Frank Bette Center Presents ‘Egret Making Contact’

The Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., is open to view Gerry Traucht’s exhibit Friday through Sunday, July 23 to 25 and July 30 to Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Friday Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gerry Traucht

Frank Bette Center Presents ‘Egret Making Contact’

Egrets return to their Alameda egret colony every year in spring to a calm accessible neighborhood by the water to an experience like no other in a Bay Area city. But they are high up in the pine trees on Bay Farm Island.

Photographer Gerry Traucht has made these wonderful birds now more visible close up at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts Alameda. Some are larger than life, like “The Gatekeekper,” pictured at the right, enhancing the experience.

To stand in a gallery surrounded by strong egret personalities is an event. Direct eye contact, swaying poses, sky dances, rituals, a pair of great egrets merging into one bird, snowy egrets operating beyond the limits of our five senses and journeys into mixed realities are the egrets’ way of life.

The egrets photographed by Traucht reveal a leadership of egrets as they transform from beautiful birds to an apparent natural entity making contact.

On the gallery TV screen, the photographs are accompanied by three slideshows of Traucht’s egret photographs. One show is accompanied by sacred music from another century and another by the actual voices of the egrets, which are musical, communicative. And interactive.

With his lens, Traucht captures the striking personalities of egrets standing gracefully at city entrances, by freeways, lagoons, and parks.

He has taken special notice of egrets in Alameda. Traucht’s photographs reveal movement that looks like dance, close-up images of individual birds looking into the camera, and wild feathers caught in a frenzied fraction of a second.

The exhibit at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. (at Lincoln Avenue), runs through Friday, Aug. 6.