Sunday, January 12, 2020

Endangered: Exploring California's Changing Ecosystems at California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido

by Patricia Frischer

Michelle Kurtis Cole

Endangered: Exploring California's Changing Ecosystems at California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido addresses both the wonder and the destruction of California's changing ecosystems. There are 21 artists in a wide variety of mediums and scales curated by Danielle Sussalla Deery with just a few of them highlighted below. 

From Jan 10 to March 8, 2020. More info

In order for the public to get a sense that something needs to be done for endangered land and animals, it is important to establish an empathy. In this show nothing does that better for me than Michelle Kurtis Cole's very fragile glass corals. They are white because they are ghost of living corals which have bleached because of climate change, ocean acidification, diseases, overfishing, sedimentation, and pollution. These delicate perfectly created cast glass animals sit on or under glass waves. Our oceans can be protective or potentially crushingly cruel. We need to stay on the good side of Mother Nature.

Kira Carrillo Corser and Debb Solan in their Virtual Undersea Installation (part of Sea Change: ACT)  have created a total undersea environment, You literally feel you are swimming with the fishes, with recycled plastic jelly fish above and projected fish on floating silk.Marjorie Pezzoli has additional jelly fish in the gift store. 

The Malibu Conservation Camp CC #13, established 1986 are female inmate crews utilized on wild land fire suppression and county conservation including maintenance of the state beaches, and local parks and fire stations. Kim Abeles works in collaboration with these women to create art funded by the NEA and the LA County Arts Commission. Plus this crew is a jointly operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LAC). I was taken by many of her works but especially by the protected pine cone and the dining room installation with ceramic stenciled from pollution particles. 

Margaret Noble has given present us with the most interactive of all the displays and that is vital and brings a cutting edge element to the exhibition. Imagine a slot machine which a huge variety of changing images. You step on a button on the ground and it activates. Step again and your own personal selection of three images appears. But this is not a game of chance but a fight for survival. 

I am always pleased to see work by the late Jen Trute. She was environmentally concerned before the main stream and it a tribute to her and a joy whenever her works are on view. 

Michelle Kurtis Cole

Michelle Kurtis Cole

Kim Abeles

Kim Abeles, detail

Kim Abeles, detail

Kim Abeles

Kim Abeles, detail

Jen Trute

Stephanie Bedwell

Ruth Wallen

Jeanne Dunne

Cheryl Tall (don't miss the large display in the gift store as well)

Jean Lowe

Gail Roberts

Catherine Ruane

Catherine Ruane, detail

Bridget Rountree, detail

Sasha Koozel Reibstein

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