Self Surveillance Art Opening & Reception

Emerging artist Tess Kriegman’s solo exhibition Self Surveillance opens at the Art From Scrap Gallery on Friday, April 29, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Kriegman’s work, described by show curator Kai Tepper, as “a collective narrative on the introspective human experience” will be available for viewing at the AFS Gallery from April 29th through May 13th.

child self 2015 by Tess Kriegman copy(child self 2015)

Tess Kriegman is a graduating senior and VADA student at Santa Barbara High School. Even in her youthful career as an artist, Tess has already completed a number of art mentorships, internships, and college-level work study programs.

TessaK- by Tess Kriegman copy(Tessa K)

On the same night and just one block away, Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts & Design Academy presents the VADA Spring Art Show at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW). Tess and many other talented young artists will be showing their work in this Annual Spring Show. Located at 631 Garden Street, the VADA event is just a short stroll from Art From Scrap, making Friday, May 29th, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the perfect time for a “Mini Art Walk” on Garden Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

sleeping man 2015 by Tess Kriegman copy(Sleeping Man 2015)

The public is invited to view the art of Tess Kriegman in the Art From Scrap Gallery from April 29, through May 13th, 2016. Gallery Hours are Thursday and Friday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Art From Scrap Gallery features a rotating calendar of exhibits, bringing together art lovers, collectors and artists to explore environmental issues.

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Santa Barbara Mayor Presents Environmental Youth Awards

Support young environmentalists on their quest to make the ocean a cleaner place by attending the Environmental Youth Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 16th, 11:30 am to 12:00 pm on the Kids Corner Stage at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival in Alameda Park. Mayor Helene Schneider will present awards to the students and teachers who participated in the 2016 FTO program.

Flows To The Ocean is a yearlong program that educates students about how litter makes its way to the ocean and the impact it has on marine life once there. Since an estimated 80-85% of marine debris comes from the land, Explore Ecology’s environmental educators empower FTO students to know how their actions on land can positively or negatively affect our waterways.

IMG_0745Each class that participates in FTO chooses a project that focuses on reducing marine debris by teaching others how to replace disposable plastic products with durable items. These projects educate and encourage others in the school and broader community to substitute durable products for disposable plastic, Styrofoam products, and packaging that make up a large percentage of marine debris that is washed into the ocean from storm drains and creeks.


Past student projects include replacing a school’s Styrofoam lunch trays with washable trays, student-created books that are read to younger grades, and influencing a restaurant located close to a popular beach to stop handing out free mints enclosed in plastic wrappers.Last year, Franklin School teachers guided a student project  to reduce the use of disposable plastic cups at their school. They were shocked to learn that over 1,000 cups were used and disposed of every day! As their year-end project,the students raised money to purchase a dishwasher and durable cups for the cafeteria, eventually replacing 180,000 plastic cups with reusable ones.


Stop by the Environmental Youth Awards on Saturday, April 16, 11:30 to 12:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival to get inspired and learn about the Flows to the Ocean 2016 Projects!

Posted in Beach Clean-up, Community Learning Projects, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, Science Exploration, Watershed Resource Center | Leave a comment

Help Our Gardens Grow! Vote for Explore Ecology’s School Garden Program

Explore Ecology needs your support! We’ve submitted an application to receive a grant to fund our School Gardens Program and are hoping to win either a $20,000 or $10,000 grant from Seeds of Change®, a certified organic seed and food company.

How can you help?

  • From March 31 through April 18, 2016, visit the Seeds of Change Grant website and vote for Explore Ecology’s School Garden Program.
  • You can vote once per day.
  • Once voting closes, the 50 organizations with the most votes will move on to the final judging phase and recipients will be announced around May 3.
  • Voters can also follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #SeedsofChangeGrant.

KidsWorking_SignForeground[3] - Copy

The Grant Program aims to enhance the environmental, economic, and social well-being of gardens, farms, and communities. The grants will be awarded to organizations like Explore Ecology that help support sustainable, community-based gardening and farming programs that focus on teaching people about food and how it’s grown.

The Explore Ecology School Gardens Program provides weekly hands-on organic garden lessons to approximately 10,000 students at 30 elementary schools in Santa Barbara County.


Let’s keep our gardens healthy, alive, and growing and our kids happy! Vote for Explore Ecology’s School Gardens Program by clicking here. 

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Who Is Todd The Worm?

Caroline Bargo teaches students about compost.

Caroline Bargo teaches students about compost.

On February 9th and 10th, roughly 500 students from Goleta Unified School District visited the 5th Grade Health Fair. The Fair, which takes place every year, is a way for community groups to interact with and inspire fifth graders to make healthy choices- whether for their own bodies or for their greater community.

This year, Explore Ecology took part, manning a compost education table. Our own resident compost expert, Bennett Rock, set up a station where students were able to, “Meet Todd,” and choose what to feed him. “Who is Todd?,” you might be asking. Todd is the industrious red wiggler worm that lives in most compost bins in Explore Ecology’s School Gardens. These bins are generally students’ first interaction with how great composting can be for our world.


Bennett Rock Talks Compost

Students were encouraged to take a look through some of Bennett’s own compost, searching for Todd and his family. They were also prompted to decide what items Todd can and cannot eat- organic matter and food scraps versus trash. Many of the students are, at this point, experts in composting, having had lessons both in their School Garden and through Explore Ecology’s In Class Education presentations. It was incredibly gratifying to hear students I’ve had in my classes spout off fun facts about composting and worm anatomy, knowing that they take our lessons with them into the outside world.

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Rediscover the Lost Art of Love Letters

love letters (1)

Rediscover the Lost Art of Love Letters in a creative evening on Thursday, February 25th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Art From Scrap. Vintage typewriters, fine papers, quills, pigments and poetic prompts will help you craft a beautiful letter. Attendees will be guided into composing and creating a beautiful Love Letter to be sent out to anyone or anything you admire. Envelopes and postage will be provided so others can receive these thoughtful works of art.  Wine, laughter and warm sentiments will be flowing.

The evening will be co-facilitated by Sondra Weiss, an Art Educator who is on a mission to Bring Back the Lost Art of Love Letters here & abroad and Simon Kiefer an avid poet, dancer, and writer who has an extensive collection of vintage typewriters.

Posted in Art Discovery, Art in Santa Barbara | 2 Comments

Beyond 2°: Millennial Impact- A Call to Artists for Environmental Change

Calling all aspiring young artists! Explore Ecology and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Teen Arts Council invites local high school students from Santa Barbara County to submit their work to the Beyond 2°: Millennial Impact Art Exhibition. If you are a passionate artist or environmental enthusiast between the ages of 13 to 18, this opportunity is for you!

Create art that heightens public awareness and add your voice to the global conversation on climate change.

Artwork must address the natural sciences, natural or recycled materials, or be otherwise inspired by the current state of our environment. There is a limit of 3 submissions per artist.


Submissions must be dropped off on March 11, 2016 between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00 pm at Art from Scrap. Artwork will be displayed from March 19 to April 22, 2016 at Art from Scrap.

The public is invited to a Closing Party on Friday, April 22nd, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Art From Scrap Gallery. 


This student exhibit is being held in conjunction with Beyond 2°, a Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition that brings attention to the ecological and social effects of natural resource extraction and exploitation. 

Posted in Art Discovery, Art in Santa Barbara, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, Science Exploration | Leave a comment