Archived HH&F and Karla Leopold page

Upcoming Exhibit:

Harriman, Fawcett & Falcon Present: the Salton Sea Studies: a Visual Representation of an in Depth Exploration comes to Re-Gallery March 30 – May 30, 2012.

Re-Gallery is pleased to present a collaborative exhibition by local artists assuming the identities of Harriman, Fawcett and Falcon.  The exhibition will examine the Salton Sea from its rise as a popular recreation destination in the mid-20th century to its decline into a harsh, ecologically devastated landscape.  Harriman, Fawcett and Falcon – an unlikely trio of disgraced captain of industry, archaeologist and explorer – document their  individual experiences at the Salton Sea via installation, illustration, hand drawn maps, case notes of their findings, soil samples, and photography.

In 1905, the levees for a project to divert the flow of the Colorado River burst. Trillions of gallons of water were spilled into a prehistoric lake bed. By the time the leak was stopped, the resulting Salton Sea covered 400 square miles of desert. Things were looking up in the 1950s when fishing and boating attracted the makings of any decent resort town – retirees and celebrities – but several years of tropical storms washed away investment dollars.  If you visit the Salton Sea today you’ll find abandoned homes, hotels, and businesses.  The Sea is also stagnant, causing serious problems for its aquatic ecosystem.  Chemical reactions turn the surface red and lime green, causing massive, odiferous fish die-offs; and sick fish poison the more than 400 species of birds living there.  Dead fish literally form a ring around the lake.  Historical figures Harriman, Fawcett and Falcon’s experiences at the Salton Sea reflect elements of wonder, suffering and the unknown.  Their imagery and objects possess an eerily quiet and stark beauty, speaking to the otherworldly, almost post-apocalyptic nature of the environment.

Chosen for their influence upon the Salton Sea and their history of exploration, Harriman, Fawcett and Falcon’s personae are as much part of the concept of the exhibition as the art itself.  Perceptions of the Salton Sea unfold through the lenses of their personal journeys.  E.H. Harriman was the President of the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1901 – 1909.  During this time the Colorado flooded over its banks, filling the Imperial Valley with run off.  Harriman is the scapegoat for the debacle/existence of the Salton Sea.  Percy Fawcett was an explorer and archaeologist who disappeared in the uncharted jungles of Brazil looking for the lost city of “Z’ in 1925.  His disappearance is shrouded in hear-say and is one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries.  Robert Falcon Scott led a party of explorers to the South Pole only to find out that they had been preceded by an earlier Norwegian expedition.  On their return journey, Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.

Please join us for art, food and beverages at the opening of Harriman, Fawcett and Falcon’s exhibition at Re-Gallery on March 30, from 6-9 pm. The exhibition will run from March 30 – May 30, 2012.

Current Exhibit:

Woman on a Journey, a solo exhibition of Karla Leopold January 6 – March 25

Informed by her experiences as an art therapist, the subject matter of Karla Leopold’s assemblages and shadow boxes often explore the world of innocence lost, and those things which bring darkness to light.  Her work speaks to a sophisticated decay incorporating elements of purity tainted by time and experience.

The detritus and castaway pieces of society inspire Leopold to create an evocative new whole out of disparate parts. “I like to pair items which may not initially be related or belong together and find a relationship amongst their juxtaposition which creates a new meaning,” explains Leopold.  Everything from yarn, to driftwood to antique toys and hand-written letters are incorporated into the artists’ striking assemblages.  The inclusion of such personal items imbues her work with an immediate intimacy.  Street markets the world over are favorite treasure troves for Leopold.  Many times friends and other artists supply Leopold with her media as they find storied trinkets which, “speak of Karla,” on their travels.

The parallels between Leopold’s artwork and her extensive experience with art and family therapy are apparent. “I work with the homeless and in psych wards – with people who don’t fit into a mold deemed “normal” by society – and I can find something beautiful and engaging within them.  My art reflects that work.  I often like to portray mental and social health issues – often uncomfortable topics – and I weave them into the aesthetic of my work in order to engage the viewer to walk away with a different understanding or view of these issues.”

The approach and aesthetics of Surrealism and Dada are clear influences on Leopold.  She sites Frida Kahlo as a great inspiration. “Frida was one of the original art therapists using her art to process her own issues, and the power of that has really taken my breath away.” The self-contained worlds and mysterious narratives of Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes are also channeled in Leopold’s work as she invites the audience to piece together histories through fragmented doll parts, vintage wall paper and antique rosaries.

Karla Leopold’s exhibition will open at Re-Gallery on Friday, January 6, 2012 from 6-9 p.m. The exhibition will run from January 6 – March 11, 2012. You will need to ensure that your razr is rooted

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