The San Juan Islands Museum of Art
The San Juan Islands Museum of Art in conjunction with their current exhibition, “DEEP DIVE” will host a gallery walk and reading from the anthology, “For Love of Orcas,” on Thursday, Sept.12, 3:30-5 p.m. The reading features local writers and contributors to the anthology, which celebrates the endangered Southern resident orcas, their main food source, the also endangered Chinook salmon, and their extended habitat. Readers include Tara MacMahon, Lynne Mercer, and Bill Weissinger of San Juan Island, Iris Graville of Lopez Island, Jill McCabe Johnson of Orcas Island, plus Lummi poet and Southern resident killer whale activist Rena Priest.
The “DEEP DIVE” exhibition features Salish Sea beauties through the eyes of the finest Pacific Northwest artists, showcasing a wide range of media by many artists, such as sculptor and poet Weissinger and glass artist Raven Skyriver. It pays homage while bringing attention to the threats to approximately 130 variously endangered species in these waters.
Co-edited by Andrew Shattuck McBride and Johnson, “For Love of Orcas” features works by scientists, naturalists, poets, and writers from across the U.S. and Canada. Proceeds from sales of the book benefit the SeaDoc Society’s efforts to protect and restore the SRKW. Contributor and SeaDoc Society Science Director, Joe Gaydos, writes in his introduction to the anthology, “Southern resident orca are icons of the Pacific Northwest. Scientists call them ‘flagship’ conservation species. The citizens of the Salish Sea are faced with a decision: dramatically change how we think about and invest in ecosystem restoration or risk losing Southern Resident killer whales forever.”
Bob Friel, science-writer and director of the SeaDoc Society’s video series, “Salish Sea Wild,” adds, “We’ve declared the orcas national and regional treasures, bestowed upon them our strongest protections, yet we continue to kill them with building permits, logging, ranching and farming leases, fishing quotas, and dam permits, which all affect the Chinook salmon that these orcas need to survive.”
The reading will begin shortly after 3:30 p.m., to be followed by a small reception and book-signing. The museum will be open and free to the public from 3:15 pm that day. However, donations are gladly accepted. The “Deep Dive” exhibition closes on Monday, Sept. 16. Thursday’s reading is an event highlighting the richness of experiencing visual art in concert with and enhanced by other art disciplines.
“For Love of Orcas” is published by Wandering Aengus Press and is available for sale at SJIMA, local bookstores, online bookstores, and wanderingaenguspress.com. The editors hope the anthology will inspire readers to learn about and care for the entire Salish Sea ecosystem. In the words of Joe Gaydos, “The lives of salmon, orca, and people are inextricably linked. Full-scale ecosystem restoration will save salmon, orcas, and us. It is time to go all out and take care of this place as if our lives and our livelihoods depend on it. Because they do.”
For more information about SJIMA, visit sjima.org.
Cost: Free to the public (donations gladly accepted.)