Water Mother must attend one of Barber’s events. They will fill out a survey about their involvement in the water and their artistic ability. Once the survey is complete participants are given a small piece of paper on which to draw their mark.  The mark is then transferred to a sheet that will allow Barber to sandblast the design.The participants were steadily arriving Wednesday, with at least one person at the table at a time to create their mark. Barber is hoping for at least 200 marks to complete the piece.“We’re getting the marks and that’s exactly what we were hoping for.”Barber was among artists that submitted a proposal for a community-engagement project to strengthen local residents’ relationship with the Great Lakes. The project is in partnership with Norfolk County.People will be able to see their mark on the piece once it is completed. It will be on display at the Norfolk Arts Centre.astaylor@postmedia.com read more