Brooks Institute Presents “Under the Sea”

an Exclusive Look at the Beauty of Santa Barbara’s Underwater World

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Join Brooks Institute at its Gallery 27, located at 27 E. Cota St. in downtown Santa Barbara, as it presents Under the Sea, a stunning multi-media exhibit detailing the elegance and fluid motion of life captured underwater. This unique exhibit showcases the work from the undersea photography students as well as work from the collections of two of its underwater graduates, Kelly Kirlin and Katie Ward. This exhibit will be on display from February 5 – February 27, 2009 and March 9 – March 27, 2009. An artists’ reception will be held on February 5 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. during the First Thursday art walk.

For more than 45 years, Brooks Institute’s undersea class has engaged students in this distinctive and creative environment. Back in the 1960’s, Brooks Institute’s founder and his son, Ernie Brooks and Ernie Brooks Jr., took students diving off the coast of Mexico. This popular excursion turned into a full-time course with an official diving boat that Ernie Brooks kept in the Santa Barbara Harbor called “Just Love.” The students would travel to the Channel Islands and document the beauty of the undersea world. For more than 15 years, Brooks Institute faculty member, Ralph Clevenger, has continued the tradition by teaching these classes in this extraordinary photographic setting. It is from the work of his students that he selected images and videos to be displayed for this exhibit.

Brooks Institute graduates Kelly Kirlin and Katie Ward have translated their knowledge of underwater photography into successful freelance careers incorporating underwater techniques in fashion and portraiture work. Kirlin’s work has appeared in magazines such as Muscle and Fitness Hers and Austin Monthly, and her underwater portraits are featured in the homes of high-profile clients across the nation. Ward dives and freelances in Southern California, and her work is regularly featured at the Kalyra Winery in Santa Barbara. Both alumni will have selections from their underwater portfolios on display. You can view their work respectively at and

"My education from Brooks has transformed my entire life. Through the tools I learned in Portraiture, Fashion, and Under Sea, I was able to create my own niche in the photographic world of underwater portraiture. I am grateful for the talented instructors who lead me down this path, and excited for the possibilities that lay ahead for my career,” said Kirlin.

About Brooks Institute
Brooks Institute celebrates more than 60 years of educating students in the visual and media arts. With campuses in Santa Barbara and Ventura, California, the school offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in fields including Professional Photography, Visual Journalism, Film and Video Production and Graphic Design, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography. Brooks’ graduates are visible nationally and internationally, working for distinguished organizations including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Los Angeles Times and other national media outlets, including Hallmark Publishing, Cousteau Society, HBO, Kodak and other industry leaders in the visual media arts fields. Brooks is part of the Career Education Corporation network of schools (NASDAQ: CECO). For more information about Brooks Institute and the school’s programs, visit, or call 805-966-3888.