New Village Theatre art exhibit focuses on rising sea levels

Eco-conscious artist, photographer present Antarctic imagery 'to educate and inspire change'

Danville's Village Theatre Art Gallery is set to host an exhibit of paintings and photographs depicting the impacts of melting sea ice and rising ocean levels, beginning this weekend.

55" - Images of Sea Level Rise features abstract paintings of Jennifer Koney and photographs by Oliver Klink, eco-conscious artists whose works transport viewers to the Antarctic with images of glaciers, penguins and other elements, according to gallery officials.

"Scientists state the projected sea level rise for the San Francisco Bay-Estuary by the year 2100 is 55 inches. Koney and Klink aim to educate and inspire change through their paintings and photographs," Village Theatre representatives said in a statement.

Klink's photographs show Antarctic wildlife in their natural habitat surrounded by "the stunning beauty of ice and the melting giants that are glaciers," gallery officials said. Koney displays a series of tall paintings all with a 55-inch horizon line -- attempting to make the 55-inch sea level rise prediction more tangible to viewers.

A traveling exhibit, 55"- Images of Sea Level Rise opens at the downtown Danville museum this Sunday and runs through April 23.

The opening reception is set for 1-5 p.m., with the artists scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. An interactive presentation -- dubbed "What? Sharks in my Backyard?!" -- by a Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center representative will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Sunday's event also includes a free screening of the Academy Award-winning 2005 documentary "March of the Penguins" at 3 p.m.

The exhibit will close with a special reception on April 23 from 1-3 p.m., with guest speakers from Save the Bay, SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission and Contra Costa County Health Services.

The gallery and both receptions are free and open to the public. Officials recommend a $5 donation per family to support the gallery and arts in Danville.

For exhibit hours and other information, call 314-3460 or visit the Village Theatre Art Gallery website.

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1 person likes this
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2016 at 9:40 am

Nice photographs, but the 55" sea rise scenario needs to be taken with several grans of salt. Tide gauges have been in place in San Francisco since the 1850's, and the measured sea rise over the past 160 years or so has been about 2mm/year, which translates to 8" per century. The more recent rate MIGHT be a bit higher - you see it expressed as 3mm/year quite frequently, which would translate to 12" a century. I have also seen a few references to the 55" figure by 2100. But that would require a rate of increase that is almost 5 times what it seems to be today. On what basis? My belief is that the 55" "study" was basically a "what if" scenario, with a lot of worst-case assumptions thrown in, for maximum effect...

It is also worth pointing out that the apparant sea-level rise at any coastal location is a combination of actual sea level rise, and movement of the land itself, via plate tectonics and other geologic forces. Although land movement along the San Andreas fault is mostly horizontal, as the land masses on either side of the fault slide past each other, there is also a vertical component, which affects the apparant sea level change. (As another example, it is well known that most of the apparent sea level change in the Chesapeake Bay area is actually due to sinking land, rather than actual sea level rise.)

The problem with the far more likely sea level rise of about 10" over the next 84 years, is that it just doesn't seem scary enough. So I get why an artist prefers the far more dramatic 55" figure.... But the good news is that dealing effectively with a 10" rise will be significantly less costly than a 55" rise.

5 people like this
Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Mar 12, 2016 at 9:44 am

"The problem with the far more likely sea level rise of about 10" over the next 84 years, is that it just doesn't seem scary enough."

"Far more likely" in the opinion of a guy who could not follow the scientific analysis which predicts a much greater increase if his life depended on it. While precision is impossible for such a long term prediction, no serious climate scientists believe that sea level rise will be kept to such a manageable scale.

Gotta love the gullible "skeptics" who swallow the propaganda spun out by the same guys who brought you the effective campaign to delay action on tobacco's link to cancer in the 80's. Extra points for the snarky accusation that acknowledging scientific findings is something people do just to "scare" folks.

2 people like this
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2016 at 11:07 am

No, I think the "Mudg" is correct, and there is a nice property in south Louisiana with his name on it.

Like this comment
Posted by Danville Realist
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 14, 2016 at 11:56 am

Dear Mr. Curmudgeon,
You wouldn't be so grumpy if you didn't think this exhibition and its message held a bit of truth. Sorry, not all art is meant to be pretty. This exhibit wins because it got you to think. Hoping it gets others to think as well. Maybe ride a bike one day a week instead of that SUV.

1 person likes this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Yes, behaving like an ostrich -- whether in the realm of climate science or in business -- is rarely a winning strategy.

Like this comment
Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Mar 15, 2016 at 1:03 am

IF we were going to stop behaving like ostriches we would just start planning for the worst case, (say 60" to be on the safe side), and put in the necessary infrastructure of sea walls, etc.

And on a slightly related topic - is Pacifica just going to wait until erosion takes out Highway 1 before they do anything about it?

1 person likes this
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Mar 15, 2016 at 5:15 pm

There was just an article in the Sunday Chronicle about some coast-front (well, now cliff-hanging) apartments in Pacifica being torn down. They were about to go over the edge. Someone was quoted as saying this portion of the cliff had moved inland fifty feet in a very short span of time.
I'm no real estate agent, but Derek's first rule of beachside property is that you cannot purchase any - you can only rent it from mother nature.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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