Introducing The Deeper Dive Series as our newest effort to provide unique educational programs and preserve our maritime heritage. It will feature additional information about our exhibits and interviews with or about the people who created our local maritime history, and it will serve as an oral archive of their lives and work. In partnership with Instudio 8, The Deeper Dive Series is generously underwritten by Bill and Marian Nasgovitz and the STS Foundation/Peter and Nina Seaman.
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 the upper body of a human. Ever since, mermaids and mermen have captivated the imaginations of people and cultures around the world.
In our first episode of The Deeper Dive Series, you’ll be captivated by imagery — from the Mermaids: Visualizing the Myths & Legends through Photography exhibit –coming to life on your screen. Ralph Clevenger, some of his former students, safety divers, and professional mermaid performers share about their process for creating beautiful underwater stories.
The Mermaids: Visualizing the Myths & Legends through Photography exhibit highlights imagery by Ralph Clevenger and some of his former Brooks students (Eryn M. Brydon, Liz Grady, John Kelsey, Beatriz Moino, and Chiara Salomoni) taken during extended trips to the Channel Islands.
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.
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.