In the Garden & Val Verde
Beth Dow & Ann Mitchell
On view: November 3 – 30, 2008
Beth Dow’s evocative series of platinum/palladium prints, In the Garden, address the ways we shape and experience our environment. Dow developed an interest in unusual landscapes, with formal gardens in particular, while living in London. While most people love gardens for their beauty, Dow is seduced by something else entirely, and her favorite landscapes are overgrown, shaggy, and a bit off their game. Gardens attempt to control and dominate nature, but nature resists – it bolts, leans, withers, and isn’t as malleable as we pretend. Dow’s platinum prints are warm toned echoing the landscape imagery from the early turn of the century and are strikingly rich in detail. Her work has been shown in the U.S., England, Japan , and China , and has received many awards, including the recent Grand Prize in the Photography.Book.Now. Competition. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, photographer Keith Taylor, and their two children.
Ann Mitchell’s extraordinary and poetic portraits of the Val Verde estate as it was transformed into Austin Val Verde evoke the history and artistic achievements of this famous Southern California architectural monument and gardens. Mitchell photographed during the process as it transformed from a personal residence into a cultural arts center. She made more than twenty visits to the estate capturing the grounds and interior spaces using a vintage Crown Graphic 4×5 camera, and Polaroid Type 55 film. Ann Mitchell was born in New York City and raised in California. She received her BFA in Photography from Art Center College of Design and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Mitchell is an Associate Professor of Art and the Photography Program Coordinator at Long Beach City College. Her photographs have been included in solo and group exhibitions in the western United States. This past year Balcony Press released a monograph of her Val Verde project entitled Austin Val Verde: Impressions of a Montecito Masterpiece. Her work has been published in LensWork and View Camera magazine. Ann lives in Burbank, CA with her husband and son.