Mermaids: Visualizing the Myths and Legends through Photography by Ralph Clevenger and some of his friends Art Exhibit Opening and Artist’s Reception

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Mermaid image
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Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 18:00

Please RSVP and Register at or call (805) 456-8747

Sponsored by: Mimi Michaelis, Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, and Wood-Claeyssens Foundation

Thousands of years ago the Syrian goddess of the sea, Atargatis, transformed herself into a mermaid by flinging herself into a lake. She emerged with the lower body of a fish and upper body of a human. Ever since, mermaids and mermen have captivated the imaginations of people and cultures around the world.

Ralph A. Clevenger grew up on the coast of North Africa and began diving with his father in the Mediterranean Sea at the age of 7. He went on to study zoology and worked for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego as a diver/biologist before attending Brooks Institute of Photography. Clevenger was a senior faculty member at the Brooks Institute for 33 years, teaching courses in Natural History and Underwater Photography, among other photo and video courses. Visualizing the myths and legends of mermaids through photography was a part of the underwater photography course Clevenger taught at Brooks. This show highlights images created by Ralph and a few of his former students during extended trips to the Channel Islands. (Mermaid image by Liz Grady).

Based in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Clevenger is pursuing his passion for the natural world by specializing in location photography and video projects of eco-travel, environmental portraits, wildlife and undersea subjects. He’s traveled on assignment for clients such as; Fox Sports, University of California, Denali National Park Wilderness Center, National Marine Sanctuaries, Light & Motion Industries, and others. His publication credits include; Audubon, Afar, Islands, Oceans, Nature’s Best, National Geographic, Terre Sauvage, and other national and international publications. He is the author of the book Photographing Nature, published by New Riders.
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Since 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has featured many artifacts and stories to share the history of the Santa Barbara Channel with more than 40,000 visitors annually and provides year-round experiential maritime history and marine science education for local youth. Featuring the impressive First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens from Point Conception, SBMM's current exhibits include History of Oil in Santa Barbara Channel, the Honda Disaster, and Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light.

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