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COD’s Marks Art Center Presents DESERTSCAPES: Outliers

Photography by Victory Tischler-Blue, Bill Brewer, & Jeff Alu
March 10 - April 10, 2014
 
This Saturday, April 5, the Marks Art Center is hosting an artists’ talk with two of the photographers featured in Desertscapes: Outliers, currently on view. Please join us at 1 p.m. at the Marks Art Center to hear Bill Brewer and Jeff Alu discuss concepts and techniques in their body of work. Afterwards there will be a Q & A session led by Gallery Director Lisa Soccio followed by light refreshments in the courtyard.
 
Desertscapes: Outliers consists of three solo exhibitions that together shift our perspective on landscape and beauty.  The images of all artists—Jeff Alu, Bill Brewer, and Victory Tischler-Blue—are exquisitely beautiful, but what they show us is not the natural grandeur of Ansel Adams; rather, these artists frame for us a more complex view of the land and life on the edge—on the edge of development, of civilization, of decay, of joy and of despair.  The sublime post-industrial architecture of the desert’s nether regions is sweeping and immense, but the light and space play with our sense of scale, troubling our sense of identity, and our understanding of location.  Epic and disquieting, these images sound a minor chord that resonates with melancholy and mystery.
 
The last day to see the exhibition is April 10.
Regular gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and by appointment.
For more information please call 760-776-7278 or visit www.collegeofthedesert.edu/community/gallery/
 
Desertscapes Outliers Flyer.jpg

“I’m always drawn to the outliers,” explains Tischler-Blue; “for me, photography is all about intimacy and the element of surprise.  There’s a magic that comes along with things not planned, and staying open to that leaves a lot of time and space for the unscripted to manifest.”  Victory Tischler-Blue (
www.sacreddogs.com) is a motion picture director/producer and fine-art photographer whose dark, single-frame tableaux evoke a deep sense of tension and cinematic drama.  A former member of the iconic ‘70s all-girl rock band the Runaways, which also launched the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford, Tischler-Blue often casts the outliers, the androgynous, the damaged and those who—through their own sense of self or the judgments of others—find themselves straddling their own personal edge.  She is perhaps best known for her powerful and emotionally disturbing documentary feature film Edgeplay: A Film about the Runaways, based on her time in the band; picked up by Showtime, the critically acclaimed documentary remains the network’s highest rated rock documentary film to date.  Born and raised in Newport Beach, California, she currently divides her time between homes in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and a Spanish hacienda in Palm Springs, California.
 
Bill Brewer (www.billybrewer.com) has been a Los Angeles photographer since 1982.  His personal work has led him to Cuba, Europe, and the American Southwest, while commercial photography has taken him from Los Angeles to New York, as well as Malaysia, Nova Scotia, and Costa Rica.  His commercial specialty is automotive: he has shot images for Acura, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, and Toyota, in the studio and on location.  After receiving a post-graduate degree from USC, Brewer taught in California’s public schools for six years, and taught commercial lighting and black-and-white photography at Long Beach City College, where he is a former member of their Photography Advisory Committee.  His work has been featured in several exhibitions at the Palm Springs Art Museum, and he is the recipient of several awards and accolades including a Donaldson Trust Fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center; the Nikon International Photography Contest; The Photo Design Magazine competition for advertising photography; and the Photographer’s Forum annual competition.  In 2010, Brewer was named the Epson International Pano Photographer of the Year.
 
Jeff Alu (www.jeffalu.com) is an experimental artist whose work crosses the line between science and art.  Before he considered himself an artist, Alu spent a number of years working at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.  Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Alu was a music composition major at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, but found that the high pressure of such an ordered environment was not conducive to his more spontaneous sense of curiosity and exploration.  The job at the Jet Propulsion Lab was a turning point: the experience of hunting for near-earth asteroids and comets with a telescope at Palomar Observatory was mind-expanding, and allowed Alu to do what he loved—contemplate.  He was not, in fact, a true scientist at all, and romanticized feelings invaded his scientific duties at every turn.  He did, however, realize that the communication of ideas through sound and light was of utmost importance to him, and once his hunt for asteroids had come to an end, Alu began a new search, recording visual symbols in the desert as new worlds revealed themselves.  He began to realize that what he perceived as the world around him was in fact made up of countless micro-worlds, each of equal importance, and he recognized that he had felt this way his entire life.
 
The Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts is a non-profit cultural and educational facility.  Committed to educational excellence, MAC provides a venue for artistic exploration, experimentation and research.  MAC is located at the northwest corner of the COD campus, adjacent to the Street Fair parking lot (Lot 28) and across the street from the Coeta and Donald Barker Nursing Complex.
 
For more information, call the Marks Art Center at (760) 776-7278 or go to www.collegeofthedesert.edu.