Dec 2017 ~ Feb 2018
Celebrating 45 years of artists, writers, editors, publishers and founder Karen Klaber, focusing on a life force of culture and commerce in the East Bay in eloquent and striking art and voices. Terrific people and a terrific anniversary party at the Berkeley Art Center in Live Oak Park, October 24, 2015.
In an east bay parkland habitat that includes stunning sunsets over SF Bay and coastal mountains, renowned dog parks, a kite festival, a Japanese lantern festival of peace and remembrance and children, birders, bicyclists, runners, frisbee golf, parks for Rx, a celebration of life and why we live here ~ here wildlife rules. When wildlife thrives, we thrive. As the indigenous Bird Dancers chant: "We are the Birds."
May 4, 2015, on a cold windy noon hour over 12 egrets patrol the lagoon next to 8 lanes of freeway on the Pacific Rim. Here in Pond #9 egrets roost, patrol and fish the original tip of the SF Bay, once abundant with wildlife under a sky filled with birds. For thousands of years the egrets return to this node and others on 6 continents. From the inner city they extend the presence and voices of world wildlife.
From March 19th to April 19th a colony of egrets grows in numbers from 14 to 40 egrets, with near 20 nests of chicks, in the suburban lagoon neighborhood, on Alameda's Bay Farm Island. Snowy and great egrets repopulate and hold forum from the same single pine tree each year, communicating in an elevated language of glyphs and rhythms.
Joining the many voices of wildlife that are speaking, the majestic egrets bring the message to cities, holding a forum from within, in a language of fine art tableaux, symbols, dance and inspiring percussive rhythms worthy of the spirit of the universal ecosystem.
The majestic egrets have returned to Berkeley with the New Year. They begin their ceremonies at Aquatic Park. Their photographs, offering viewing stations into their world, are at Au Coquelet. By perhaps chance, two more egrets are represented in a store window at Anthropology where the Ohlone village once stood, a block from the water, where the egrets continue to return to roost.
Like black jewels nesting in woven trees, Oakland's cormorants are an island unto themselves on Lake Merritt. Their colony is abundant with chicks.
Recent Alameda photographs of the egret family mix with Berkeley and Oakland photographs in a holiday celebration leading to a new year, 2015.
Egret Power~A look at the egret family in the Alameda island setting. The egret colony adds a natural spirit of romance.
Gerry Traucht ~ Egret Parkland, presentation and reception, on Wednesday, October 8, 6:30 pm at the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street, Alameda, CA. The photographs in the exhibit explore egrets as they live among and reach out to us. In Alameda, Berkeley, and other waterfront areas of the East Bay, egrets are colonizing and reproducing in the human habitat, bringing luminous moments from nature to our urban doorstep. Polar bear, whale, tiger, gorilla and other iconic species may not be our neighbors, but the egrets are, and with this exhibit and its photographs, they are reaching out to our cultural institutions.
Complementing the photography exhibit will be original music chosen specially for this presentation. Joan Jeanrenaud (cellist known for her longtime association with the Kronos Quartet) contributes her composition Oulipo, a beautiful recording featuring Joan on cello and William Winant on vibraphone. Jim Alexander’s composition Palace of Birds finds its inspiration in the inherent musicality of birds and wonderfully complements the photographs. Douglas McKeehan premiers the first of his egret ballet compositions, Egrets With Us, combining field recordings of egrets with sampled African percussion and live classical and tribal flutes played by Diane Grubbe.
Printed Science Commentary in response to the photographs is by John P. Kelly, PhD, Director, Conservation Science, Audubon Canyon Ranch, Cypress Grove Research Center.