Stories from the Revolution
03.09.19 - 03.30.19
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 9, 7-10pm
Exhibition on view March 16th-30th
Gallery hours Saturdays 12-4pm and by appointment
Through my art, I explore an essential aspect of human nature—the desire to create a more perfect society. The countercultural revolution of the 1960s is of particular interest to me. Through photography, painting, sculpture, and installation, I have explored this countercultural, utopian impulse in my work for the past decade.
For the past four years, my work has focused on combining archival photographs with ceramic vases to explore the stories of the former residents of Morningstar and Wheeler’s Ranches, two influential 1960s communes in Sonoma County that were forced to shut down in 1973 (coincidentally, the year of my birth). I have spent the last 10 years visiting and becoming friends with many former residents of these communes and collecting their stories.
I am drawn to the incredible, optimistic energy behind both of these communes, which believed they were going to catalyze lasting change in society through their radical example. The stories told by the women and children on these communes, however, often tell expose the misogamy and physical hardship that were part of daily life, as well as nascent self-awareness and the promise of liberation By inscribing the women’s stories into the clay of the vases, and applying archival images to the surfaces, I hope to ensure that the stories of these women and children, who have been devalued or overlooked, are heard. As a vessel traditionally associated with women and domestic life, and that was used as a storytelling object during Greek and Roman times, the vase is a fitting form for this project.
Cathy Akers is a Los Angeles-based artist who works with photography, ceramics and installation. Her work has been exhibited in solo or two-person shows at Pitzer College, Honor Fraser Gallery, and Emma Gray Headquarters in Los Angeles, as well as group shows in Israel, Germany, the U.K., Poland and the Czech Republic. During the past decade, she has explored the utopian impulse in her work, with a particular focus on the communal movement of the 1960s.
The exhibition is on view Saturdays, 12-4pm through March 30 and by appointment.