Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

COLLABORATIONS

Neighborhood U.

March 04, 2007|Suzanne Muchnic | Times Staff Writer

"WHERE We Live: Photographs of America From the Berman Collection" has come and gone at the J. Paul Getty Museum. But its legacy will be on view at Southern California community colleges for much of this year. "Where We Live: Student Perspectives," an exhibition of 60 photographs by 40 students, will be at Los Angeles Valley College through March 29, then travel to the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Santa Monica College and East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park.

The student photographers took cues from the Getty's show of images that probed unkempt corners of small-town American life. But their work evolved as they explored close-to-home terrain with professional artists. In a collaboration among the museum, the colleges and the Getty Museum Photographs Council, a private support group, four artists in the Getty exhibition -- Karen Halverson, Camilo Jose Vergara, William Christenberry and Alex Harris -- helped the students take pictures in the colleges' extended neighborhoods. A jury of professionals selected works for the show.

As at the Getty, images of people are relatively rare in "Student Perspectives," but evidence of their lives is everywhere. Under Halverson's tutelage, students from the College of the Canyons photographed a construction site and a housing development with cookie-cutter backyards, sometimes composing striking abstractions. Vergara's East L.A. group focused on food and drink vendors, murals, trashed sidewalks and a flowering plant sprouting a red blossom on a white wall.

Christenberry's protegees, from Valley College, found magical storefronts, ordinary spaces cast in strange light and crisp patterns made by fences and wood siding. Harris took his Santa Monica team to Venice Beach. That might seem all-too-familiar territory, but the pictures represent lots of viewpoints and sensibilities: dark silhouettes in a tunnel-like space, trees along a misty canal, a window of the California Casket Co. and a close-up of street life that turns a man's face into a landscape.

*

-- Suzanne Muchnic

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|