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Level Up!

Presented by MarinMOCA at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato CA

Nov 21 2020
Dec 24 2020
Level Up!

A sculptural view of sea level rise by MarinMOCA’s Artist In Residence

Exhibition Dates:
* November 21 – December 24

Residents of Southern Marin may have seen a magical horizon of black and white obelisks rising from the flooded marshes of Mill Valley and Sausalito. It’s not a mirage. They are field study models of sculptures that call attention to the rising sea waters around us.

Ceramicist and sculptor Jeff Downing has been MarinMOCA’s resident artist for the past year. His examination of this environmental threat is the inspiration for this current exhibition “Level up! A Sculptural View of Sea Level Rise.”

Mr. Downing explains “My project’s purpose is to call attention to rising ocean levels, question our preconceptions of climate change, and help communities to visualize the potential impact on coastal environments. As part of my Aqua Metric Sea level Rise series, I am using the aesthetic appeal of large-scale ceramic sculpture, which gages tidal levels and marks the inundation of commercial and residential property in Marin.”

Sea level rise is progressively impacting the earth regardless of how strongly we curtail the use of fossil fuels. According to data compiled by the California Coastal Commission, San Francisco Bay is projected to see a rise between 1.1 and 2.7 feet by 2050. Water levels can rise even higher when augmented by storms and periodic King Tides (the highest naturally occurring tides), potentially causing great damage and loss of our coastline and coastal property.

MarinMOCA Executive Director Nancy Rehkopf sums it up, “This project ties together the scientific and creative worlds in a highly visual form which we hope brings the threat of climate change and the resulting sea level rise to the forefront of our conversations about life in Marin County.”

Gallery visitors will view Mr. Downing’s Aqua Metric Markers and will see photos of the portable versions installed during recent King Tides in southern Marin. The public will also see photos of previous sculptures which have been placed in flood waters in six separate locations in Marin.

Photos of the flooded markers were posted online through the California Coastal Commission’s King Tides Project app. Explanatory text will provide more information about our current sea rise issues in Marin. Viewers will also enjoy other work completed during the MarinMOCA residency including a wall sculpture called “Rise Abovid” and large ceramic sentinel dogs.

See website for artist bio


Free admission

Contact: 415-506-0137


    Official Website

Additional time info:

Museum Hours (no reservation required, see visit protocols):
Wed-Fri:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat-Sun:  11:00 am – 5:00 pm


Marin Museum of Contemporary Art

500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA 94949


Free Parking and Handicapped Accessible


    • Wheelchair Access



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