Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband, Bayscapes

Exhibition Dates: January 11- February 5

Along the jagged bayland coastline of Silicon Valley, we look out to an otherworldly landscape of vibrant colors and oddly shaped geometries. The scene reflects a tenuous interaction, a “tug of war,” between the forces of the estuary’s natural tidal marshlands  and economically driven industrial production. Just south of flourishing habitats for birds and waterfowl and fish and shellfish nurseries is the now 150 year old century industrial salt mining operations, producing salt not just for our tables, but roadways and large scale food preparation. At the surface, the views are dynamic and even enthralling. Sea water from the marshlands is systematically channeled through sluice gates into a series of man-made ponds. As sequential evaporation from sun and winds increases the salinity levels, the pigmented microorganisms that thrive changes, and in turn alters the coloration from blue-green to blood red and ultimately white ponds and fields. Increasing understanding of the long term effects of this type of industrial production has fomented increasingly powerful and successful efforts to restore the marshlands and healthy habitats for native species and organisms. Returning wildlife make cameo appearances in our ever changing Bayscapes.

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