Art Galleries

Faces of Fracking

When: Jan. 14-31 2015

The facts about fracking, the procedure of extracting oil and gas from rocks using hydraulic pressure, are frightening: In the LA Basin alone, 532 oil and gas wells are using high-intensity production techniques and toxic chemicals, and in too many cases injecting waste into the ground above groundwater aquifers and near farms that produce nearly half of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. But, for most of us in Northern California, it’s an abstract environmental issue that we only read about. With the Faces of Fracking project, the Citizen Engagement Lab’s (CEL) Climate Lab has been documenting the stories of people whose lives are directly affected by fracking and those leading the grassroots movement against it. The multi-media project is hosted on, and each subject’s story is made up of photographs, an audio interview, and a written narrative. Now, these photographs, taken by Sarah Craig, are on view at Solespace (1714 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) in an exhibition titled after the project. Alongside each large, emotive, and beautifully printed portrait is a lengthy description of the person’s situation (written by Tara Lohan) and a QR code that links to the accompanying audio interview. It’s a poignant and accessible first step to better understanding a crucial discussion. Opening reception on Friday, January 16, 7-10 pm, featuring a Q&A with Craig and Lohan. --Sarah Burke

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