science and maker exhibits

Wholly H2O: Our Mission

Wholly H2O catalyzes Californians to adopt water conservation and reuse as the norm for engaging with our waters.

Making an individual connection with water is a key element of conservation and reuse. Knowing water often leads to caring about water.

Our ongoing Standing with the Watershed exhibits and events bring participants deep experiencing water from the bird’s eye view of the water cycle down to the individual molecule. By moving beyond the conceptualization of water as “supply for humans” only, we aim to make every Californian a water-aware water-lover. We hope that you will become committed to appreciating every drop, whether in an ocean, a bay, a river, underneath your feet, or coming out your faucet.

Working collaboratively with nonprofits, governmental and water agencies, businesses, and individuals, Wholly H2O creates interactive educational art, science and maker programs and events, supports businesses, and progressive water policies that perpetuate personal responsibility for making water conservation and reuse all the rage in California.

We see Californians developing a connection with water that moves beyond conceptualizing water only as a human resource. By understanding our role in the water cycle and the needs of our watersheds, Californians are inspired to adopt localized, sustainable practices of conservation and rainwater, graywater, stormwater, and blackwater capture and reuse.

Past Exhibits

Wholly H2O: Education and Outreach
Wholly H2O Zone: Art In Nature

The Wholly H2O Zone at Art in Nature Festival, Sept 2015, Oakland CA

The Wholly H2O Zone was a collaboration between Samavesha/Art in Nature and Wholly H2O.

The water-related arts and installations offered a multifaceted experience with the element of water, one of the most mysterious and complex elements on earth. Rather than emphasizing the need to save water and offering direct strategies for the drought, the zone’s goal was to create awareness and provide a way of perceiving water in different ways.

Water is something we grew up with so it’s out of our awareness; it’s just there. So what we’re trying to do is have people look at this element and how precious it is. (no space between this and quote above) Laura Inserra, creative director for Art in Nature Festival
The opportunities for this perception shift came from many different angles, including poetry, visual art installations, dance and music.

Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty
Woman of the Water Quantum Entanglement Altar-the P.E.A.C.E. Museum and Mind Cave
Art Installation | Plaster, chicken wire, fabric, natural materials, fishtank, REG-driven LEDs, Mokelumne River water.

Art in Nature, Quantum Entanglement Altar, Photo Credit Henry Liu

Woman of the Water Qunatum Entanglement Altar registered not only the energy of people and environs but the LED components responded to that energy.

The altar is an alchemical exploration into the nature of reality as art and science become fused through the perceptive lenses of consciousness. Embedded in the crown, the mouth, and the breastplate are electron tunneling devices attached to LEDs. We invite visitors to add water from their own water bottles or from within the fountain reservoir, into her hands and belly. While doing so, the LEDs embedded in the Woman of the Water shift color, corresponding to energy in the surroundings.

Photo Credit Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty

All this while, we are watching the quantum entanglement program screen to correlate what is registering on the screen with human interaction with water. We are investigating how human observers and other living beings in the surrounding area effect the hue and saturation of the LEDs at the quantum scale with their thoughts, emotions and energetic responses.

Christina Bertea
Vortex Play
Art Installation: Plastic Bottles, Water

Viktor Schauberger said we should be using vortical implosion forms of motion for our energy needs, not the explosion/combustion forms we have focused on for far too long.

Nature uses explosion/combustion to break down and destroy–our worldwide emphasis on that form of energy “can only degrade all natural systems.”  Hmm–could that have something to do with the fraying of the web of life we see all around us?

Photo Credit Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty

Whirlpools/ vortices in water are irresistibly fascinating to children and adults alike–perhaps some of the children who were enchanted by the magic of creating vortices in colored water will be the ones who invent ways for our culture to switch to using vortical implosion energy.

Lauren Elder
Vortex Play
Families are invited to transform a “bubble mailer” envelope into a Fish Mask and “swim upstream”, representing the native Rainbow Trout that have inhabited this creek at times. Paint a lovely blush on their cheeks!

Photo Credit Lauren Elder

The EBRPD fisheries program protects, conserves, enhances, and restores native fish and amphibian species, and offers myriad recreational angling opportunities to the public.

Carter Brooks
Ice Sculptures
Metal, ice
Carter’s installations of melting ice engages the visitors and provides an interactive engagement with a living aesthetic. The ice carves itself as it melts into metal of various shapes and as people
interact with it.

Photo Credit Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty

And yes, it can be a reminder of the ongoing melting of glaciers in the face of global climate change, or simply an intrigue, like a candle or a campfire.

EarthCapades Environmental Theater
The Mokelumne River Watershed-sponsored by -East Bay Municipal Water District
Circus performance

Photo Credit Jeff Herzbach

Through juggling, music, magic and comedy EarthCapades inspires Art and Nature audiences to protect, respect and conserve water while having fun!

Wholly H2O
Make Your Promise to Water!
Art Installation, fabric flags, paint

Photo Credit Jeff Herzbach

What do you want to promise water to do to protect, save and love it! An opportunity to make a
beautiful array of flags from all of us to all of water.

Wholly H2O: Education and Outreach
What River are You Made of?

The fragile relationship between San Francisco Bay Area residents and their water supply was heightened by the recent events of the Rim Fire that tore through the protected watershed in and around Yosemite that provides the Bay Area with much of its water. Wholly H2O
in partnership with Sherwood Gallery has assembled a provocative group of 17 artists working to address the environmental issues surrounding this interrelationship.

The two-month exhibit exposed the energy and vitality of this watershed and water system before and during and after the Rim Fire. The stories and impressions exhibited used the fire as a point of reference but extended deeper into the human relationship with this watershed and the causal relationships behind environmental disasters. The show was inspired at times by the tragic beauty of the natural landscape engulfed in flames and its people reeling in the fire’s path and aftermath. Other moments the show drew us in to the urban side of the water system sharing impressions where this water is used by 3 million of the urban residents in the Bay Area.

Jorge Backman
Mission Creek—multi-media with sound
Jorge Bachmann is a Swiss Colombian multi-disciplinary artist. His work has been shown internationally in Switzerland, Colombia, Canada, Indonesia and the US. Since the early 1980’s, Bachmann has collected field recordings and exhibited and performed in North America, Europe, Japan and South America. Jorge performed his audio-visual piece, Coleoptera, at the 2009 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. In 2008, he created music for the MoBu Dance Group’s dance and glass sculpture collage, Illusion (SOMarts). He was a performing artist at Soundwave ((1)) in 2004 and became Technical Director and Resident Artist in 2005. His artistic and technical contributions were instrumental in the success of Soundwave for the past three seasons (2006, 2008, and 2010). He is a master of exploring, managing and executing technical aspects and anomalies for the festival.
Christina Bertea
Catchment Rain—digital stills
Christina Bertea has been playing with water (and fire too; soldering all those copper pipes) for many years, as a plumber, fountain maker, wick bed gardener, and water activist; installing and teaching others to install rainwater catchment and greywater systems. She works with Greywater Action, the now respectable iteration of the Greywater Guerrillas, who helped push California toward a more reasonable, usable greywater code. As a sculptor, her favorite medium is sculpting earth to support the infiltration of water, thereby rehydrating our landscapes. She has also built out of rammed earth and carved shamanic themed “medicine stones” out of various mineral matter.
Jackie Brookner
Urban Rain—digital stills
Jackie Brookner is an ecological artist who works collaboratively with ecologists, engineers, design professionals, communities, and policy makers on water remediation/public art projects for parks, wetlands, rivers, and urban storm water runoff. Her Biosculptures™ are vegetated water filtration systems in parks, public recreation sites, and along waterways, that create destinations, restore urban habitat, and reclaim the undervalued resources of storm water and other polluted water.

Brookner’s whole systems approach identifies nodal points where social, cultural, and ecological revitalization meet. She takes an intensive approach to community process and participation that goes beyond consensus to activating collective revisioning and maximum potential.

Urban Rain - Jackie Brookner
Charles Brucker
Determining Dendritic Dependencies—mixed media
Charlie Brucker is a Principal and Director of Sustainability with PLACE studio in Portland, Oregon. A registered landscape architect in Oregon and California, Mr. Brucker grew up in the fog-draped hills of Burlingame California, exploring the sculpted valleys of the Sierra during his youth. Eventually making a northern migration to earn his BA in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and putting down roots. Mr. Brucker has built a reputation for the creative integration of place-based art and water, often in collaboration with artists, public agencies and stakeholders. His artistic expressions include a range of media, from the tangible to the temporary, exploring the concepts of sustainability, natural systems, and culture. He has managed and led the landscape design and planning efforts for a number of large civic projects throughout his 20-year professional career, including a series of efforts in San Francisco and the University of California Davis. Mr. Brucker has made design and technical presentations in public and academic settings across the US and Asia.
Cat Chang
TransAmerica 1; TransAmerica—poster
My work is centered in the Bay Area and includes long-term engagement with environmental issues in North and West Oakland as well as San Francisco. I recently worked on reducing lead toxicity in the historic neighborhood of South Prescott-Lower Bottoms. After treatment, I wanted the landscape restoration to offer increased bio-diversity, cleaner storm water runoff, home-grown food, etc. while offering residents beauty and the ability to relax and recharge when outside. When designing for City Slicker Farm, I am very interested in supporting community recreation, enjoyment and exercise of cultural practices while allowing for maximum healthy food production in the West Oakland food desert. Many of the species of the perennial plantings at the farms are native to support native flora and fauna in the area. I am mapping localized economic, ecological and cultural patterns in West Oakland to serve as a parallel resource for the West Oakland Specific Planning Process currently underway.
Dave Cherry
H2D/DNA—digital print
Dave Cherry has been drawing since his early childhood in Pennsylvania, when he taught himself to read by poring over the Sunday comics. His first encounter with MAD Magazine in the mid-1960s cemented his desire to devote his life to art in general, and political and social satire in particular. Other influences at this point included cartoonists and caricaturists such as James Thurber, Honoré Daumier, Al Hirschfeld, Peter Arno, Bill Mauldin, Pat Oliphant, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, and S. Clay Wilson.

In 1982, Cherry went west, arriving on the shores of San Francisco with a bicycle, a saxophone, and a backpack full of “Zap Comix”. Here he learned the art of lampworking (sculpting molten glass with a torch), while also introducing himself to the local alternative-comix community. Beginning in the 1990s he became involved in the then-fledgling field of computer graphics, a habit that he has yet to break. At the same time, wishing to strengthen his skills as an illustrator, he took up figure painting in oils and acrylics, studying the techniques of local artists such as James Kirwan ( and Sebastian Hyde ( as well as others ranging from Dalí to Rembrandt to Van Gogh and the various Wyeths.

In 2007 he and his wife Suzanne moved to Reno, NV, where he has continued to pursue various artistic and musical endeavors. However, he is very pleased to be back in the Bay Area to contribute to this extremely worthy Tuolumne River project and is glad to be helping to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation. This piece, ‘H2O/DNA’ demonstrates the interconnectness of all humans and the water they need for survival.

Brent Davis
Tuolumne River —photography
Tuolumne River, Brent Davis Tuolumne River, Brent Davis

I have been carrying a camera with me on my adventures for over 30 years.  Always an outdoor enthusiast, most of my activities have involved water in one form or another.  I grew up at the beach in Southern California and that somehow led to life spent with my wife backpacking in the Sierras, cross country cycling the California coastline as well as the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Colorado.  A lot of years were spent cross country skiing and snow shoeing in the Sierras, with some seakayaking thrown in there off of the California coast, and in Canada with Orcas.  We have scuba dived across the Caribbean and Hawaii witnessing the  tremendous impact that mankind has on the environment as we slowly watched the condition of reefs decline, not to mention the human toll that is paid to put seafood on the table for the rest of the world.  We have whitewater kayaked in North, Central, and South America, as well as New Zealand.  While the details may vary from country to country, the underlying truth remains that water is a precious resource that merits better management.

Recently retired from a corporate career in IT, I am going back to my roots of backpacking and trying to capture the magic of nature.  If my images can make people stop, even for a moment, to consider the beauty of nature then maybe that will inspire others to get out and enjoy the outdoors and possibly even get involved in protecting it.  

This particular image was taken a short distance from the origin of the Rim Fire, a week before it started

Elizabeth Dougherty

HoneyComb, Industrial Flow, Crystal Springs —multi-media fountains; Haiku River, Participant Poetry Project
Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D. is a mixed-bag multi-media artist, engaged in “garbage collection and redistribution.” When not educating Californians on the beauty of water conservation and reuse as director of Wholly H2O, she melts metal, wires kinetic fountains with LED lighting, transluscifies images, and finds ongoing delight in the castoffs of bees. With her studio located in Bay 7 of American Steel Studios in West Oakland, Elizabeth works exclusively with the detritus of the earth and its inhabitants.
Miles Epstein
The Thin Veneer; Survival Suit—mixed media
My intent is to cause people to question value … of the objects I make, of the material used, of the time and resources employed. By heading upstream, intellectually and emotionally, from the work presented, the viewer and the artist both can reevaluate our small and brief existence on this rock called earth. 
Larry GonickWilliam and Cloy Codiga Resource Recovery at Stanford University
What Goes Round Flows Around—image print
This cartoon was commissioned by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment to mark the launch of the William and Cloy Codiga Resource Recovery Center (CR2C). The project’s goal is to create mobile treatment units that scale up the latest research in water purification and downstream use of extracted impurities. While some recycled water is already used on the Stanford campus, innovative treatment systems will create new recycling opportunities for the university and for communities and industries around the world. This image is designed to show the public, the university administration and potential donors the wide range of applications, the variety of wastewater to be processed, and the mobility of future treatment units that will enable the technology to be brought directly to water-scarce regions.
Lancelot Fraser
Diverted Flow—glass
I grew up in a small mountain community in California that has been in stage 2 and 3 water conservation since the early 1980’s. At an early age I was taught to respect and use water wisely. I believe water is the essence of life. It has carved and sculpted its way across the planet. Of the 139 million square miles of water on earth only .5 percent is usable fresh drinking water. Here in California the northern half is lush and moist when the southern half is arid and dry. In the late 1800’s California started to dam and divert water sources in order to supply other areas with fresh water. Fourteen major aqueducts and over 2400 dams divert and supply California with farmland and drinking water. The water from these aqueducts passes though massive pipes and powerhouses, cross valleys and mountains, stored in local reservoirs, and then is distributed to the consumer. I believe it is important to know where your drinking water comes from, whether it comes from the back yard or thousands of miles away.
Chantel Greene
Single-Celled City #3; Single-Celled City #8; Single-Celled City #14—paintings
I’m a scientist and an artist. Art allows me to understand things by exploring ideas and images. Sometimes painting feels like discovering what was always there; other times it feels like inventing whole new universes. My work is influenced by attending an alternative science high school, where my art was limited to lab illustrations. As an adult I always came back to these biological themes and enjoy using these academic images in a creative way. I work with encaustics, which is bee’s wax, dammar resin, and powdered pigment. I like encaustics because it’s so organic and ancient. The medium itself is both flexible and unpredictable, which leads to a lot of experimentation. The process of painting with encaustics is technical and creative which allows me to walk the line of scientist and artist. I incorporate mixed media in the wax while incising, scraping back, and adding layers which I fuse with heat. My paintings are inspired by my old science books, insect collections, and nature.
Michele Guieu
Sailing Through Sausalito; Water Cycle, Waterfall; Granted; Sip, Do Not Gulp—digital video
I am a visual artist and an art educator passionate about water. I lived in Senegal for a few years when I was a teenager, with my parents, a geologist and a biologist, and I witnessed the terrible drought that took place in the 70’s there. My parents always emphasized the importance of water, everywhere on the planet. They helped me understand how everything is connected. In my work I use different media, and recently I have made a series of short videos about memories related to water. I also work with my elementary students on themes related to water conservation, through arts integration programs with the Sausalito Art Foundation and the Montalvo Arts Center. My last solo exhibition, in 2014 at de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, addressed the problem of the drought California is going through. It comprised a video, a mural, and a large acorn rug. The installation welcomed the participation of the public: visitors could leave notes and drawings about the water situation, directly on the mural.
Jane Ingram Allen
California Delta Waters—multi-media
Jane Ingram Allen is an American sculptor/installation artist and hand papermaker. She is originally from Alabama and has been living in New York State since 1988. In 2004 she received a Fulbright Scholar Award for a six-month research project on hand papermaking in Taiwan. Her Fulbright grant was extended through July 2005 with sponsorship by the Taiwan Council for Cultural Affairs/National Endowment for Culture and Art.
Delta Waterways - Jane Ingram Allen California Delta Waters, Jane Ingram Allen
Scott Kildall
Imaginary Fire Hydrants—3D printing
Scott Kildall creates algorithms, sculptures, performances and videos, which repurpose networks of communication and production. His work frequently explores themes of future-thinking and translation between the virtual and the real.
3D Printed Drinking Hydrant, Scott Kildall 3D Printed Drinking Hydrants, Scott Kildall
Stacy Levy
Multiple projects—digital video
I work extensively with engineers, architects and landscape architects on most of my sites. For the Water Map At Friends Central School, I worked with the architects early on in the process to tie the sculpture into the architecture and the site topography and drainage. I am also familiar with working with municipalities. I have worked with both city and state organizations for the Hudson River Project. I have also worked with permitting issues and I was successful in obtaining a wetlands permit for the Schuylkill River Tide Garden project. I have worked with the Coast Guard on the Ohio River and the Army Corps of Engineers on the Schuylkill.
Jeff Ray
Wastewater Mapping—2D print
Jeff Ray is an artist, musician, filmmaker, adjunct professor, curator, festival founder, and arts and food rights activist. He recently was a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University, Fine Arts Department, Conceptual Information Arts, and Spring 2012, where he taught sound art. In 2010, he received an MFA in New Media Arts from San Francisco State University. He has won numerous awards including a Murphy Cadagon award from the SF Foundation, and in 2004 was an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Ray has shown/performed at various venues and places such as SFMOMA. In addition, he is the Founder and Executive Director of Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival. The festival has expanded to Oakland, and Iowa City, Iowa. He is currently a founding member and Board President of Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative, where he gathered a group together to save a failing Mission based bookstore and gallery. He is also currently on the Board of Directors and programming committee of the Mediate Soundwave Festival. He is a curator and resident artist of Soundwave Festival 2013, and 2014, where he came up with the current concept as well as explores the theme of the festival, water. He recently performed in a festival with Phillip Glass, Laurie Anderson and Wolf Eyes.
Elizabeth Schowachert
Schowachert was born and raised in Northern California, and has always had a deep appreciation and affinity with the sea and the natural beauty of the Northern California coastline. Her paintings reflect this deep bond with nature and love of the ocean.

For Schowachert, discovery and creative exploration are an essential part of making art. Her work is as much about the process of discovery as it is about the articulation of an idea, a feeling, or a place.

Her work is also a metaphor for personal transformation and the inner journeys that people often take as they make their way through life, uncovering their deepest thoughts, and facing their fears. The same concept of transformation can be applied to the medium itself—encaustic. The wax transforms as it is painted and fused onto the canvas, melding color, lines, light and shape. Schowachert creates paintings that depict worlds that lie hidden deep down under the surface, waiting to be discovered, while we hold our breath, and peek in, seeing things we have never seen before.

Fusion, Elizabeth Schowachert
Michael Tunk
Lorelei’s Song—Annalog Collage
After entering into the San Joaquin River, the Tuolumne River mixes into the San Francisco Bay Delta, and out into the sea.  Salmon count on their ability to come and go, from fresh water Tuolumne to the ocean, and back.

The Song of Lorelei celebrates San Francisco’s long history with the Pacific ocean, the Bay, the Delta and the rivers that feed it.  All hail Lorelei’s Song.

Wholly H2O: Education and Outreach
Standing with the Watershed

This show presented 20+ artists’ interpretations of our Tuolumne River, as well as the 4-1-1 on the river itself. The artists wove a story about the Tuolumne on the molecular, infrastructure and end-use levels through their 2D, 3D, digital, and mixed media artwork.
While the Tuolumne River flows out of the tall peaks of the Sierra Nevada straight to the faucets of three million water users in the San Francisco Bay Area, many don’t know its name and relation to them. The Tuolumne River provides both water and electricity to Turlock, Modesto, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

What else lies hidden from our consciousness about this stunning river as it flows below Bay Area urban neighborhoods, enters our bodies, passes on into the landscape or sewers? What ripples does this river make below us, around us and inside of us? How does this river move through the Bay Area? How are we using it? And what does this life force need from us, to be purely available to us?
Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty, Founder and Director of Wholly H2O, curated this show.
In-depth reading on the Tuolumne River HERE



 Rebecca Hazeltine

Standing with the Watershed, Tuolumne’s Rim Fire 

Opened Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

At: 8 Maiden Lane, 3rd Floor (between Grant and Kearny) 

Standing with the Watershed, Tuolumne’s Rim Fire at Sherwood Gallery offers a new perspective in our series of exhibitions that strive to reinterpret the modern urban condition and redefine our relationship with nature.The curators for this show are Elizabeth Dougherty, Wholly H2O, together with Lauren Elder, instructor at CCAWEAD Board of Directors, and with Bry Sartre of Sherwood Gallery.

For more information about the gallery, please contact Scott Hansen, or visit Sherwoodgallerysf.coFor more information about the show, please contact Elizabeth Dougherty, or visit Wholly H2O

Show Description

The fragile relationship between San Francisco Bay Area residents and their water supply was heightened by the recent events of the Rim Fire that tore through the protected watershed in and around Yosemite that provides the Bay Area with much of its water. Wholly H2O, in partnership with Sherwood Gallery, has assembled a provocative group of 17 artists working to address the environmental issues surrounding this interrelationship.Presenting works in a variety of media, the show Standing with the Watershed, Tuolumne’s Rim Fire opens in the Sherwood Gallery on December 5th.  The artists share their interpretations and experiences defined by the nature-urban interface and the dynamic transformative element of wildfire that brings the tension in this relationship to the fore. Both the physicality of the Tuolumne River Watershed and the use of these waters in San Francisco and Silicon Valley are the launching points for all of the artists’ work. Grappling with the dynamic and unpredictable variables of ‘natural disasters’ provokes a corresponding response exhibited in the paintings, photographs and installations on view in the gallery.

The two-month exhibit aims to expose the energy and vitality of this watershed and water system before, during and after the Rim Fire.  The stories and impressions exhibited use the Fire as a point of reference but extend deeper into the human relationship with this watershed and the causal relationships behind environmental disasters. The show is inspired at times by the tragic beauty of the natural landscape engulfed in flames and its people reeling in the fire’s path and aftermath. Other moments the show draw us in to the urban side of the water system sharing impressions where this water is used by 2.5 million of the urban residents in the Bay Area.

Artist Bios

Curtis Creek 6th Grade Elementary 


This collection of original watercolor art and poetry is the perspective of our students to the devastating Rim Fire in Tuolumne County.  Having the fire  line just six miles from our school, the students experienced thick smoke, apprehensive moments, repeated school closures, and possible evacuations.  

This was originally an  art class to further their understanding of the Rim Fire as our entire school  prepared for “Rim Fire Appreciation Day” in early October.  The results were so  phenomenal that we decided to transform their artwork into a 2014 calendar which makes a touching and sometimes eye-opening remembrance of those tough weeks.  

Catherine Chang


My work focuses on buildings, streetscapes and landscapes supporting rich, active environments creating regenerative ecological, agricultural and cultural footprints within cities.

My work is centered in the Bay Area and includes long-term engagement with environmental issues in North and West Oakland as well as San Francisco. I recently worked on reducing lead toxicity in the historic neighborhood of South Prescott-Lower Bottoms. After treatment, I wanted the landscape restoration to offer increased bio-diversity, cleaner stormwater runoff, home-grown food, etc. while offering residents beauty and the ability to relax and recharge when outside. When designing for City Slicker Farm, I am very interested in supporting community recreation, enjoyment and exercise of cultural practices while allowing for maximum healthy food production in the West Oakland food desert. Many of the species of the perennial plantings at the farms are native to support native flora and fauna in the area. I am mapping localized economic, ecological and cultural patterns in West Oakland to serve as a parallel resource for the West Oakland Specific Planning Process currently underway.

Elizabeth Dougherty


Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D. is a mixed bag multi media artist, engaged in “garbage collection and redistribution.” When not educating Californians on the beauty of water conservation and reuse as director of Wholly H2O, she is melting metal, wiring fountains with LED lighting, transluscifying images – creating recycled, functional, ecological art. In her wondrous workshop located within American Steel Studios in West Oakland, Elizabeth works exclusively with the detritus of the earth and it’s inhabitants.

Ariel Saari Galos


When I was little, I declared that I wanted to be a Paleontologist. I think I was maybe four or five and I had spent the first few years of my life being schlepped around Washington state by my dad, who was always on the hunt for fossils. One of my earliest memories is of my father swinging me up a steep hill by the back of my Osh-Kosh-B’Goshes because I was too tired to walk anymore. We were looking for trilobites, but would settle for anything from more recent epochs. 

Trilobites are hard to find but we found purpose in the exploration. We would pick our way through coal mining ruins, wondering at the things left behind by people passed on. These trips with my father must have been the beginning of my fascination with mortality and impermanence. I found that, often, the things left behind are beautiful and out of their original context are worthy of consideration. 

I spend most of my free time now looking for things left behind. Things that are discarded and forgotten by the living world and I try to make those things into something worth considering.  

Kevin Galos

Fire Fighter, US Forest Service

Sarah Anne Graham


The work represented here came from one series and originate with one image.  They are of a woodland scene, carved on wood and printed on various watershed maps throughout the Northwest.  These maps identify soil, vegetation and other natural objects within a watershed.  Once the plate was transferred onto these maps, it was then colored on and cut through, using paper cutting techniques to give the illusion of lace.  The first piece, Rim Fire, is a woodcut transfer that was then drawn on, without the paper cutting element.  These works are still in progress, and cover various techniques to gain the result of both natural and manmade effects on the ecosystems we come in contact with. 

Sarah Anne Graham currently lives in California.  After a few years traveling around the United States and abroad; from Virginia, Georgia, Oregon (a brief time in New Zealand), Pennsylvania and Idaho to her current residence in California, she is working on oil paintings of the landscape of the Sierra Nevada foothills, as well as continuing her work on woodblock transfers on maps. 

Graham’s paintings are mostly representational depictions of the natural world, with the occasional object inserted, that are used to symbolize loss, arrested development or other emotions. The surreal quality of these paintings illicit ambiguity and are meant to provoke further investigation.

Her recent prints are abstracted landscapes. The woodblock transfers onto maps remind the viewer of the role of conservation, management and the nomenclature of science to classify and collect info on the natural world. Her works have been shown in one-person and group exhibitions in the US, as well as New Zealand. Graham studied at the Atlanta College of Art, and received her BFA from Oregon State University in 2003 in painting and printmaking. Sarah is currently doing a residency as an Artist of the Woods for the Stanislaus National Forest, through a program with the USDA.  She will be teaching an oil painting workshop while living on site.

Linda Gass


Textiles have been an important part of Linda Gass’ life since her grandmother taught her to sew and embroider as a child. In her early adult years, she took a detour through technology after graduating from Stanford University with a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science and worked in the software industry for 10 years. Linda returned to making textiles 14 years ago and now exhibits her work internationally in galleries and museums. Her work is published in numerous books and magazines including 500 Art Quilts, The Map As Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, Art Quilts: A Celebration, Fiberarts Design Book 7, American Style, American Craft, and Art Papers. Linda’s awards include the prestigious Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship and the Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowship. She was featured in two episodes of Simply Quilts on Home & Garden Television and has taught workshops at Arrowmont and the Mendocino Art Center. She travels extensively in the wilderness areas of the West where she finds much of the inspiration for her work. Linda is an artist in residence in the Palo Alto Cubberley Artist Studio program and is a master member of the Baulines Craft Guild. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation and has served on the boards of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the Textile Arts Council of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. City.

Rebecca Haseltine


Rebecca Haseltine was dancing and drawing, swimming, singing, and running through childhood.   She created a special major in college combining dance, art, science, and education. This is still the broad area of interest that underlies her work. After performing professionally as a dancer for many years, she got a tiny art studio and began developing movement-based drawing.  Over the years she deepened this practice through studies inBody-Mind Centering®, a profound training in physiological awareness. Studies in Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Bagua all influenced her perception of the body as more (or less) than physiology. Rebecca teaches classes in Body-Mind Centering® and Body Learning; her private practice in Body Learning includes bodywork and somatic movement therapy. She taught art and movement integration at the Bridge School from 1995 to 2006; the Bridge School is for children with severe physical and language impairment.  Rebecca has a profound curiosity about language and communication for which drawing has been a means of investigation and experimentation. She has taught her Somatic Drawing classes and workshops in the Bay Area, Ireland, England, Holland, Germany, and Denmark.  Rebecca continues to develop somatically-based art-making simultaneously with developing her somatic practice with children and adults.  The body is a creative project in itself.

Robb Hisrch


Trained academically as a biologist and natural historian, Robb Hirsch developed an intimate relationship with the natural world. This connection was established early during annual childhood visits to Yosemite, exploring and developing a sense of oneness with this magical place. Later, Robb traveled through Africa, Central America and the western United States, absorbing the beauty while gaining a deep understanding of these surroundings. He established a career as a field biologist, working for United States Geological Survey, California State Parks and several private firms, focusing primarily on threatened and endangered species. He also gave slide shows to a wide variety of groups where his photography was originally a tool to educate others about the natural world and the importance of wild places. As he continued to shoot, Robb became more critical, realizing the quality of the images he was producing had great potential, and there might be a market for this work in the future.

The future became reality when Robb and his wife started Mountain Sage, just outside Yosemite National Park, in the Sierra foothill community of Groveland Ca. This is a unique combination of art gallery, plant nursery and gardens, coffee and teahouse and retail store on family heirloom grounds. Several rooms of the historic house are dedicated as gallery space displaying a selection of large framed images. Robb began selling fine art prints out of Mountain Sage in 2002 to a very receptive audience and has experienced consistent growth since.

Robb prefers to photograph away from the crowds, often backpacking or skiing long distances to previously scouted locations. Photography is part of the wilderness experience for him and by spending considerable time exploring,, scouting and waiting for the right light, he becomes more in tune with the area, ultimately culminating in more evocative images.

Robb shoots with 35mm Cannon equipment (no color filters are used) and all images are printed to accurately reflect the original slide (no digital manipulations are performed).  He enjoys shooting everything from wildlife to wildflowers, from grand landscapes to tiny abstracts. Robbs images are known for their compelling subjects, careful compositions and fine light.  In 2007, these attributes were highlighted nationally when his color landscape, El Capitan and the Merced River in Winter, was selected out of 17,000 entries and named a winner in the Natures Best, Windland Rice Smith International Nature Photography Competition. 

Leslie Hailey Hurst


Leslie Hailey Hurst is an oil painter who lives and works in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.  She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts.  After raising her children, she returned to painting more than a decade ago.

Hurst’s expressionist painting style is open and loose.  Her landscapes and still-lifes are infused with light and contemplative space.  Her love of saturated and heightened color brings a dynamic sense of feeling and place to her work.

To round out the other corners of her life, Hurst also owns and operates Woods Creek Olive Oil Company, and is a principal partner in Table Mountain Beef- a niche marketing company selling local beef.  She also travels extensively – painting in Alaska, France, Hong Kong, and Italy.  “Seeing the work from an outsiders point of view often opens my eyes to my own landscapes – and keeps me coming back to try to capture the essence of my own homeland,” says Hurst.

Patrick Karnahan


Karnahan knows a lot about wildland fire. For 18 Seasons, he has worked for the USDA Forest Service as a firefighter, Forest Protection Officer, and as a graphic artist and public affairs specialist. His paintings, based on years of personal experience on the firelines, are full of highly accurate detail. They also reflect his emotional commitment to wildland firefighting and to conserving our public wildland treasures. During the 2013 Rim Fire, the artist served as a firefighter in the northern section of the fire near Cherry Lake. In the first week of the fire, Karnahan was responsible in the evacuation of the Cherry Lake and Kibbie Ridge areas. For over a month he also patrolled the interior of the fireline, reporting on conditions and spread. 

Karnahan spent most of his Forest Service career in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. He worked as a firefighter and in fuels management on the Eldorado, Plumas, Sequoia, Inyo, and Stanislaus National Forests. In addition, he designed posters for public education on the National Forest System and implemented visual interpretation programs for the Stanislaus National Forest. Karnahan also worked in the design and developement of two ampitheaters now being used on the Stanislaus National Forest. He has also done design and interpretive work for California’s Department of State Parks and Recreation.

Karnahan has been oil painting since he was 8 years old. In addition to painting Wildland Fire, Karnahan has been capturing the history of the American railroads on canvas for more than 35 years. He has completed many calendars on American railroads, and his artwork has been featured on numerous book and magazine covers. He also promotes art education for children in local schools. “It’s satisfying,” he says. “Usually, I’ll sell my paintings and won’t see them again. What I’m doing becomes part of the community.”

John Moore

img 0822

I met Art the first time I opened my eyes . The first piece of art I did was a beautiful mud pie. Art and I won our first award in kindergarten for a building block piece. The second award was for a series of finger paintings. Flash forward. I saw God. She was a Henry Moore sculpture. A light went off in my head! It was a satori moment. Art was never the same.

I knew then, there was more to Art than mud pies. In 1964, at the Hayward Art Fair we won first place in the High School division and second place in the open division. We did our first marble carving that same year. After high school, the air force, marriage, school and work, we pursued Art. Between then and now, I took a few classes and was the teaching assistant for several artists.

More recently, we’ve been pursuing forging, welding and more stone work, making furniture, handrails, gates and lights. All along the way, Art thought we should learn to paint which has been a staple in our artistic career. 

Bonnie Peterson

hetch blueprint

Bonnie Peterson has received several grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a grant from the Illinois Committee, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and other awards. She was an Artist-In-Residence at Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Isle Royale, and Crater Lake National Parks. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, the National Park Service, private collections, and she has an extensive exhibition record. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an MBA from DePaul University. Click here for a 5 minute interview (WTTW, Chicago Public Broadcasting, 2009).

My art chronicles my adventures in the wilderness and through life. I use embroidery to communicate provocative environmental and social issues. I present quantitative information in an unusual combination of stitched text and graphics. The work provides a novel opportunity to consider the scientific and historic context inherent in current events and social questions.

My current work examines geophysical climate issues. After hiking with scientists to measure Yosemite National Park’s last glacier, the Lyell Glacier, I embroidered the glacier’s topographic lines on silk, and presented historical comparative photos and text from 19th century explorers’ journals. During another backpacking trip I walked on mushy trails winding across recently melted glaciers on the ‘haute route’ in Switzerland and made an embroidery of the Bluemlisalp Glacier incorporating the topography and a graph of its shrinking size over the past century. After trekking in Tibet, I assembled a large embroidered velvet and brocade wall hanging which integrates ancient Tibetan cultural traditions with land and water control issues.

Recently I’ve collaborated with scientists on two environmental projects. For one, concerning inland lakes, I embroidered a large silk and brocade graph using invasive species and native fish population data. Historical records of lake ice and chemistry are presented in other graphs, along with explanations of the science. In another concerning climate change, atmospheric field equations and ice core records are embroidered in brocade alongside a quote from Ernest Shackleton, an early 20th century Antarctic explorer.

I am often astonished when I find a passage in an explorer’s journal that describes scenery I have visited or a rugged mountain trail I’ve walked. I share that sense of discovery and uncovering in my work. With soft materials and ornate stitching, I hope to expose the viewer to fascinating science and environmental interactions on our earth.

Bonnie Peterson has received several grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a grant from the Illinois Committee, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and other awards. She was an Artist-In-Residence at Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Isle Royale, and Crater Lake National Parks. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, the National Park Service, private collections, and she has an extensive exhibition record. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an MBA from DePaul University. Click here for a 5 minute interview (WTTW, Chicago Public Broadcasting, 2009).

Misha Rauchwerger


I will have succeeded if I can, even in a small way, capture the awe I feel when I step out into the wilderness and experience the wonders of the natural world.  Mother Nature is the ultimate landscaper, architect, sculptor, painter, and musician.  I am not as much the artist when I capture these scenes, as a seer of God’s creations. I strive to discover the sometimes obscured elements that when juxtaposed, and emphasized through composition, emphasize the incredible beauty already there.  It is my hope that these photos inspire those who see them to get out into nature, and to work towards the preservation of these incredible places.

Grace Rubenstein


Grace Rubenstein is a journalist and media producer specializing in public health, mental health and immigration. Her stories – told in words, photos, audio and video – have appeared in The, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Sacramento Bee, California Watch, San Francisco’s Bay Citizen, and Parenting and Edutopia magazines. She is the multimedia editor for TED Books and a regular contributor at KQED radio and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Grace speaks fluent Spanish, can’t resist a good salsa beat, and has lived in Mexico and reported stories across languages. She is a fourth-generation San Franciscan. 

Dusty Vaughn

Dusty Vaughn developed his love of the outdoors as a young boy exploring the woods in his backyard in Nashville, Tennessee.  Scouting developed his outdoor skills. It was on backpacking trips in the Smokies, camping along the Cumberland Plateau, and hiking the Appalachian Trail that Dusty found solace in the constancy of streams, immovability of mountains, and incalculable stars.  His quest as a photographer is to capture the scenes that to him are sermons.

Ready to spend a moment or a day to capture the perfect shot, Dusty spends his vacations, weekends, and sunsets seeking out the beauty in his surroundings.  His research on recreation impacts for the Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service has given him the opportunity to work in various wildernesses from Colorado to Alaska, documenting pristine places.

Dusty recently finished his recreation resource management master’s thesis on a statewide assessment of Wilderness Areas in Colorado for the USDA Forest Service while at Utah State University. He currently lives in works in Groveland, California for the USDA Forest Service as a recreation specialist, managing all forms of recreation on the Groveland Ranger District.