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  • Nearly 60% of the butterflies didn't make it through the winter, but, with the population rebounding for the second year and rain helping the native plants, experts say there's hope for the insect.
  • Researchers say that the population of western monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast has rebounded for a second year in a row.
  • Sparks Gallery is pleased to announce San Diego artist Kathleen Kane-Murrell’s solo exhibition, “Wayfinding in Suspended Times,” opening on May 7, 2023 in conjunction with Sparks Gallery’s annual small works show, “minis 2023.”The small works exhibition will feature over 60 works that are 12×12 inches and under; each are $500 retail or less. This exhibition is a chance to collect a small work of art from both prominent and emerging artists from California. Below is a preview of several small works that were selected for the exhibition.Kane-Murrell’s work is inspired by her observation of the interconnectivity between humans and nature, and her longing to reconnect after isolation during the pandemic. Her solo exhibition brings her perceptions and musings to life through her highly textured collage techniques. Many of her works present themselves like a miniature ecosystem; reverse-painted plexiglass panel is placed between the viewer and the textural backdrop of the work. Highly detailed renderings of butterflies, gingko leaves, and other organic elements painted on the transparent plexiglass appear to float over the materials affixed to the layer behind. Kane-Murrell’s specific style of mixed media collage both unites and contrasts familiar icons of nature with abstraction and human-designed composition. She reflects “My work is abstractly narrative. I aim between spontaneous and controlled…patinas of layered mark-making reflect my perception of light, color, and sound. When a viewer reaches to touch my work to understand what is seen, I have achieved an elusive goal.”Kane-Murrell’s work investigates the human experience as but one aspect of the natural world. With work inspired by wondrous natural phenomena that scientists are only beginning to understand, the artist explores the concept of our place in this interconnected web of life. The idea that everything is intertwined, even in ways we may not expect or be aware of, also brought Kane-Murrell comfort during the isolating time of the pandemic. Kane-Murrell holds reverence for the mycorrhizal network (in which trees communicate with each other through their underground root systems), the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, and starling “murmurations” – birds that fly together collectively in groups of seven.This philosophy is visually explored in the repeating motifs within each work; the artist repeats butterflies, leaves, or cut paper shapes across the piece, drawing attention to their similarities and mass as a group. Subtle changes in these repetitions, such as unique colors or placement, differentiate individual elements from each other. Yet the abstract work is undoubtedly unified, communicating the connectedness of every unit to the entire composition as a whole.Regular Gallery Hours: M,TH,F 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 11a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun 11a.m. - 5 p.m.Sparks Gallery on Facebook / Instagram
  • A rehabilitation program in Chula Vista is finding success getting people permanently off the streets and it’s led by a man who has the lived experience to help. Then, research out of UC San Diego details how spyware works. Lastly, the cold, wet winter has impacted the endangered Monarch butterflies.
  • Please join us to hear from Bill Toone, Founder of ECOLIFE Conservation and author of the award-winning book, "On the Wings of the Condor."While there is no charge for this online event you’ll need to register in advance. You can do so here: will speak on: Roar of the Monarch Butterfly. The story covers the unique migration of the monarch butterfly and the challenges for their survival. The migratory race of the monarch butterfly was recently listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Of the many challenges facing the monarch butterfly, climate change may be the most significant. We will also hear about his new book!Bill Toone is the Founder of ECOLIFE Conservation. He holds a Master’s Degree in Biology from University of California. Toone became the youngest Curator of Birds for the Zoological Society of San Diego at the age of 28.In 1983 he and Noel Snyder led the recovery team for the world-renowned, federally mandated California Condor Recovery Team retrieving the first wild California condor egg and safely transported it to the San Diego Zoo; later to be hatched in the zoo. He oversaw the care and nurture of this first chick and many that followed. Because of these events, Bill Toone, along with Betty Jo Williams (President of the Board) and Arthur Risser were bestowed with the nation’s highest award in conservation from the Secretary of the Interior. There will be time for questions from the audience.ECOLIFE Conservation on Facebook
  • Monarch School's Center for the Arts will showcase students’ artwork, including paintings, photography, fiber arts and sculptures that represent the self-growth and determination of the students. Alongside the students’ pieces, local teaching artists will share ideas and personal narratives through art. In addition, Monarch students and artists, including Monarch’s artist partner Space4Art, will display the beautiful, collaborative works of art they’ve created. The exhibition provides an opportunity for students to be a part of the thriving local art scene in Barrio Logan and beyond. For more information visit: monarchschools.orgFollow on Instagram and Facebook
  • Butterflies likely split from nocturnal moths around 100 million years ago in present-day western North America or Central America, a new study of the winged insects finds.
  • Join us in our beautiful outdoor Butterfly Pavilion and native Habitat Garden to release your very own butterfly to nectar on nearby flowers. Miss Metamorphosis will be flittering around the Butterfly Pavilion. Be sure to release a butterfly and say, “Hi!”We love butterflies! The Garden has joined the San Diego Pollinator Alliance (SDPA) and their efforts to increase native pollinator habitat and awareness about pollinator-friendly practices throughout San Diego County. We hope to encourage an increase in habitat creation within local residences, schools, community spaces, and other public and private lands.Ticket Details:$15 Garden Member / $25 General/ $125 Butterfly Bundle / $5 Add-ons for Butterfly Bundles ONLY
  • Butterflies, Biscuits & Tea with Ms. Smarty-Plants™Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. / 11 a.m. / 12 p.m.A Mother's Day Treat!COST: $25 Garden Member / $30 General / Add-on $5- Butterfly release, tea and biscuits, MSP seed pack- Add-on $5 per person without a butterfly release. Must purchase a ticket valued at $25-$30 to purchase add-on tickets.The Water Conservation Garden’s beloved Ms. Smarty-Plants™ is welcoming you, your friends and family to join Ms. Smarty-Plants™ for an hour-long sparkling celebration for our moms unlike any other!  Let her know how special she is with her own butterfly release, a toasty beverage, biscuits, and a lovely stroll through The Garden's vibrant spring trails as a Mother's Day treat!Stay Connected on Social Media! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
  • Monarch butterflies are now listed as endangered because of fast dwindling populations in North America.
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