Richard Misrach: Photographing beauty can be tricky

“It’s impossible to photograph clouds for their beauty anymore. We know too much about what is going on,” said photographer Richard Misrach wistfully on a recent weekday evening. He should know. The Berkeley-based photographer has made a name for himself capturing striking images of man’s impact on the planet...

The Chemical Corridor

Merging art and activism can be a tricky thing. Many artists waver in their negotiation of aesthetics and argument, and end up falling on one side or the other. In the exhibit Petrochemical America: Project Room, internationally acclaimed photographer Richard Misrach manages to walk that tightrope with expert equilibrium....

Snapshots of a blighted future at David Brower Center

The combined works of photographer Richard Misrach and landscape architect Kate Orff in The David Brower Center’s exhibition of “Petrochemical America” portray a haunting reflection on the destruction caused by industrial growth in America. Focusing on the polluted stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans,...

How we Gather

In a world where people like to speak of “connecting,” many artists — or, in the present case, curators — have taken on the mantle of reminding us how digitally mediated relationships fail to substitute for the old-fashioned kind. Almost Together, a juried group show now on display at...

Paint Slowly and Carry a Small Brush: Artist Jeff Long Channels Audubon’s Muse

Internationally acclaimed painter Jeff Long, known primarily for his abstract works, has lately taken up his brush in defense of Western birds and other wildlife. Referencing the classic bird illustrations of John James Audubon, Long’s monumental and highly detailed paintings depart from the master by including elements of the...

1,000 Words: Blast from the Past

When she was a child growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laura Cunningham always wondered what her house and her neighborhood looked like before the creation of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. For the next 30 years she went about acquiring the artistic skills and scientific knowledge...

Before California

Artist-naturalist Laura Cunningham works primarily as a scientific illustrator, rendering fossils for paleontology publications by the likes of UC Berkeley and the Smithsonian Institution. Her background comes through loud and clear in her first ever solo exhibition, Before California, which reads like aterrifically illustrated textbook about the effect of human activity...

Today’s Environmental Activists Stand on David Brower’s Shoulders

When environmental activists protest in front of the White House to stop the Keystone oil pipeline, or demonstrate at the Southern California Edison headquarters to demand that the company close its San Onofre nuclear plant, they are carrying out the legacy of David Brower, who helped transform environmentalism from...

Awards Announcement: Brower Center Executive Director Receives Gerbode Fellowship

Berkeley, CA – June 18, 2012 – The David Brower Center’s Executive Director Amy Tobin was chosen as one of five individuals who received the 2012 Gerbode Professional Development Fellowship. The $10,000 fellowship is meant to recognize Tobin’s dedication to the nonprofit field, including building the Brower Center into...

Berkeley Honors David Brower’s Environmental Legacy

When Kenneth Brower was finishing up his freshman year at UC Berkeley, his father – the famed environmentalist David Brower – recruited him to work on a project: a book featuring stunning photos of the Big Sur coast entwined with the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Never mind that Kenneth...