The San Fernando Valley has long been one of Los Angeles' most misunderstood and sterotyped regions. Often called "America's Suburb" and known familiarly simply as "the Valley," the area has become more known for mini-malls, shopping and traffic rather than cultural innovation.
Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley, ca. 1970-1990 seeks to challenge those sterotypes. Now on view at the art galleries at Cal State Northridge from Aug. 25 to Oct. 11, 2014, the exhibit was curated by Loyola Marymount Professor Damon Willick and features 80 photographs, paintings, murals, performance art pieces and more by CSUN alumni, faculty and local artists, most of whom grew up in the region. The natural and man-made environments of the valley, as well as its social structures, inspired and shaped the works on display during this particularly fertile period for art. When these works are assembled, the result is a narrative that documents the area's vital role in L.A.'s emergence as a hub of contemporary art.
Those involved in the exhibit hope it will help to challenge the perception of the Valley as a culturally devoid part of Los Angeles, and tout it as the first one that has ever showcased the valley as a whole. From war protests to the "Valley Girls" of the 1980s, the social aspects of the region inspired a rich trove of works by these locals, many of whom exhibit a level of humor and self-deprecation in their art. This extensive exhibit celebrates their contribution not only to a unique part of Los Angeles, but to the city's overall cultural history.
Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley, ca. 1970-1990 is free and on view at the Cal State Northridge Art Gallery from Aug. 25 to Oct. 11, 2014. A public reception is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6 from 4-7 p.m. For more information, visit www.csun.edu/artgalleries.