Artist Statement I have been making images of and writing about seaweed for over a decade. Seaweeds are gorgeously varied, vibrantly colored, and interesting. The science behind their life histories and their ecology is not only fascinating, but important for us to know when thinking about the health of our oceans. My scanner has been the optimal tool for bringing these algal neighbors to life; for letting them speak.
But one species in particular has been of greatest concern: Nereocystis luetkeana, or bull kelp. This is the majestic kelp that makes up the kelp forest off our Northern California coastline, it is the kelp that collects on our beaches, right here in San Francisco. While it is a wonder of photosynthetic possibility, growing into 60-80 foot tall kelps—singular stipe with long flowing blades, collecting in massive tangles of biomass on the beaches in fall and winter—its ecology is fragile. Over the past few years, the great bull kelp forests of Sonoma and Mendocino counties have been reduced from enormous forests to tiny patches. The warming ocean, hordes of urchins and lack of top predators leave bull kelp vulnerable.
In my newest book, The Curious World of Seaweed, I devote the second chapter to bull kelp, the story of the extermination of sea otter, and subsequent rise in urchin and abalone populations, noting our human inclination to pull resilience out of complex networks of interactions that keep rich and diverse ecological systems in balance. I followed up with a more in-depth article on bull kelp, sea otter and our California Coast. I am working on a book length examination of this magnificent organism throughout its range from Central California to the Aleutian Islands.
So here at The Great Highway Gallery I want to celebrate Nereocystis luetkeana. This singular kelp that only exists here along this ribbon of ocean along our continent is sculpture and sculptor, primary producer and cyanotype muse. It is home to countless marine animals living in its forests and food for kelp flies and isopods when washed on the beach, in turn generating protein for migrating shore birds. It is my constant reminder that our oceans deserve our reverence and considered regard.
About the Artist Josie Iselin is the photographer, author and designer of many books exploring our coastal universe. Her newest book, The Curious World of Seaweed (Heyday Books, August 2019), is an ambitious combination of essays and historical as well as contemporary imagery that explores the algal world just beyond the beach. Josie holds a BA in visual and environmental studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. For over twenty-five years she has used her flatbed scanner and computer for generating imagery. Iselin exhibits large-scale fine art prints at select galleries and museums, advocates for ocean health through education and speaks widely on the confluence of art and science. She teaches in the School of Design at San Francisco State University.
The Great Highway is excited to present a new window installation and works on paper by David Kimball Anderson.
Artist Statement I register non-linear time in the same category as impermanence. To fully experience both requires a practice of surrender. Several months ago, as I began thinking about my opportunity to do a window with The Great Highway, I decided to install two older pieces: Fire and Vapor, both from 2013. These works arose during time I spent in high-altitude Colorado with a mindfulness teacher friend and remain timely for me today. Since then, world and personal events have made it ever more necessary that I work to achieve serenity via acceptance of impermanence.
Vapor refers to the dissolution of ego and the translucent sensation one might enjoy when, if only for a moment, one is relieved of attachment to identity and ambition. Fire refers to the process of burning past karma or essentially taking a personal inventory and when wrong, promptly admitting it. Together, these pieces represent my desire to relinquish control, or my imagined sense of control. When I truly let go and fall deeply into the embrace of the Divine, I experience non-linear time. In addition to Vapor and Fire, works on paper will be installed in the gallery space. These works represent bodily and transcendental points of sensation as well as complementary notes on Vapor and Fire.
About the Artist Throughout his fifty-year career, Anderson has referenced both the micro and the macro of physical life. From the complexity of deep space to the molecular structure of matter, Anderson’s work represents all physical life as equally rich in appearance and contributive to the whole interrelated system we see and touch.
Anderson’s life-long pursuit of merging his spiritual practice with his nature-based artwork, manifests as images of devotional objects as well as the transcendental reality of the Divine.
Anderson was the 1973 sole recipient of the SECA Award, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Anderson was included in the 1975 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Anderson has been the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowships among other grants and accolades. Anderson lives in Santa Cruz, California.
The Great Highway 3649 Lawton St San Francisco, CA 94122 thegreathighway.com @thegreathighway
Contact John Lindsey firstname.lastname@example.org +1(415) 680-3891
Artist Statement After 20 years of discussions, we are excited and grateful to install our first significant art collaboration, “Restructuring in Progress.” This exhibit unites Mel’s color and line painting installations with Andrew’s 3D machine-made and hand-finished sculptural work. The wall drawing was made by hand, finding irregularity and warmth in hand-drawn lines. The CNC cut wood shapes are abstractions everyday objects with fluorescent auras, floating over the wall. The lines and colors we used relate to the static and luminescence of screens, the vibrance of energy and community as we’ve experienced it, and how this has permeated each day since the quarantine began.
Our initial experiments for the Great Highway’s window were inspired by the local air, architecture, colors, and the ocean. As this year has progressed, our influences have shifted to the excitement and movements to defund the police and dismantle white supremacy. As a way to support the call for change and justice, 25% of any sales will be donated to the Bay Area SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) chapter, part of a national organization whose “role as part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially just society.”
Mel Prest Mel Prest is an American abstract artist whose intricate, layered paintings mobilize color, line, and perspective to activate kinetic perceptual phenomena. She lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Prest’s work has been exhibited internationally including: The Drawing Center, New York; The Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Durham, NC; IS Projects, Leiden, The Netherlands; McKenzie Fine Art, New York; Saturation Point, London, UK; Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo. Prest has been awarded residencies at: Ragdale, The Sam and Adele Golden Artist Foundation (2012 and 2018), Willapa Bay AiR, (2014 and 2021) The Wassaic Project, The MH deYoung Museum, Vermont Studio Center. Her work is held in collections at Apple; The Berkeley Art Museum, The Crocker Museum of Art; Kaiser Permanente; Marin General Hospital, The Mills College Art Museum, among others.
As an independent curator, Prest has organized shows in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Zagreb. She served on the advisory board of The Art Monastery Project from 2007-2010 and is a founding member of Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial gallery initiative in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. Prest is currently an advisory board member of Root Division, a non-profit arts organization in San Francisco, an artist advisory board member of Trestle Gallery in Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and has recently joined the board of SCRAP in San Francisco. A longtime adjunct arts instructor, she is now a program developer for City College of San Francisco Extension.
Andrew Kleindolph Attracted to elements of sculpture, craft, and industrial design, my visual work varies from interactive electronic sculpture to digital drawing to functional objects. I look for ways to apply themes like inefficiently, malfunction, political or cultural data, spirituality, danger, and asymmetry to carefully-crafted electronic devices. I received my MFA from Mills College in Oakland and my BFA from the University of Iowa. I’ve participated in exhibitions at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Root Division, the Santa Clara Museum of Art, and the School For Poetic Computation in NYC. I was a recipient of a Creative Code Fellowship sponsored by Gray Area and Stamen in San Francisco. I was featured on KQED’sSPARK, a local program highlighting artists in the Bay Area. In 2015, I published a graphic novel of short stories about travels in Senegal, Mali, and Ethiopia. In the summer of 2016, I was a resident at 72u in Los Angeles. In 2018 I was an Artist’s Fellowship Awardee at the Eyeo Festival. Most recently I was interviewed on the Bantam Tools podcast: The Edge and participated in various art fairs in Seattle, Chicago, and Houston with San Francisco’s Open-Editions.
I’m an electronics and object design instructor in the Technical Arts Department at Lick-Wilmerding High School where I developed the LWHS Electronics and Circuits program which includes courses: Analog and Digital Circuits, Device Invention, and Design and Technology. During my time at this institution, I’ve led the department in the integration of various digital fabrication processes and tools including 3D CAD rendering, CNC machining, and 3D printing. For 7 years I was one of the leaders of the LWHS Senegal Service-Learning Trip, which gives students an opportunity to apply building skills and participate in a cultural exchange while in a rural village. I’m committed to anti-racist educational practices that de-center whiteness. I’m a repeat attendee of the White Privilege Conference, a regular attendee of our school’s “Interrupting White Supremacy” meetings, and creator of a workshop on machine learning and algorithmic bias for high school students.
About the Gallery The Great Highway is a fine art gallery located in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district. The gallery was founded by John Lindsey, a long time resident of the city with a deep appreciation for images and ideas that explore the intersection of land and water in contemporary work. The Great Highway Gallery’s mission is to seek, analyze, support, and promote the work of a diverse group of artists who seek sincerity, challenge conventional thinking, amuse us, and push the boundaries of today’s creative media. To learn more about the gallery, visit www.thegreathighway.com.