by Estelle De Ridder, posted by Deb Shaw

The California Islands Symposia have been held more or less, every five years since 1965, to share up-to-date information about the management, scientific research, work in all disciplines of natural and cultural science and general well-being of the California islands.

The 9th California Island Symposium for 2016 is being held at the Marriott Hotel, Ventura, California. One of the less scientific and more entertaining presentations of this symposium will be the Art Exhibit that has been advertised for more than six months. The three jurors worked hard and with diligence to put together a coherent show that will present the Channel Islands to the public in an inviting and interesting manner. After the symposium, the exhibit will be moved to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, where it will be on display for another three weeks.

The Channel Islands of California comprise eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the Southern California coast. Five of the islands and the surrounding waters are part of Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

The Park is supported by many partners who share the protection of the history and prehistory, the cultural and biological diversity as well as protecting vital habitat for marine, terrestrial plant and animal species.

Public appreciation through education, interpretation and research is widely promoted.

Isolation over many thousands of years has developed unique animals, plants and archeological resources found ONLY on these islands and makes is possible for visitors to experience the western coast of the North America as it used to be.

Visitation has increased dramatically over the years, and with contracted concessionaires, the numbers show how the interest in the islands have grown:
1963   = 1,200
2014   =   342,000

Malva assurgentiflora, the Island Mallow, Mission Mallow, Royal Mallow, Island Tree Mallow. © 2016, Estelle De Ridder. Malva Rosa is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family. It is endemic to California, where it is native only to the Channel Islands. It can also be found growing as an escapee from cultivation in coastal mainland California. This illustration was done on drafting film and paper with watercolor and colored pencil.

Malva assurgentiflora, the Island Mallow, Mission Mallow, Royal Mallow, Island Tree Mallow. © 2016, Estelle De Ridder, all rights reserved. Watercolor and colored pencil on drafting film and paper.

Flora on the Channel Islands include a unique subspecies of pine, oak and island tree mallow.

Santa Rosa Island holds two groves of the endemic to the island, Torrey pine subspecies Pinus torreyana var. insularis. Torrey pines are the United States’ rarest pine species. The islands also house many rare and endangered species of plants, including the island barberry, the island rush rose, and the Santa Cruz Island lace pod. Giant kelp forests surround the islands and act as a source of nutrition and protection for other animals.

BAGSC members Estelle De Ridder, Mitsuko Schultz and Ellie Tu are participating in the exhibition.

Estelle has illustrated two species: Malva assurgentiflora and Heteromeles abtutifolia.

Malva assurgentiflora, the Island Mallow, Mission Mallow, Royal Mallow, Island Tree Mallow, Malva Rosa is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family. It grows into a strikingly architectural shrub/small tree with beautiful white bark.

It is endemic to California, where it is native only to the Channel Islands. It can also be found growing as an escapee from cultivation in coastal mainland California.

Estelle’s painting of Heteromeles abtutifolia was done on paper with watercolor and colored pencil. Heteromeles abtutifolia, Toyon berry, grows on the north-facing coastal bluffs of Santa Cruz Island. It grows on all the other islands, except Santa Barbara island, and was planted on San Nicolas.

Plantanus racemosa, California Sycamore, Watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Plantanus racemosa, California Sycamore, Watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Mitsuko Schultz had her Platanus racemosa, California Sycamore accepted to the exhibition.

Ellie Tu has three pieces in the exhibition: Dudleya greenei, Coreopsis, and Leptosyne gigantea Kellogg.

Leptosyne gigantea Kellogg (formerly Coreopsis gigantea), Giant Coreopsis is a strikingly strange plant. It grows on dunes, rocky cliffs and exposed slopes, and has a fleshy trunk and branches. It can reach heights of eight feet with a five inch trunk. It is deciduous and dormant in the dry season, taking on an other worldly appearance when visitors hike through a large stand of them. In spring, however, masses of bright yellow blooms put on quite a show.

Ceanothus arboreus, Feltleaf Ceanothus, or Island Ceanothus. Watercolor, © 2016, Ellie Tu, all rights reserved.

Ceanothus arboreus, Feltleaf Ceanothus, or Island Ceanothus. Watercolor, © 2016, Ellie Tu, all rights reserved.

Leptosyne gigantea Kellogg, (formerly Coreopsis gigantea), Giant Coreopsis, Ellie Tu, colored pencil, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Leptosyne gigantea Kellogg, (formerly Coreopsis gigantea), Giant Coreopsis, Ellie Tu, colored pencil, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Dudleya greenei, watercolor by Ellie Tu, © 2016, all rights reserved. This plant grows in the Channel Islands National Park.

Dudleya greenei, watercolor by Ellie Tu, © 2016, all rights reserved. This plant grows in the Channel Islands National Park.

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