Moss in the City

Quite a while back I started a photo project called “One Mile Squared” that focused on wandering in proximity to my house and looking for cool subject matter. Those photos included a neighbor’s yard that was full of assembled driftwood, another house that has abundance of perfectly round hedges in rows, a rose bush as big as a house, old fences, and a car bed on San Pablo Avenue full of 4 foot tall letters. Yes, this was the project conceived by a mom with small kids who was walking to and from school and like places. A project I could do using what I saw on ordinary days.

Clumpy Moss Photo
"Brick and Clumpy Moss," Cedar Avenue, West Berkeley 2006

Two things happened as I was working on this One Mile Squared photo project. One tragic and one happy coincidence.

A new Rotarian friend of mine, Paul Rogers and his wife Julie, were murdered in their home by Julie’s brother. They had three children, the youngest of whom was home when the murder took place. It should be said that Paul and Julie were very well liked and deeply involved in their community. Julie’s brother is/was most likely mentally ill and was convinced of the crime.

Moss Photos
"24 Bricks and Moss," Cedar Avenue, West Berkeley, 2006

The Rogers’ tragedy caused me to take more pictures and push myself to find more time for art. Since I’d had children I’d been telling myself “Life is Long”, –you are going to live a long time Karen, so you’ll have time for art later. I realized sometimes it doesn’t work out the way and there is no certainty.

The happy coincidence is that this same year we got a ton of rain, and I discovered beautiful moss growing on the sidewalks of my town. On days that the sun came out right after a good rain, I’d be out with my camera looking to capture the moss before it dried up and disappeared again. These because the Moss in the City Series.

Moss Photos
"Infinite Bricks and Moss," Cedar Avenue, West Bekeley, CA 2006


These photos were exhibited at the Albany Arts Gallery and the Velvet Moss Gallery in 2008.

2 thoughts on “Moss in the City

  1. That’s a good point Jeri. I was unsure about how to talk about what happened to my Rotary friend. Decided to matter of fact. I’m confident Paul and Julie would be pleased that they inspired me to take action and told people so.

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