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When the staff at the Chula Vista Nature Center come into work these days, they look at a large fish tank near the front door and often see a bunch of brightly colored fish curled up inside a little circular ball of glass.

James Stone was the “architect” of their nighttime hideaway, though he didn’t know that’s what he was making. Stone’s a local glass artist the center commissioned to make sculptures and glass pieces inspired by tropical fish. When Stone dunked his artwork in the tank, the fish moved right in, like, “Oh boy! A new place to live!” he said.

Talk about interactive artwork. The fish are treating some of these pieces like they would the natural reefs and anemones and other wildlife that naturally occurs in the oceans they came from, hiding in them at night, said the center’s director of conservation, Charles Gailband.

I visited the Chula Vista center with NBC7 San Diego this week for our weekly video look at something interesting happening in local arts. Here’s the clip:

View more videos at: http://www.nbcsandiego.com.

I really liked what Stone had to say in the clip about why glass as a medium might lend itself well to artists who want to make statements about preserving the oceans:

Glass is very much like water. When you’re working with fluid glass it’s like trying to take water and freeze it in a certain shape. So it has a lot of water qualities, both in the way it works and the way it looks when it’s done.

The center’s having a fair with the artists who made work in the “Art Aquatic” exhibit next Saturday, Aug. 20.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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