Sunday, November 14, 2021

For here or to go?

Will that be for here or to go?

All of the plastic we dish up was found only on 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. It wasn’t left by negligent picnickers, most of it has been at sea a long time before washing ashore.

When the common use of plastic found its way into our lives during WWII, plastic was touted as an exciting new material that would revolutionize and indeed, it has — providing new hips and knees, allowing for unbelievable medical advances. But we’ve been inundated with “convenience” and a throw-away ethos. In the swirl of debris, from food shopping to consumer goods, plastic is the unseen background of daily living.

Besides the blight of plastic itself, a mad scientist's brew of toxic chemicals is leaching into our bodies. We have learned that every human being has traces of plastic polymers in their bloodstream. That’s the bad news we live with these days.

There really is no choice when asked for here or to go? It’s all here, and there is nowhere for it to go. Simply, there is no away.

So here we are at the Cliff House, a place of gathering, a place of celebration, a place on the edge, and yes, we are at a precipitous moment. But we have turned ourselves toward the joy we feel at participating with other creative souls to say what artists have always said, “What if...” and then the miracle of the creative mind catches a breeze, and we are off on a journey all the way out from here to there. “Will that be for here or to go?

Lands End: HERE

For timed tickets: HERE

About HERE

Friday, November 12, 2021

White Out of the Box

It was the luck of the draw that Judith's name was pulled out of the hat to submit an artwork for the Bolinas Museum bi-annual fundraiser Hardly Strictly Mini. 

The Bolinas Museum writes: 

Join us for this favorite biennial holiday exhibition and sale that presents artworks by nearly 100 accomplished coastal Marin and Bay Area artists! Paintings, sculpture, photography, and more – there is something to delight everyone. Almost all artists are selected by an equitable lottery as well as a core group selected by recent Bolinas Museum curators and staff. Participating artists have the choice to contribute either three artworks no larger in any dimension than 6 x 6 inches or one artwork no larger than 18 x 18 inches. The result is exciting, high caliber, varied, and affordable! It is an opportunity for all to give themselves or loved ones the timeless gift of art. Purchases benefit both the artists and the Bolinas Museum

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 20, 3-5 PM

Judith writes about her entry White Out of the Box — 2021:

Why is there something and not nothing?

Calcite and chalk were the first whites used by Paleolithic artists, rendering animals thundering across the walls of caves, in the Dordogne region of France. Although the exact meaning of these artistic expressions may never be known, they are thought to represent some symbolic or religious function.

White is the most common color of plastic that regularly washes up on to Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore. As shards and fragments, these objects represent the use-it and toss-it ethos of our contemporary consumer culture.

Now take a minute and let your eyes adjust, to the seemingly monochrome of this box. With white, nothing but white, there is not the distraction of color wheel colors. But there are subtle variations of the shades. Allow the light reflecting from the shapes to come into view.

You might wonder why white would be included in any discussion about color. White does play an important role in any palette and on any paper. That said, which white is right? From eggshell to polar bear, or how about mayonnaise?

Back in the day, white was made from a carbonate of lead but, unfortunately that caused another kind of delirium. Once it was discovered that lead was the culprit many artists gave up on Lead White. These days a trip to the paint store will reveal an astonishing selection of non-toxic paints:

And, these days, during a walk on the beach you can easily collect a bag full of plastic in whites: antique to quartz to beige, pale cream to golden to caramel.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Love for Breakfast

Meet the intrepid Stacy Messerschmidt who has just launched her podcast and store, Love for Breakfast. We love her and we know you will too when you read her courageous story of taking an enormous life leap, leaving the security of a corporate job to follow her bliss as she sets out to visit all 50 states to celebrate her fiftieth year.

GO Stacy!

We are pleased to be the inaugural program, the first episode on her podcast. You can listen here to our interview with Tracy and you can follow her here @iwantloveforbreakfast and @stacymesserschmidt 

GO Stacy!

Thursday, September 30, 2021


When we step outside the parameters of our One Plastic Beach (1,000 yards of Kehoe Beach) we feel transgressive…beyond the pale. We report about one such offense — a New Year's Eve affair.

But the story in the Point Reyes Light about the rebuild of the parking lot at Drakes Beach and the expansion of the tidal wetlands to make the area more accessible to the elephant seals that come to breed, plus, a visit with Amelia had us bounding to Drakes Beach for an outing.

This last year and a half we haven’t got out much we’ve been at home watching our hair grow. The refreshing ocean breeze was perfect for letting Richard’s freak flag fly.


Oddly reassuring — even though we've been on a beach break, the plastic has not.

Felt like O&H&W to find our tried and true stand-bys from our “hit list”  in just a half-hour.

12 shotgun wads

1 tampon applicator

2 disposable lighters

1 milk pull tab

1 Kraft cheese spreader

2 Starbucks swizzle sticks

Handful of assorted lids 

Chunks and pieces of foam 

2 water bottles



Old Home Week often capitalized O&H&W : a week of special festivities during which a community invites former residents to return for a reunion.

O&H&W - hey, we're back, baby.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Show UP

We almost didn’t go. It’s been a year and a half since we’ve attended an art opening/reception and since the new wave of Covid variants and back-on-with-the-mask-rules, we thought no one else would go either.

Thinking of our Lang’s never give up motto, with the core tenet we always show up, we got in the car, buckled our seat belts and headed in.

Google Map directions guided us over the Golden Gate Bridge then along the path that we drove year after year to work at Electric Works. Past many memorable sites we call “scenes of triumph.” 

Past the innovative green SFPUC building, with an amazing collection of artworks (including three of our prints) curated by the SF Art Commission.

Past the State of California Building where Senator Scott Wiener's office hosted many outstanding art exhibitions

Past the SFPL Main Branch where our Reading Stones are on display and where we totally triumphed in 2012 with our The Plastic in Question.

Past our old digs on 8th Street. The Buzzell Electric Works building looking very closed and shuttered. 

Onward to Minnesota Street Project Remember Pre-Covid when MSP was the lively hub of galleries and events with readings and receptions, the book fair— on and on. We spent so many happy hours there.

Onward to the Rena Bransten Gallery for the exhibition Just one word: Plastics 

With our masks secure, pulled up tight over nose and mouth we stepped in to the largely empty atrium. But, we had an uncanny feeling of belonging when the Greeter looked Richard in the eye and asked, "Are you Noah’s dad?" Out of the blue!!! How did he ever recognize Richard with just the thin slip of his face visible? The greeter Sigfried went on to name Clementine, Aloysius and Kris. It is in the eyes, in the eyes.

Gallerist Trish made us feel especially welcome with the comfy chairs so we settled in to see if and who might attend. Before we knew it we were off and running...Richard was holding forth…

Left: Gallerist Trish Bransten 

Right: Mansur Nuruallah transforms materials that are bound for the trash. Pics from his recent residency at Recology.

To be in the presence of the inspiring Tony Cragg, Palette 1982 with our Shovel Bands hung in proximity was a conjunction of triumphs. Along with Nurullah’s Absence of Light wall piece and Wiley’s Unknown on the floor. 

Soon the gallery filled up with lots of people and lots of small dogs. Even with their masks on, most folks were recognizable but for some it took a double-take to recognize after such a long sheltering time.

We applaud the commitment of the true-blue art professionals and appreciators who always show up. And family who show up: The Lang Gang with Noah, Kris and Clementine since their camping trip was smoked out from the Dixie Fire. They dressed up and showed up. Check out Clementine, stunning in lime green.

It was a grand gathering, even with the muffle behind masks conversation, we got the one word, loud and clear, PLASTIC.

On our way out, there was nothing muffled about @telstarlogistics yabai-kawaii firetruck! and the karaoke. @mike_arcega ’s karaoke and SMOKE!!!


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

38th Parallel

After over a year of sheltering tight, the Covid vaccination is giving us the lift we need to think about enjoying time with other people. We laughingly now say, “Hey, come on over and see what we did during our Covid vacation."

When “outside and distance” became the new normal, we realized that here at RanchoD we have plenty of both. Inspired by the likes of open-air sculpture parks of Storm King in New York and Oliver Ranch in Sonoma, we are creating and placing sculptures on our property.

Welcome to Art Mind Park

On Saturday July 31, we hosted a group of ten people and two dogs from the 38°N Explorers Club for an official inaugural tour of our gardens and sculpture grounds. Thanks to Steve Dunsky for organizing the excursion of folks associated with the Visions of the Wild film festival. This year the festival went online and around the world introducing us to planetary citizens concerned with place and our place in it.

Visions of the Wild sponsored the Global Recycled Plastic Art Challenge introducing our One Beach Plastic project and Shannon and Kathy O’Hares’ Obtainium.

The Nature, Sculture, Community program featured Steve Oliver (Oliver Ranch) and Dana Turkovic  (Laumeier Sculpture Park) 

First stop on our AMP tour: signing in... 

Then we proceeded to the walk the walk and talk the talk about the biological imperative that connects the artworks in our outdoor arena: The Gate, The Drought Dots, The Shrine. Check out Art Mind Park blog a repository for more stories the sculptures/artworks. AMP is still very much a work in progress. Yes, it is the creative process that motivates — the visions of what we have not made yet that keep moving us forward.

Surrounded by the glorious and eye-dazzling images in Richard’s studio, the potluck offerings were delicious and the conversation was lively. Everything goes better with the Large Hadron Collider.

In the afternoon, a smaller group was on its way to Kehoe Beach. 

With the blamy ocean air and the sand swept clean, for most people on the beach, plastic was far from mind. But, as we like to say, "we're professional" and so were the other enthusiasts from our group. Before long we had collected plenty of common shards and recognizable pieces along with a couple of rare finds.

Steve discovered a new geological category of glomerate - glasstiglomerate (campfire melted beer bottle with embedded rocks) akin to the plastiglomerate we used in our Reading Stones.

Dragana retrieved this bolt, getting it out of the waste stream. It goes into the special collection of Bricolage, the moniker the French Dadaists used to refer to objects to be repurposed in a McGiver-like action. A Bricoleur is a handyperson, a DIYer, who can make something out of nothing. We are long practitioners in this industrial-age re-use fun and frolic.

Such a pleasure to share with kindred spirits, among so many other things, the 38th Parallel.

Just One Word


Just One Word  from the Rena Bransten Gallery: 

Each minute one million plastic bottles are used around the world [Reuters].  “… and every minute a chance to change the world…” Dolores Huerta [labor leader, civil rights activist, and catalyst of the environmental-justice movement].

Acknowledging our concern for wildlife, planetary sustainability, and the overwhelming impact of environmental injustice on our children – particularly low income and people of color – the Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to announce our membership in the Gallery Climate Coalition.

Inspired by ecological heroism, we present Just one word…Plastics, an exhibition including work by Edward Burtynsky, Tony Cragg, Mark Dion,  Guillermo Galindo, Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang, Chip Lord, Susan Middleton, Vik Muniz, Mansur Nurullah, Aaron Siskind, and William T. Wiley.  The exhibition will be accompanied by a small shop of zero-waste, ecologically sound, common household goods. The title is taken from a line in The Graduate (1967), a piece of advice from the old guard encouraging a lucrative career and extolling this new material and its many promises.   In retrospect we see the advice as both na├»ve and sinister – a foreshadowing of environmental disaster. 

Press release HERE.