Mosaic Artist Creates Octopus Out of Sea Glass

When Explore Ecology needed to find an artist who could create a one of a kind sea creature out of reuse materials for the Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival, we thought of mosaic artist Betsy Gallery.

Betsy Gallery is an award winning mosaic artist and Santa Barbara native whose public murals can be viewed at the Outreach Center for the Teaching of Ocean Science (OCTOS) at UCSB and at the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach.

Betsy came up with the idea of making a California Two-Spot Octopus (Octopus bimaculoides). The Octopus will be on display at the entrance to the Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival. Visitors to the Fest will have a chance to win the Octopus Mosaic in the Festival’s 2016 Raffle, which this year benefits Explore Ecology.

IMG_8753

The octopus is specific to the Channel Islands. Its colors tend to vary according to the background. Betsy is creating it using sea glass, reuse iridescent vitreous tiles, and round glass from the Art from Scrap Creative Reuse Store. The finished piece will be 4 x 4 feet.

Betsy added another sea creature to the mosaic mural, a newly discovered “purple orb” that the Ocean Exploration Trust vessel Nautilus found in the Channel Islands, which may be a new species of nudibranch. The mural may be the very first artist’s interpretation of this marine creature.

Octopus In Process

The Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival brings together artists from across the country to display and sell their handmade, ocean-themed, and genuine sea glass art on September 10th & 11th, 2016 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The only of its kind in Southern California, the Festival attracts thousands of sea glass lovers and enthusiasts to the renowned coastal jewel of Santa Barbara.

The Sea Glass Festival Committee strongly believes in giving back to the community and chooses a nonprofit or school in Santa Barbara County to donate to. This year, they named Explore Ecology as their 2016 beneficiary. We are thrilled to partner with the Festival this year.

sea glass festival

The Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival takes place on September 10 & 11, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day at Warren Hall, Earl Warren Showgrounds. There will be an Early Bird Option Admission on Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am for those who want first viewing and first pick of the beautiful items at the Festival. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Posted in Art Discovery, Art in Santa Barbara, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, Family Activities in Santa Barbara, Watershed Resource Center | Leave a comment

Create With Us This Summer!

 

Garden Guardians

This Summer Art From Scrap is offering a new lineup of art classes. Our Saturday Schedule is filled with fun workshops like Old CD’s- Fantastic Creations and Modern Mummies. We’ve also added a new series of Wednesday STEAM Workshops (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math). All workshops are at Art From Scrap. We can’t wait to create with you!

Join us for a series of Wednesday Workshops focused on ‘STEAM’ – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Workshops are taught by teacher Michelle McMillian and are fun for children of all ages! Cost: $8.00 per person. No Reservations Necessary.

Wednesdays, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

August 3 – Crystal Construction Geology Workshop: Discover what’s inside different types of crystals, build giant models, and take home your own crystal growing kit!  At this workshop students will examine a various gems and minerals and explore their properties.  Then, students will learn about the geometry of crystallization and build some giant models of these shapes.

August 10- Rubber Band Racers Forces and Motion Workshop: Make the fastest car you can power only by a rubber band!  At this workshop students will learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion then test out these ideas while making a recycled material race car.

puppets_close_up

Our Saturday Workshops are from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and are taught by Guest Instructors. Cost: $8.00 per person. No Reservations Necessary.

July 30  Rattle Bots: Things That Shake, Rattle, & Roll 

August 6  Old CD’s, Fantastic New Creations

August 13  Pretty Postcards

August 20  Wood Construction: Houses, Animals, Structures!

August 27   Modern Mummies: Wrap It Up!

September 3  Ahoy! Pirate Treasure Chests

September 10  The Day the Puppets Made Movies

September 17  Leaf Prints

September 24  Pieced Together: Self Portrait Collages

ArtFromScrapStore-2 google test

Stop by our Creative Reuse Store Thursday and Friday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for an ever-changing inventory of art supplies and other materials.

Posted in Explore Ecology | Leave a comment

Save the Date! Area 5.1 and Kalyra Golf Tournament Benefits Explore Ecology

Explore Ecology has been chosen to be the recipient for the 14th Annual Area 5.1 and Kalyra Golf Tournament at the Glen Annie Golf Club. Join us for this fun fundraiser.

Golf Tournament 1

The event  includes a great course, super fun competition, fab food and wine, good friends, lots of beverages, and cool prizes. The $150 Entry Fee includes golf, cart, on course competitions, a full BBQ dinner with wine, on course food and beverages, and prizes. 4 person scramble. Gross and net team prizes.

kalyra carts

If you’re not a golfer, join us for Dinner at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the dinner only are $40 per person.

Book your team or individual spot by contacting Martin or call Area 5.1 at (805) 770 – 7251 or email at info@a51wine.com

Enjoy a day on the green and support your favorite environmental education and arts nonprofit!

 

Posted in Environmental Education, Explore Ecology | Leave a comment

The Benefits of Composting

Hello! My name is Adrian and I am an Environmental and Garden Educator at Explore Ecology.  What really lured me to working at Explore Ecology was the opportunity to garden as much as I want!

Adrian

I studied hydrology at UCSB and have a love for the environment that also complements Explore Ecology’s themes and my work at the Watershed Resource Center quite nicely.

In late May I had the opportunity to go to San Marcos High School and talk to a couple of classes about composting- one of my favorite subjects. We talked about how composting helps to minimize the trash going to our landfill, creates new healthy soil, but most importantly doesn’t contribute methane to our atmosphere.

IMG_0168

When trash is in our landfill, an anaerobic condition is created and the bacteria that live in that environment create CH4 or methane as its waste.

landfill-879437_1280

When we compost, an aerobic condition is created and the bacteria that thrive create a waste product of CO2. Yes, carbon dioxide is a a greenhouse gas, however methane is over 20 times more powerful in contributing to greenhouse gas effects.

compost-709020_1920

At the conclusion of our lesson we made compost buckets out of 5-gallon buckets stacked on top of each other.

Composting SM

The kids had fun using the drills but had quite a laugh when it was time to grab the worms.  Which of course, I made them scoop up by hand. :-)

The children are our future and so is composting.

 

Posted in Community Learning Projects, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, School Gardens, Science Exploration | Leave a comment

Sea Glass Festival Gives Back to Explore Ecology

Do you love sea glass? Have you collected this colorful gift from the sea? Join other sea glass artists, collectors, and enthusiasts on September 10th and 11th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The Santa Barbara Festival is one of three Sea Glass Festivals on the West Coast and the only one in Southern California. Each year, the Festival brings together juried artists from all over the country who will display and sell their one of a kind creations, ranging from jewelry to home decor. Festival goers will also have an opportunity to show their own collections of sea glass and to participate in a Sea Glass Treasure Contest with prizes going to top honors.

Karen Clark, Aesthetic Director of the Festival, says, “People will be amazed at the beauty of sea glass, local and from around the world. Its different colors and forms and how these talented artists create using treasures from the ocean. Ocean artists will be at the event as well, showing and selling their very unique creations.”

The Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival Committee believes strongly in giving back to the community. Each year, they choose a nonprofit or school in Santa Barbara County to donate to. This year’s recipient is Explore Ecology and we are so excited!

 Karen Clark says, “It’s not only a great creative experience to take in, but the Festival is proud to give back to the community. Explore Ecology was the perfect fit to be this year’s recipient of our Giving Back program due to their connections to the arts and the ocean.”

The Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival takes place on September 10 & 11, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day at Warren Hall, Earl Warren Showgrounds. There will be an Early Bird Option Admission on Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am for those who want first viewing and first pick of the beautiful items at the Festival. Tickets are available online or at the door.

This year’s stellar lineup of speakers includes bestselling author Mary McCarthy who will be lecturing on Sea Glass Marbles from Around the World on both Saturday & Sunday and author Richard LaMotte who will introduce visitors to his new book The Lure of Sea Glass, Our Connection to Nature’s Gems.

Author Mary McCarthy on the Beach

We can’t wait to see you at the Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival in September!

 

Posted in Explore Ecology | Leave a comment

Explore Ecology School Gardens Will Flourish- Thank You, Garden Club of Santa Barbara

Research shows that children who grow their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, have a greater understanding of ecology, and receive higher test scores in science. School gardens are more important than ever and thanks to the Garden Club of Santa Barbara, Explore Ecology’s School Gardens Program will continue to grow.

hapgood

Happy Gardeners!

Explore Ecology has been awarded a $12,250 grant from the Garden Club of Santa Barbara to support irrigation updates and training in thirty school gardens. With current drought conditions, efficient irrigation systems have never been more important. The grant ensures that the Explore Ecology School Gardens Program can continue to provide students the opportunity to receive outdoor education in well-tended, beautiful school gardens.

School Garden

School Garden

The Explore Ecology School Gardens Program currently serves approximately 10,000 elementary age students in 30 schools. Fourteen Garden Educators teach lessons in each garden about composting, organic gardening, nutrition, healthy food choices, and science.

The Garden Club of Santa Barbara has supported school gardens since the early 1900’s. One of their first projects in 1917 was to donate seeds to schools. Explore Ecology is the only project they have supported on an annual basis since early 2000.

group with shovels2

Some Members of the Garden Club

For 25 years, Explore Ecology has been a vital force for garden education. We appreciate the Garden Club of Santa Barbara and say thank you on behalf of all the children who will be working, learning, and playing in our school gardens!

 

Posted in Community Learning Projects, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, Family Activities in Santa Barbara, School Gardens, Science Exploration | Leave a comment