Marking San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s (SLOMA) first public show since the beginning of the pandemic, Atmospheres Deep will premiere for the public at the end of May. This multimedia group exhibition examines coastal regions above and below the ocean’s surface to emulate these atmospheres and uncover human impact on the ocean. The artworks selected for Atmospheres Deep present the feeling of increasing atmospheric pressure experienced during ocean exploration. Atmospheres Deep begins Saturday, May 29, and runs through Sunday, August 1. Reflected in the reopening, the Museum also announces new hours of 11 a.m. to 5p.m. from Thursday – Monday each week.  

Presented in collaboration with SUPERCOLLIDER, Atmospheres Deep draws metaphorical parallels between the real and the psychological pressure we experience in reaction to an impending ecological tipping point for the overall health of marine ecosystems. 

The artists featured in the exhibition include Christine Wertheim, Carolina Caycedo, Courtney Mattison, Stephen Ehret, Elena Soterakis, Maru Garcia, Isabel Beavers, Danielle Parsons, Richelle Gribble, Emma Akmakdijan, among others. For the Atmospheres Deep exhibition, each artists’ work embodies a desire to rekindle society’s relationship with the world’s oceans and illustrates these critical issues in a range of mixed media video works, sculptures and paintings. 

“SLOMA is thrilled to be reopening to our public so we can continue our mission of being accessible, relevant and exciting to the community we serve,” said Leann Standish, executive director of SLOMA. “The California Central Coast region benefits so much from the ecological beauty and diversity of the ocean. Atmospheres Deep will really strike a cord with our regional audiences and highlight important issues.”   

In celebration of the Atmospheres Deep exhibition, SLOMA will host a Zoom panel discussion on June 23 from 6–7 PM PST. The panel discussion will be moderated by Guest Curators Richelle Gribble and Emma Akmakdjian with conversation between Maru Garcia, Christine Wertheim Elena Soterakis, and Benjamin Ruttenberg, marine biologist and Director of Cal Poly’s Center for Coastal Marine Science. Interested parties may register for the panel discussion on the exhibition webpage: https://sloma.org/exhibition/atmospheres-deep/ 

In addition to reopening, SLOMA is launching “Gallery on the Go”, free family art making activities every Second Saturday. For Atmospheres Deep, the “Gallery on the Go” art kits will contain paintable ocean-themed postcards with Spira algae pigment to be used for the watercolor painting activity. The activity encourages people to think creatively about the use of ocean byproducts and sustainable artistic materials. 

Atmospheres Deep is generously sponsored by Barbara Renshaw with additional support from Hotel SLO, Pacific Western Bank and PG&E.  

SLOMA will also be hosting Objectifying, an exhibition featuring the sculptures of Elisa Ortega Montilla, beginning May 29 through June 27, 2021. Montilla’s work explores the objectification of women’s bodies and mixes fine woodworking with repurposed textiles, mostly women’s undergarments. These mixed-media sculptures focus on three fundamental parts of who she is: her experience of being a woman and her feminist values; her feelings of acculturation from living in the US while maintaining her Spanish identity; and her opposition to consumerism and commitment to environmental sustainability. In conjunction with this exhibition, Montilla will be giving an artist talk discussing her practices and the role of feminism in contemporary art via Instagram Live on Wednesday, June 2 from 6–6:30 PM PST. Viewers can access the conversation at @SLOMuseumOfArt.