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Exhibit Archive

From the Depths: Inspiring Science and Art

Science and art installation will be last new exhibit at 875 Howard Street
Exhibit features original artwork by Oakland-based painter Tiffany Bozic

Battle of The Deep (Sea Urchin), 45” x 35”, Acrylic on maple panel
Battle of The Deep, 45” x 35”, acrylic on maple panel
© Tiffany Bozic , 2007

What would happen if the California Academy of Sciences’ marine invertebrate collections were explored through the eyes of a contemporary painter?  Visitors can find out in From the Depths, an upcoming science and art exhibit at 875 Howard Street.  Featuring large-scale paintings and sketches by local artist Tiffany Bozic, this exhibit will transport visitors into the depths of both the ocean and the imagination, and present an artist’s vision of the life-and-death drama that unfolds beneath the sea.  The exhibit also includes photographs, preserved specimens from the Invertebrate Zoology collection, and artfully designed tanks with live fish. 

This exhibit is the result of a year-long collaboration between Bozic and Dr. Rich Mooi, curator of Invertebrate Zoology & Geology at the Academy.   Despite examining the museum collections from very different perspectives, they found common ground in their passion for discovery and understanding life.  Nature’s ability to inspire both artist and scientist will form an important theme throughout the exhibit. 

            From the Depths will debut at an evening reception on Thursday, November 15 from 5 - 9 pm.  Thereafter, it will be available for viewing every day from 10 am - 5 pm, until the Academy’s Howard Street facility closes on January 6, 2008.

            Bozic is one of the first participants in the Academy’s Artist in Residence program.  Based in Oakland, her work often incorporates richly pigmented acrylic paint on solid maple wood panels.  She is said to be inspired by John James Audubon and Ernst Haeckel, but dives more deeply into the imaginary and darker aspects of the natural world.  She has spoken at art and design conferences and shown in galleries throughout the United States and Europe.

For high resolution images or press inquiries, contact:

Stephanie Stone at sstone@calacademy.org
Andrew Ng at ang@calacademy.org

Listen to a podcast about the exhibit!


Programming Events

Photo of Dr. Rich Mooi, Photo by: Billy O’callaghan,c California Academy of Sciences 2007

Photo: ©billyocallaghan, 2007

Academy Lecture
From the Depths: Creating a Science and Art Exhibit at the Academy
Tuesday, November 13 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
For several months, Academy curator Dr. Rich Mooi guided contemporary painter Tiffany Bozic through the Academy’s vast collection of marine invertebrates.  Despite examining the specimens from very different perspectives, they found common ground in their passion for discovery and understanding nature. Join Bozic and Dr. Mooi as they discuss their collaboration and the resulting exhibit From the Depths, a science and art installation on display starting November 15. A sneak preview of From the Depths will take place before the evening lecture, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.  Free for members, $8 non-members; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street, San Francisco. Purchase tickets at the door or call (415) 379-8000. 


3rd Thursdays:  Clownfish, Corals, and Cocktails converge!Opening Night Reception at Third Thursday
Thursday, November 15 from 5 - 9 pm
Filled with clownfish, cocktails, and conversation, the Academy after-hours is the place to be on the third Thursday of every month. From the Depths, a new science and art exhibit, will be unveiled at this event.  Enjoy music and a cash bar featuring Francis Ford Coppola wine. $5 admission after 5 pm; free for first 50 Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street, San Francisco.  For more information, call (415) 379-8000 or visit www.calacademy.org.


In conjunction with From the Depths, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) encourages all Academy members to view Biotechnique, an exhibit of art inspired by biotechnology, and to attend the following YBCA-Academy programs. Visit www.ybca.org for details about Biotechnique.

Opening Reception
Thursday, October 25 from 6 pm – 9 pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco
$10.00 admission, free to first 50 California Academy of Sciences members

Technebiotics art: Frog
Species Reclamation 2000-2006 © Brandon Ballengée

Friday, November 2 from 2 pm – 6 pm

California College of the Arts, 1111 8th Street San Francisco
Enjoy an afternoon of live demonstrations of different biological techniques: DNA spooling, plant hybridization, cell extraction and more. Visitors to the Academy’s table at Technebiotics will be able to discuss the techniques used to study the Earth and view invertebrate specimens with curator Dr. Rich Mooi. Tiffany Bozic will describe her collaboration with Dr. Mooi and her experience seeing the invertebrate collections from an artist’s perspective, which resulted in the exhibit From the Depths. Visitors can also learn about the new Academy, which is scheduled to open in late 2008 in Golden Gate Park. Free admission


California Academy of Sciences Artist in Residence: Mission

Paint Brushes
Photo: ©billyocallaghan, 2007

Natural history museums contain the “raw materials” for studying and understanding the Earth and its processes. For 154 years, Academy scientists have explored the world, gathering over 20 million specimens that are housed in the museum’s collections. What would happen if these collections were interpreted by contemporary artists?

Beginning with the 2007 pilot project, From the Depths, the California Academy of Sciences Artist in Residence seeks to blur the lines between the arts and sciences. Through partnership and collaboration, artists from multiple disciplines are challenged to experience and interpret the collections in new and meaningful ways.

Specimen Vial
Photo: ©billyocallaghan, 2007

The Academy’s Research Division contains eight departments that are organized by taxonomic discipline: Anthropology, Aquatic Biology, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology & Geology, and Ornithology & Mammalogy. These departments and the Academy’s library and archives contain invaluable collections that will serve as the focus of the residency. The artist will explore the collections with an assigned mentor from a selected department culminating in a final exhibit and associated programming.

The opening of the new Academy building in Golden Gate Park in October 2008 provides a forum for artists to explore new ideas and new subject matter. The new Academy will be a place for artists to create dialogue about the issues facing the Earth and the sciences today. 

The Academy is currently developing the Artist in Residence program and application process. If you wish to be added to the email list, contact Lindsay Irving at lirving@calacademy.org.


Tiffany Bozic photo
Photo ©Jack Dumbacher, 2007

About the Artist: Tiffany Bozic 

Tiffany Bozic has spent the majority of her life living with and observing the intricacies of nature. Having grown up on a farm in Arkansas, she was inspired by the natural world at an early age. Blending her external observations with the internal world has led her to refine a distinct style. Her work often incorporates richly pigmented acrylic paint on solid maple wood panels.  She is said to be inspired by John James Audubon and Ernst Haeckel, but dives more deeply into the imaginary and darker aspects of the natural world. Bozic views the making of art as a kind of therapeutic process - a way to make sense of the world, of her relationship to life as it unfolds, of its power over us, and perhaps most importantly, of our power over it. Currently based in Oakland, California, she has shown in galleries throughout the United States and Europe, and spoken at the 2007 Semi Permanent International Arts and Design Conference in Sydney, Australia . Her artwork has been published in magazines such as Flaunt, Fourteen Hills, and Alarm. Tiffany participated in the California Academy of Sciences Artist in Residence program from November 2006-November 2007. Her paintings are on display in the exhibit From the Depths at the California Academy of Sciences at 875 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA from November 15, 2007 to January 6, 2008. 

To view a selection of works featured in From the Depths, visit the photo gallery.

To view previous works by Tiffany Bozic, visit www.tiffanybozic.net.

Contact for information regarding the availability of paintings featured in From the Depths .   


Photograph: Dr. Rich Mooi

Photo: ©billyocallaghan, 2007

About the Scientist: Dr. Rich Mooi

Dr. Rich Mooi is a Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences.  He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Toronto, Canada, blending interests in morphology and the origins of evolutionary novelty with analyses of animal development and phylogeny.  His specialty is the evolution of echinoderms, the spiny-skinned animals that include the sand dollars, sea urchins, and sea stars.  With a strong fossil record as well as an almost unfathomable diversity of body forms, the echinoderms became for him a rich source for studying major evolutionary principles. 

His upbringing in a family that took natural history-packed camping trips into remote parts of Canada , along with encouragement to draw what he was seeing at every turn, made it inevitable that became interested in the intersection between art and the sciences.  His own illustrations are filled with detailed imagery that shows the intricate and attractive forms at the core of his research.  During his university studies, he sold more than 200 watercolor portraits of birds, plants, and other creatures, and continues to paint and draw whenever his research schedule allows.  These interests led him to spearhead the annual search for a biological illustration intern that comes to the Academy each summer. 

For Rich, science and art are two faces of the same coin.  Both are driven by inspiration taken from ideas that develop out of close observation of nature.  Discoveries about life are always compelling, but when accompanied by careful renderings that express the beauty that so often underlies the discoveries, the messages are always more powerful. 

For more information on Dr. Mooi, echinoderms, and the department of Invertebrate Zoology & Geology, visit /research/izg/MooiRich.htm.


"From the Depths" exhibitAbout Steinhart Aquarium

An essential element of From the Depths is the collaboration between Tiffany Bozic and Steinhart Aquarium. Bozic felt it was important to incorporate into the exhibit live aquatic organisms alongside preserved specimens to demonstrate the wonder and beauty these animals possess in their living state. She spent many hours observing the animals in the aquarium and discussing their biology with aquarium staff.

Tiffany Bozic and Steinhart Aquarium curator Bart Shepherd enjoyed the opportunity to explore innovative ways of displaying organisms in artfully designed tanks, which reflect elements featured in Bozic’s paintings. They also selected organisms that will eventually make their home in the new Steinhart Aquarium  in Golden Gate Park in 2008. As preparations for the move are underway at Howard Street, the live organisms and their unique tanks featured in From the Depths serve as important “prototypes” for what is to come in the new aquarium.


Photo Gallery

Photo credit: billy o’callaghan, c California Academy of Sciences 2007

Photo: ©billyocallaghan, 2007

The California Academy of Sciences was fortunate to work with local photographer Billy O’Callaghan on the documentation of the residency. His photographs on display in the From the Depths exhibit give a behind-the-scenes view into the collections and the collaboration.

To view a selection of low-resolution images from the exhibit visit the photo gallery.

For high resolution images or press inquiries, contact:
Stephanie Stone at sstone@calacademy.org
Andrew Ng at ang@calacademy.org

View other works by Billy O’Callaghan






Associated with the exhibit From the Depths, the Academy engaged filmmaker Todd Bell of the Techtronic Rocket Society to create a short film of Tiffany Bozic during the residency. The film, “Little Things,” will be on display in From the Depths from November 15, 2007 to January 6, 2008.

Watch "Little Things" »


Press Contact

For high resolution images or press inquiries, contact:

Stephanie Stone at sstone@calacademy.org
Andrew Ng at ang@calacademy.org