Marine Megatropolis 1974 – 1981

Marine Megatropolis 1974 – 1981 title=
Marine Megatropolis 1974 – 1981
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Event Date: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 17:30
Art Exhibit Opening at SBMM:  Marine Megatropolis 1974 – 1981, Photos by Bob Evans

Opening Artist Reception • Free to the Public

Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California

When: Thursday, November 16, 2017 • 5:30 – 7:00pm 

Please RSVP: Go to or call (805) 456-8747

Exhibit will run November 16, 2017 — April 30, 2018

The Exhibit includes 26 spectacular images selected from expeditions by Bob Evans and Andrew J. McMullen of La Mer Bleu Productions in Santa Barbara. Bob and Andy photo-documented the marine life as it developed beneath the offshore oil platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel between 1974 and 1981.

Also premiered in the Exhibit are images from what is believed to be the first alternative uses for offshore oil platforms. Artifacts from these expeditions include: Self-designed camera housings, log books identifying relevant survey data from more than 850 dives and a can from the first mussel harvest for human consumption from the offshore oil platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel.

Bob Evans and Andrew J. McMullen were the first independent underwater photographers given carte blanche access to the Offshore Oil Platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel. Selections from the Collection have appeared in numerous publications and venues, including, National Geographic, Time Life publications, including Time Magazine, Sielmanns Tierwelt (Germany), Tauchen (Germany), Skin Diver Magazine, and countless educational, industry and government publications.

The Collection includes over 2,500 35-mm color slides and 7,000 feet of super 8- and 16-mm footage. The Collection forms a foundation for fish counts, animal identifications, and comparison for research being conducted today. It has unique historical, educational, scientific, political and artistic value.

Evans and McMullen were privileged to document aquaculture programs, which are believed to be the first alternative uses of any offshore oil platforms. Their company, La Mer Bleu Productions administered what is also believed to be the first naturally clean method for industrial bio-fouling control by creating a pathway through stinging anemone blanketing the platform legs for starfish to feed off the weighty mussel clumps below Platform Hilda.

Also Highlighted in the Exhibit are photos that document The Mussel Company, the first to harvest mussels from below Platform Hilda. The Mussel Company’s Frank Hester, Ph.D. and its President Richard C. Williams lobbied for the changes in law which allowed mussels to be commercially harvested for human consumption. Prior to their efforts, the California Departments of Health and Fish and Game allowed harvest only for bait. Photo-documentation surrounding this project is also included in the Exhibit.

Eating California Mussel was made possible by the work shared in this Exhibit

Bob Evans began his career as an underwater photographer over 30 years ago. He is best known for his Channel Islands Collection™, including “Baby Elephant Seals”, which stands as the hallmark for the California Channel Islands where he logged over 4,000 underwater photographic expeditions. Evans also logged over 850 dives documenting the life developing below the oil platforms, acting as artificial reefs in the Santa Barbara Channel.

His photographic work has appeared in over 500 publications, including National Geographic, Life Magazine, in books by Harry Abrams, McGraw Hill,Time Life and The Museum of Modern Art. His photographs are part of the permanent exhibits at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Cabrillo Marine Museum of the City of Los Angeles.

A noted designer with over 30 patents hisTan Delta Force Fin is part of the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his Ops Fin was honored as a Time Magazine Innovation of the Year in 2002.Evans was awarded an Honorary Master of Science by the Trustees of his alma mater Brooks Institute of Photography for extraordinary contributions to art, science and photography. 2005 he was awarded a NOGI by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. A past Member of its Board of Directors and Officer in 2006 he was selected by “ Beneath the Sea” as a Diver of the Year.

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