Nature Studies: Susan Felter & Mimi Plumb

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Nature Studies: Susan Felter & Mimi Plumb

2049 San Pablo Av
Berkeley, CA 94702
November 4th, 2011 - January 4th, 2012
Opening: November 4th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Mon-Sat 7am-8;m Sun. 7am-6pm
nature, horses, lanscape photography, digital, surrealism, modern


Local 123 is excited to present an exhibition that brings a touch of wilderness to the urban juncture of San Pablo and University Avenue. Mimi Plumb and Susan Felter explore natural beauty as it brushes against the edges of our man made environment. In Plumb’s images, we discover the sublimely confusing but equally exquisite horizon line of a horse’s back, seen up close. From afar, these could be mistaken for a view of the undulating hills of California, or white sand dunes, all blissfully untouched by encroaching developers.  In Felter’s digital concoctions, nature’s dazzling beauty is juxtaposed with a sense of unease: reptiles are flying, tossed blades of grass loom large, a minuscule distant helicopter hovers in the sky above, birds flap among tiny electronic components. 

Mimi Plumb’s large-scale color photographs of horses are part of an ongoing series, “Horse Backs”. Plumb writes, ‘ In these uncertain times, I’ve found myself asking--What is worth embracing? What is worth preserving? Horses, the line of their backs, the wind in their manes, the cold blue light of the late afternoon sky...’                                                                                                                                                        ‘The horses embody the landscape in their backs. They become the horizon and the horizon line, at times transforming into the rolling hills of the California landscape where I grew up, before tract houses and strip malls became the norm.’

Felter describes the beginning of her “Hunting and Gathering” series thus, "Flowers on a flat bed scanner look like 17th century “tromp l’œil" still-life paintings by Dutch masters who created fictional but hyper-realistic scenes that twisted the laws of nature.  Assembling my own "post-natural” digital montages is disquieting but alluring. Words that come to me are ... visceral  predatory  delicious  convoluted  alien  bejeweled  camouflaged.... a thousand centuries of collision and collusion between nature and culture.”

Susan Felter was born in Oakland, California.  She earned a BA in Psychology and Art from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Motion Pictures from UCLA.   In 1980 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her photo project “Rodeo Work.”  Susan’s photographic art is in museum collections, and has been exhibited and published internationally. She was an associate professor of art at Santa Clara University from 1983 to 2010.

Mimi Plumb was born in Berkeley, received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and currently teaches photography at San Jose State University. Her work is in the permanent collection of museums nationally. She has received grants and fellowships from the California Arts Council, the Marin Arts Council, and the Phelan Art Award in Photography. Other projects include photographing for the California State Department of Housing and the United Farmworkers Union.

Come see the work of these two very local artists at Local 123.

Janet Delaney/Suzy Barnard, Curators, Local 123