These Photos Show the Past and Potential Future of California’s Dependence on Water

California has a reputation for endless natural bounty and wide economic possibility. But its epic recent drought has put pressure on this idea. Without water, the state’s huge agricultural sector is threatened, along with its swimming pool-centric lifestyle. The photographers Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris represent this changing reality...

At Brower Center, 2 artists drive home climate change

On Friday night at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris were awarded the center’s eighth annual Art/Act Award for their environmental activist work known as The Canary Project. At the Q&A that capped the evening, the Brooklyn-based husband and wife team sat in directors’...

Navajo musician explores tribes’ complex ties to national parks

For many, the National Park Service is the steward of the moss-draped Olympic Peninsula, the yawning Grand Canyon and Yellowstone’s skyscraping geysers. For Raven Chacon, the U.S. Park Service is that and also something more complicated. Chacon, a musician and artist, grew up in the Navajo Nation, a vast...

Chilling photos of a changing climate

Edward Morris was a private investigator in 2006 and his wife, Susannah Sayler, a fledgling art photographer when they read Elizabeth Kolbert’s potent three-part New Yorker series on global warming, “The Climate of Man.” That set them on their path. “She made the reader understand that climate change is...

Environmental advocacy lives on through art

Art has played an influential role in the modern environmental movement, dating all the way back to Albert Bierstadt’s 19th century landscape paintings and Carleton Watkins’ photographs of Yosemite Valley that moved President Abraham Lincoln to protect the area as parkland. Then in the late 1930s, Berkeley native David...

Berkeley photography exhibit offer unique view of national parks

The keen connection between artists and nature springs to dramatic expression in “Common Ground,” a juried exhibit honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service May 20-Sept. 8 at the Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way. Displaying work by 20 Bay Area artists, the nation’s open spaces appear in...

Cheryl Leonard brings melting glaciers, kelp to Berkeley

Cheryl Leonard followed a long winding path from the Berkeley Hills to the polar regions, but her ability to make arresting music using the sounds of melting glaciers flows directly from an epiphany she experienced hiking near Tilden. Leonard has spent a good deal of time over the past...

‘Polar Soundscape’ gives chills to its audiences

San Francisco composer Cheryl Leonard was recording sounds of the Antarctic in the austral summer of 2008 when she stuck her hydrophone into a wall of melting glacial ice and heard something sublime. “It was the most amazing sound, like a gamelan trapped in the ice,” recalls Leonard, whose...

Book review: ‘David Brower’ by Tom Turner

A review of David Brower: The Making of the Environmental Movement, by Tom Turner; published by the University of California Press (5 out of 5) At the corner of Allston Way and Oxford Street in downtown Berkeley, directly across from the campus of the University of California, sits the...