About the Artists

Ralph Clevenger

Kathy Copsey

Working underwater and in submerged cages, Ralph Clevenger was able to take the dramatic images presented in the Fragile Waters: Predator or Prey exhibit and provide viewers with an up-close view of these magnificent creatures. In Clevenger’s words, his photography better “allows us to understand them and helps to demystify their reputation as ‘ferocious man-eaters.’” Clevenger grew up on the coast of North Africa and has been diving since he was seven years old. He holds BA degrees in zoology and photography and worked as a diver/biologist for the Scripps Institute before becoming a senior faculty member at Brooks Institute. Clevenger has taught for 33 years and traveled throughout the world on photography assignments and for publication. Now based in Santa Barbara, he “pursues his passion for the natural world by specializing in location photography and video projects of eco-travel, environmental portraiture, wildlife, and undersea subjects.

Kathy has been a self-taught, freelance artist her entire life with a serious dedication on her art for over 33 years, she has won numerous awards for her artwork, and she has had her artwork spread as far away as two different Kung Fu schools in China and her books as far away as Australia. Kathy’s current style of painting includes texture (molding paste, pumice gel, gloss gel, etc) to create a contrast between the areas with only paint and areas with texture. She wanted to create more of a 3D look, and she has actually created “Actual 3D” paintings (acrylic paintings with parts of the painting done on multiple pieces of clear acrylic much like how a digital 3D picture can be created), but then she decided to start using texture which she “sculpts” into the shape she wants and then adds paint to enhance her pictures, giving them a unique style and look. This is also designed to help others share in the passion and love she feels for animals, giving them the sense the animals are real and that they could reach out and touch the texture of an animal’s coat, feathers, or fur.