← Exhibitions


Groundswell: a broad undulation of the open ocean, often as the result of a distant disturbance; a broadly-based shifting of public opinion.

In keeping with this year’s programmatic focus on environmental issues, Kala Gallery presents Groundswell, a group exhibition of juried submissions from California artists.

Kala invited submissions in all media that explore a variety of far-reaching issues impacting the global environment. Kala Gallery is delighted to have Betti-Sue Hertz, Director of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, serve as our juror for this exhibition. Prior to her move to the Bay Area, Ms. Hertz was Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Diego Museum of Art for the past eight years.

Ms Hertz comments on her selections for Groundswell:

“In considering the theme of environmentalism, Groundswell leans toward the poetic with an acknowledgment of the unsteadiness of the culture/nature split. Being an environmentalist already marks an individual as being able to go beyond the personal. The artists guide us through the senses to what it feels like to live within and alongside the elements—water, air, mineral, and plant life—which is our human relationship with nature. Their images are also a synthesis of significant research into environmental issues on a range of topics from human migration to watersheds.”

Works in the exhibition include spontaneously hand drawn maps by Joan Margolies-Kiernan that reveal relationships between everyday objects, people, animals and the larger forces that operate beyond our general awareness.

Emily Payne provides delicate gouache paintings that convey the power of continuously rolling ocean swells.

Mitra Fabian‘s installation, comprised of recycled containers, plastic bottles and bags, addresses the enormous pollution gyre floating in the Pacific Ocean.

Elliott Anderson examines the technological landscape with a hydroponic garden that phytoremediates water polluted with mercury and other heavy metals left from 19th century mining operations.

Suzanne Husky presents a compelling series of photographs that documents alternative architecture and life styles from a marginalized rural population imaginatively surviving on recycled materials.

Rebecca Najdowski explores phenomenology and the transformation of extreme ecologies in her digitally animated video works.

Landscape architect Nathan Hodges thoughtfully considers our place in the environment with a book that documents his walk from Berkeley to Portland, Oregon for his wedding. Hodges and his fiancee reflect on the absolute freedom of walking as they travel up the coast of California on foot.

Jennifer Parker and Barney Haynes present a new media installation that interactively engages gallery viewers with solar wind data. Their work was created collaboratively with the Digital Arts New Media graduate program at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Ms. Hertz has additionally curated the Groundswell Resource Center with a selection of works by Bonnie Ora Sherk and William T. Wiley. These important artists can be considered seminal eco-pioneers whose work and careers have informed and inspired the next generation of artists presented in Groundswell.