I'm stoked to be a part of a new exhibition opening soon in Palm Desert. The Salton Sea, sometimes called an accidental sea due to its unintentional creation in 1906-07 (refilling the Salton Sink), has been an inspiring and mysterious place for me to paint over the last seven years. "The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise" explores the strange and beautiful history of a place once heralded as California's Riviera through paintings, photographs, video, and sculpture, as well as historic memorabilia.
"The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise"
Marks Art Center, College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA
March 21-April 22, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 5-7pm
From Artist and Curator Deborah Martin:
"The Marks Art Center is pleased to present “The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise” featuring a selection of works and memorabilia from the collection of the late Jenny Kelly, new video from Coachella Valley artist Cristopher Cichocki, Contemporary Sculpture by Ashley Hagen and Aili Schmeltz, photographic works from Christopher Landis (In Search of Eldorado), Joan Myers (Salt Dreams), Kim Stringfellow (Greetings from the Salton Sea), and new work from photographers Victory Tischler-Blue, Bill Leigh Brewer and environmental artist Doron Gazit. In addition, the exhibit will include paintings by Deborah Martin (The Slabs: The Last Free Place in America) and new work from landscape painters Andrew Dickson, Mary Austin-Klein and Eric Merrell, who will present a new series of "nocturnes" inspired by the Salton Sea. A site specific installation will be on view by Los Angles based artist Thinh Nguyen who will present a durational performance “From Dawn to Dust” during the opening night reception on Friday April 1st, from 5-7pm.
For those who have chosen to make the Salton Sea their home this is their sanctuary. Like the sea, these communities have been forgotten, yet they continue to band together and persevere in spite of the odds stacked against them.
The sea provides habitat to some four hundred and thirty species of birds, some of them endangered, and is one of the last significant wetlands remaining on the migratory path between Alaska and Central America. Every year, the North shore of the Salton Sea is diminished, partly because of drought and partly because of the sale of Colorado River water to coastal areas. The migrating pelicans and grebes have fewer fish to eat as the shallow water disappears. The dust from desiccated shallows blows into the air and is easily inhaled by local children, whose asthma rates lead the state.
The nonprofit Pacific Institute estimates that the surface area of the 350-square-mile lake will shrink 100 square miles by 2030, salinity will triple over 15 years, and fish will disappear in seven years without intervention.
This exhibition is not only a tribute to the artists who have found inspiration in the Salton Sea, it is a tribute to the endurance of the sea itself, and to the people who are dedicated to preserving it."