Cismontane and the Belly of the Valley An installation by Karen Reitzel
WHEN: April 16 - June 9, 2011
WHERE: 24-Hour Gallery
80 North Raymond, Pasadena, 91103
Located in the public display cases on Holly Street, between Arroyo Parkway and Raymond Ave., directly across from the Pasadena Senior Center and the Memorial Park Metro Gold Line Station.
The exhibition is on view twenty-four hours a day.
The 24 Hour Gallery and Light Bringer Projects are pleased to present Cismontane and the Belly of the Valley, an installation by artist Karen Reitzel. A devoted hiker, mountain biker and horseback rider, Karen Reitzel has been reflecting on the devastation, both natural and manmade, that limited access to our local foothills this past year. She states, “Personal histories and life situations makes each person’s relationship with nature distinctive.”
Reitzel was personally affected by the 2009 Station Fire, which required her to evacuate her horse and limited riding trail access for months afterward. Her regular hiking and biking trails continue to be closed due to subsequent erosion from the recent winter storms that caused further damage and washed away repairs made last year to the Angeles Crest Highway.
Cismontane and the Belly of the Valley is Reitzel’s response, an exploration of the meeting of domesticated and natural environments, mingling, informing and affecting one another in those valleys and foothills. She uses elements of human design and intervention as well as the flora and fauna of the cismontane (“this side of the mountain”) chaparral of the San Gabriel Mountains encountered during her regular traverses. Just as Reitzel observed the sweeping effect of the wildfire and the slow rebirth of landscape, this installation relies on the contemplation of change, both dramatic and nuanced.
Artist Bio: Karen Reitzel is a painter/sculptor/mixed media artist who lives in Los Angeles. Her work is also currently on display at LA - Ontario Airport, and she has recently shown site-specific pieces at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, the El Paseo Invitational in Palm Desert, CA and the Arts Council for Long Beach’s “Mobile Exhibits.” In addition, Reitzel has shown her work at the Turtle Bay Museum in Redding, CA and many Southern California non-profit venues such as The Pasadena Armory, the Brewery and Eagle Rock Center for the Arts.
Reitzel is interested in expanding the art and audience relationships beyond conventional boundaries and has a history of curating art exhibition series with the Foundation for Art Resources, At The Brewery Project, Warner Music Group and the Hollywood DMV. She is an avid hiker, bicyclist and equestrian and spends much of her free time in the local open spaces.
Reitzel received her M.F.A. from the University of California Irvine in 1992 and lives in Los Angeles.