Untitled photograph by Katherine Ward

Untitled photograph by Katherine Ward

Under the Sea at Brooks Institute’s Gallery 27

Photo Adventure of the Week

While our big blue backyard can be enjoyed throughout the year, the students of Brooks Institute of Photography have chosen February to remind us just how lucky we are to live near the water. Starting this Thursday, Brooks’s Gallery 27 (27 E. Cota St.) will play host to Under the Sea, a multimedia photo exhibit that sets out to capture the beauty of underwater life. And considering the school’s history of incorporating ocean photography into its curriculum, it’s not surprising that the works on display are truly top notch.

When Brooks founder Ernest H. Brooks Sr. was succeeded by his son, Ernest H. Brooks Jr., in 1970, the younger Brooks began to introduce his love of underwater photography to the student masses. Since then, the link between the school and the Pacific has been strong. Today, faculty member Ralph Clevenger works hard to carry on this deep-rooted tradition, teaching numerous classes in underwater technique. It is the work of Clevenger’s current students, as well as alumni Kelly Kirlin and Katie Ward, which will combine to make up the Under the Sea exhibit.

Kirlin, best known for her startling underwater portraiture, has been featured in the pages of both Muscle & Fitness Hers and Austin Monthly, as well as on the walls of S.B.’s own Kalyra Winery. “My education from Brooks has transformed my entire life,” said Kirlin in a recent statement. “Through the tools I learned in portraiture, fashion, and undersea [photography], I was able to create my own niche in the photographic world of underwater portraiture. I am grateful and excited for the possibilities that lay ahead for my career.”

An opening reception for Under the Sea will be held this Thursday, February 5, from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit will hang in Gallery 27 through Friday, February 27, then again from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 27. For additional information or gallery hours, call 585-8000 or visit

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