This extraordinary exhibition features captivating color “portraits” of seaweed, inspired by Josie Iselin’s book of the same name. The exhibition shares surprising stories highlighting Indigenous peoples’ and women’s connections to seaweed and examines its vital role as the base of the food chain.

Seaweeds have three requirements for survival: something to hold onto, sunlight to provide energy, and nutrients to fuel growth. They find these three elements in a thin section of the ocean, which accounts for less than two percent of the entire sea floor. Yet seaweeds are the supreme eco-engineers, oxygenating the waters and creating habitats for countess organisms. This exhibition examines how these surprisingly sophisticated marine plants keep our planet opulently rich in life. 

Order the Book

Pick up a copy of the book that inspired the exhibit, The Curious World of Seaweed. In this beautiful volume Josie Iselin explores both the artistic and the biological presence of sixteen seaweeds and kelps that live in the thin region where the Pacific Ocean converges with the North American continent—a place of incomparable richness. 

Also available for purchase in-person at the Museum Store.

Josie Iselin is a photographer, author, and designer of many books. Her newest book, The Curious World of Seaweed, presents visually rich narratives of our iconic West Coast seaweeds and kelps. It was released by Heyday Books in August 2019 and has been shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and the Alice Award, recognizing illustrated books. She holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. She currently teaches in the School of Design at SFSU.

Visit her website: https://bullkelp.info/

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The Curious World of Seaweed is a traveling exhibition from author and artist Josie Iselin in partnership with Exhibit Envoy. The exhibit is based on the book of the same name by Iselin (Heyday Books).

Thanks to Our Exhibit Sponsors