“From the Ashes: Thomas Fire Photography by Luther Gerlach”


Event Details


Reception and Lecture: Friday, November 30, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The lecture will begin at 6:00 p.m. The cost of admission to the reception will be $10.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members.

SANTA PAULA, CA – In concert with his current exhibition “From the Ashes: Thomas Fire Photography by Luther Gerlach” at the Santa Paula Art Museum, artist Luther Gerlach will host a reception and lecture at the Museum on Friday, November 30, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The lecture will begin at 6:00 p.m. The event will mark nearly one-year since the start of the devastating Thomas Fire, which ignited on December 4, 2017, near Thomas Aquinas College, just six miles north of the Santa Paula Art Museum. The cost of admission to the reception will be $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members.

Inspired by the abstracted landscapes left in the wake of the Thomas Fire, Ventura photographer Luther Gerlach has produced an extraordinary collection of photographs that both document the destruction and explore the mysterious beauty it rendered. Using an 8×10 wooden view camera, Gerlach’s enlarged prints create a unique, immersive experience of the spectacular aftermath. Gerlach incorporated the origins of the fire into the very production of the prints: “I collected ashes and sulfur-laden water from hot springs at the origin point, Thomas Aquinas College. It is almost as if these chemical catalysts carry a memory of the fire, acting on the print to produce ghostly effects such as swirling, apocalyptic skies and suggestions of the trees that once stood. Applied to the developed prints, the ash and sulfur attack the silver, transforming the monochrome image into fiery color.” As a body of work, “From the Ashes”represents a microcosm of the timeless cycles of destruction and creation.

Guests of the reception will have the opportunity to hear directly from Gerlach, an expert in historical photographic processes who once apprenticed with Brett Weston, who, along with his father Edward Weston, was one of the most respected American photographers of the twentieth century. Gerlach’s work is included in such preeminent collections as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Museum. “From the Ashes”is currently on view at the Santa Paula Art Museum through December 30, 2018.

The Santa Paula Art Museum occupies two historic buildings located at 117 N 10th Street and 123 N 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum features rotating exhibitions of vintage and contemporary art, art classes for children and adults, artist talks and demonstrations, musical performances, a gift shop, and more. Regular museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and free for students and museum members. A full schedule of upcoming events and classes can be found online by visiting www.santapaulaartmuseum.org. For more information, please contact the Museum by calling (805) 525-5554, or e-mail [email protected].


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