Center for Environmental Literacy


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2014 River of Words Poetry and Art Contest Winners

Grand Prize winners and our Teacher of the Year were honored at the 2014 Youth Creativity Awards on June 15 at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California (just outside San Francisco).

The Comprehensive Keith: 100th Anniversary Celebration

Date & Time 
Sun, 10/02/2011 - 11:00 to Sun, 12/18/2011 - 17:00

More than 145 paintings from the Saint Mary's College William Keith collection, including new acquisitions and newly restored paintings will be on view. The exhibition coincides with the publication of a important new book on the life and work of the great 19th century landscape painter -- The Comprehensive Keith, a 232 page volume with 262 new color images and extensive references.

7th Annual Summer Wine Festival

Date & Time 
Sun, 08/14/2011 - 14:00 to 17:00
7th Annual Summer Wine FestivalEnjoy an afternoon of wine tasting, delicious appetizers and great conversations on the Saint Mary's College campus.  Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction support student scholarships at Saint Mary's College. 

Gift of The Gods; Exploring Maize

Date & Time 
Sun, 04/10/2011 - 14:00 to Sun, 06/19/2011 - 15:08

Opening day events: Sunday, April 10, 2011 -- 2 p.m., in the Soda Activity Center

Opening Day Talk: The Mystery of the Inca Maize Belts (the Da Vinci Code without the Murders) Lynn Meisch, Ph.D.

For more information about this exhibit contact:

Anna Novakov publishes new book

Anna Novakov's latest book, "Phantom Architecture: Essays on Interwar Architecture in Belgrade," has been published by UC Berkeley's Beatrice Bain Research Group. Anna was a Scholar-in-Residence with them from 2008-2010.


Join us for an evening of wine and hors d'oeuvres

"The Language of the Spirit" with Michael Krasny, Robert Hass, and Brenda Hillman

Saturday, February 28, 2015, 6-9 p.m.

Dolby Chadwick Gallery
210 Post Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, CA 94108
Map  |  Parking Information

RSVP HERE by February 12, 2015 

Contact us for tickets to a VIP champagne hour with the panelists.

krasnyMichael Krasny, Ph.D. is host of KQED’s award-winning news and public affairs program Forum, the nation’s most-listened-to locally produced public radio talk show. He has also served as host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation and as a frequent interviewer for the City Arts & Lectures series. Krasny is a professor of English at San Francisco State University and has published fiction, literary criticism and political commentary. He is the author of Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest and Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life, coauthor of the textbook Sound Ideas, and creator of the DVD presentation “Masterpieces of Short Fiction." He lives in Marin County.


hassRobert Hass is one of the nation's most celebrated poets, a distinguished UC Berkeley professor, an environmental activist, a noted translator and the author of many books of poetry and prose, most recently Time and Materials, which received the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, The Apple Trees at Olema, and a collection of essays, What Light Can Do. A Saint Mary's alumnus, Hass '63 is also the co-founder of the River of Words program, an education initiative that integrates nature and the arts into K-12 classrooms nationwide, and the International Youth Creativity Awards, the largest youth poetry and art competition in the world. 



hillmanBrenda Hillman is the author of nine full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Practical Water (2009), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013), which received  the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014. With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand PermissionNew Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003), and has co-translated Poems from Above the Hill by Ashur Etwebi and Instances by Jeongrye Choi. Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice. 




Limited space available

 Proceeds of this event benefit the MFA Scholarship Fund.  The fair market value of this event is $50.  All contributions exceeding fair market value are tax-deductible to the extent that the law allows.

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Current Exhibitions

See the Upcoming Exhibitions page for more information on shows coming to the SMCMoA.                                       


Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection

January 25 – March 22

An extraordinary traveling exhibition of a unique collection of works of art by renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude will visit the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art.

The collection includes original drawings, sculptures, collages and photographs capturing the versatility, longevity and international scope of the duo’s extensive career.

One of the largest collections of art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the United States, it was started by Tom Golden in the summer of 1974. Golden’s personal and professional relationship with the artists began during the 1974 public hearings for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s project “Running Fence.” Golden continued to manage and assist with several of the artist’s large-scale projects such as “The Umbrellas” and “Over the River.” Drawings and collages of the large-scale public works, sold to fund the actual installations, are an important component of this collection.

As partners for more than 40 years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have created lasting environmental installation art throughout the world. Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile long curtain titled “Running Fence” in California, and most recently “The Gates” in New York City’s Central Park. Because their large-scale public projects are temporary, these preliminary artworks remain as evidence of these installations.

This collection represents not only the special relationship between an artist and a collector, but also the collaborative effort between the artists and the many people involved in producing the works 

The circulating exhibition is organized by the Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Gates

  Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Church



Take a Picture/Tell a Story

January 25 – March 15

In this intimate body of work photographer Robert Gumpert documents California criminal justice institutions.  After finishing the photography, Gumpert returns to do extensive interviews with people in all areas of the institution.  This oral history, folklore and interpretation provide the text, adding a framework and voice to the project. The photographs that make up Take a Picture/Tell a Story cannot be considered independently of the audio produced during their making; the success of the project depends on the interplay between what the photograph communicates concerning the subject and that subject’s own words. The audio provides the history and the context (be it drugs, abuse, race, gang life, mistakes made, a pregnancy, anger, sorrow) that completes the image.  Gumpert tells his subjects, “The story is yours to choose and the picture is mine to take.”

Robert Gumpert

“I need some deodorant. My skin’s getting restless.”

Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES)

The photographs and text in this exhibition were taken at the Alameda County’s Psychiatric Emergency Services at John George.  The public acute psychiatric care facility, sits just below the juvenile detention center in the southern part of Alameda County, CA. No patient is supposed to stay longer than 4 or 5 hours before being evaluated, then admitted or released.  They often stay 12, 24 and sometimes 72 hours because there are no beds available for them.

This body of work is one of a three-part project done between 1996 and 2002 on public emergency health care through the eyes of healthcare workers.

In the summer of 1974 Robert Gumpert documented the last three months of the United Mineworkers’ coal strike in Harlan County, Kentucky.  Thus began a career in photojournalism and documentary photography. Since then he has continued to photograph people working their jobs -- women hard rock miners and home health care workers, bakers at fancy hotels and homicide detectives investigating murders in the middle of the night. For five years (1979-83) he worked in New York City as a freelance photographer – covering basic working conditions, health and safety issues, protests, living conditions and social involvement. He continues this work now as a contract photographer for the California Department of Industrial Relations and has documented workplaces and apprenticeship programs up and down the state.

  Robert Gumpert

OPENING DAY DISCUSSIONS: Sunday, January 25, 2:00 PM Soda Center

Raphael Sperry, AIA is president of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility. He researches the intersection of architecture and planning with human rights with a special focus on prisons and jails, and advocates for design professionals to play a larger role in supporting human rights in the built environment. He is an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts and has taught at Stanford University. He holds an M.Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture and a B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard University.

Sperry will discuss the impact of today's prison designs on people's human rights.  The history of prison design is a cycle of good intentions that leads to abuse and failure. Current jail/prison designs emphasize control and security operations; a mode of thinking that reaches its endpoint in super-max prisons.

Terry Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. is Institute Professor at The Wright Institute and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He provides expert testimony in class action litigation regarding the psychological effects of prison conditions including isolated confinement in super-maximum security units, the quality of correctional mental health care, and the effects of sexual abuse in correctional settings.  He is author of Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It (1999) and co-editor of Prison Masculinities (2002).  He is a Contributing Editor of Correctional Mental Health Report. He received the 2005 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Kupers will discuss how that in spite of a number of recent court rulings the jails and prisons of the country are functioning as surrogate mental health facilities, a task they are not prepared to do.


William Keith and the Native American

October 12, 2014 – March 15, 2015

Master landscape artist William Keith (1838–1911) is widely recognized for his dramatic and magnificent paintings of California’s natural grandeur. He often traveled with naturalist John Muir with whom he shared a transcendent view of nature, reveling in its beauty, majesty and mystery. During their trips, Muir observed Indians, hired them as scouts, approved of their harmony with nature and ability to live off the land, influencing Keith’s views of the Indians that populated the mountains and valleys of the Western landscape.

Keith also shared Muir’s concerns about the great changes playing out in the development of the West. As he painted the monumental mountains, valleys and rivers of California, Keith depicted Indians as they went about their daily lives, showing them living in a land as yet unshaped by the new immigrants. But Keith believed that the Indians’ world, as it had existed for centuries, was destined to disappear. In contrast, however, his paintings from the 1870s and 1880s show Indians engaged in both commerce and social interaction, suggesting a hope that the Indian would be able to adapt and survive in the new California society.

From the Collection of the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art



Saint Mary’s offers a variety of opportunities to engage your creative side, from day trips and individual classes in film to academic majors and minors in Art and Art History and in Performing Arts: Dance, Music, and Theatre.  There is also an undergraduate minor in Creative Writing.


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1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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