The Catalina Island Museum presented the official opening of Tipping Point from acclaimed sculpture artist Elizabeth Turk on July 13. Inspired by nature and the environment, Turk seeks to explore the extinction of birds in North America in this outdoor installation at the museum.

The interactive installation open now through March 2020, was enjoyed by islanders and mainlanders alike during Saturday evening’s reception.

In Turk’s celebration entitled ThinkLab LIVE .003: Tipping Point; “ARE WE CREATING A SILENCE?” her abstract art was partnered with a representation of what it would be like for us, humans, to go extinct. With many of California’s Channel Island birds on the cusp of extinction, Turk titled her work “Tipping Point” to highlight the dangers these animals face. She asked all attendees to wear white to represent “ghosts” and ended the night in darkness to represent extinction.

“I can’t think of a time when I have been part of a project with a subject so critical and relevant,” said Julie Perlin Lee, Executive Director of the Catalina Island Museum.

This adventurous evening in the arts included a dance by The Assembly Dance Co. choreographed by the group’s founder Lara Wilson, an interactive performance created by attendees with music inspired by the sounds of birds and created by world-renowned Composer Michael Mortilla and Violinist Nicole Garcia. To conclude, attendees were guided through the process of creating a “Light Canopy,” where messages and light designs were written in the sky with an electronic candle.

The entire evening was captured using photography and videography which represents another facet to the installation. The video can be seen using this link:

By representing the disappearance of a species and the loss of time, Turk brought her artwork to life using human subjects to explore the potential darkness. The questions Turk examined through her night-long journey of art were apparent: Are we creating a silence? What would happen if we lost our humanity? What can we do for the endangered birds?

Tipping Point will be on view at the Catalina Island Museum through March 2020 and is accessible with general admission museum tickets. Members of the museum receive free admission. Each Thursday now through September 5, the museum will host “Tip a Glass with Tipping Point,“ during extended evening hours from 6:00 – 9:00 PM for guests to experience the magic of Turk’s installation after dark.

About Catalina Island Museum
The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website:

About Elizabeth Turk
A native Californian, greatly influenced by the natural wonders of the state, Turk is primarily known for her elegant marble sculptures that reflect this natural world. In 2010, her innovative work earned her a prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, as well as the Annalee & Barnett Newman Foundation award. In 2011, she received a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, where she began her ongoing study of seashells recently referenced in the Shoreline Project, an interactive community art project hosted by the Laguna Art Museum. The project, successfully collaborating with the whole community, included 1,000 volunteers lifting illuminated umbrellas and moving together along Laguna Beach.