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Indepth Arts News:

"Life on the Edge"
2000-07-15 until 2000-10-15
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The exhibit features 33 color prints, four informational panels and a framed poster by artist-photographer Anne Heimann. The exhibit features 33 color prints, four informational panels and a framed poster by artist-photographer Anne Heimann. The exhibit is free with museum admission. In Life on the Edge, Heimann explores what naturalist Rachel Carson called the primeval meeting place of Earth and water: the precarious edge where the land meets the sea. Her photographs range from scenics to close-ups, portraits, and textures of the immense variety of animals and plants that live in these intertidal communities. Photographed throughout North America, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the images include both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

A series called Eight Edges consists of eight shores from sheer cliffs dropping 4,000 feet into the ocean on Kauai's Na Pali Coast to a shimmering blue glacier on Alaska's edge. Splash zone plants hugging rocky shores and wind-sculpted trees cling to rugged cliffs. Close-ups of plants and animals reveal the mostly hidden world of lower intertidal zones: sea stars and anemones anchored to rocks; jungles of algae, rockweeds, and kelp. Other denicens of the shore include endangered Steller sea lions basking on a rock, dense flocks of shorebirds forming an avian wave, and seabirds that nest by the thousands on narrow ledges high above the ocean.

The exhibit explains the complex interrelationships of Life on the Edge: the intertidal zones and their inhabitants; the different saltwater shores: from placid bays to windswept rocks of ancient seas, studded with fossils 620 million years old, and the importance of protecting these fragile worlds and the highly adapted animals and plants that live there.

This has been an exciting but difficult show to put together, Heimann says. I am constantly astonished at the complexity and the abundance of life in these ever-changing communities that exist where the land and the sea meet.

It is easy to look, but not necessarily to see. By isolating images and specific scenes in my photographs, my hope is that viewers will become more aware of the amazing variety, beauty, and importance of this fragile edge.

Anne Heimann's work has exhibited widely in art and natural history museums, galleries, nature centers and aquariums. Her photographs have also appeared in numerous nature publications and is part of permanent exhibits both here and abroad.

Life on the Edge is the third in her ongoing environmental photo series of endangered and threatened species and ecosystems.

Life on the Edge can be enjoyed Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10 through August 28. Closed Independence Day. Museum admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $4 for children ages 3-18 and full-time students with ID, and free to children under age 3 and Carnegie members. Convenient visitor parking is available in the museum's six-level garage at Forbes Avenue and S. Craig Street. For more information, call (412) 622-3131 or visit the museum's Web site at www.CarnegieMuseums.org/cmnh.

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