Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center - CODAworx

Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center

Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Location: San Diego, CA, United States

Completion date: 1994

Project Team

Austine Studios

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


“The Realm of the Tide” was commissioned in 1994 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Tijuana Estuary Reserve just south of San Diego, California. The main interactive Polage artwork of this installation is 4’ by 5′ while the other six round Polage artworks in this installation are 12” each. These works are just another example of the incredible art medium invented by Austine Wood Comarow and mastered by the team at Austine Studios.


In creating artwork for the estuary, Austine and the designers faced the challenge of representing a precious natural resource that to the untrained eye appears to be barren and barely populated. Polage artwork is the perfect medium to meet this exhibit challenge. The second image you see is how the viewer first encounters the piece. A couple of birds dot a mostly monochrome background. Once the viewer looks through the polarizing filter, over 77 species of colorful flora and fauna particular to this estuary come to life (first image).

As the filter is rotated, the seasons change in the estuary. The viewer is able to identify various species of plant-life and birds as the guide talks about the importance of the area, and the migratory visitations of the fowl.

With this interactive medium, the viewer’s attention is captivated for long periods of time while they learn about the area, held by the interactivity and beauty of the Polage.