Channel Islands National Park and Santa Rosa Island Research Station
As an art student at CSUCI and as the President of the Student Committee of SRIRS, I had the privilege of attending many trips out to Santa Rosa Island which led to a number of works inspired by my time on island and the rich history that is imbedded within her.
Now days, I am still in touch with the station staff and have been a guest speaker for their monthly Speaker Series twice since my graduation. You can find my most recent talk at the link below where I talk about my journey to Utah and the work I did in conjunction with SRIRS.
In 2019, my colleague Patricia Keller and I worked on this collaboration for the Santa Rosa Island Research Station. We created a body of ceramic dishware and a wall mural for the station's communal kitchen which was inspired by Santa Rosa Island's natural and human history. Over several months we took numerous trips out to the island, which lies within Channel Islands National Park, and collected information that we would take back to our studio for inspiration. We researched the island's rich history and attempted to translate this through clay. Our work communicates the experiences we had in this ancient space which has been impacted by humans for nearly 14,000 years. As each visitor to the station uses these wares, they can be reminded of the landscape that they are immersing themselves in for a few days and also of the humans who have walked this island before them.
Under the Channel Islands Marine Debris project, championed by CSUCI Alumni Michaela Miller, I volunteered on several 3-5 day trips to Santa Rosa Island between 2018 and 2020. A team of us would survey remote beaches on all parts of the island and collect washed up debris. We would then haul out the debris on backpacks so it could be sorted and analyzed by ESRM students, and then sent to the University's art department. From the artwork made with this debris I helped curate the "Marine Debris Art Show" at Ventura Coast Brewery in September of 2019. We had work from several local artists, students from CSUCI, as well as a local elementary school student's work.
Part of this show included a work that I collaborated on with colleague Joe Forrest to create welded "Marine Debris Thrones" with various found objects. The idea behind this was the use of thrones throughout history being made from readily available material to societies and their powerful leaders sitting within those thrones. Our new material is plastic and during this show viewers were invited to sit in these thrones and think about their role in overuse of plastic and other materials.