NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Redlands, CA, United States, 2006/11/28 - The University of Redlands presents the documentary photographic series Globe, AZ by California photographer Jesús Manuel Mena Garza at the Peppers Art Gallery, Jan. 16 through Feb. 11.
The exhibition focuses on the impact of isolation on a rural Arizona community. The public is invited to a reception on Jan. 17, 4:30 to 6 pm.
University of Redlands’ Professor Ann Marie Leimer said, “For the past several decades, Garza has extensively published and exhibited his documentary photographs of the Chicano community. In this new series, he explores the Hill Country of Arizona. These images evoke nostalgia for Americana, remnants of our culture you find scattered in remote and relatively abandoned parts of the country.”
Leimer added, “Garza’s black and white photographs not only document the environment, but they also reveal its beauty by abstracting the details. The photographer purposefully isolated a single element and disassociated it from the larger context to produce new meanings. By capturing the texture of a building, he emphasized the photographic elements that translate into subtle but essential tonal values.”
In the process of taking these photographs of Globe, AZ, Garza recalled his youth in California. He explained, “I remember fondly that San José once had a downtown with small friendly theaters, department stores and a sense of community. At that time, prune orchards lined Main Street and Intel, Apple and Google were mere fantasy.”
The invention of the integrated circuit changed everything. San José morphed into Silicon Valley, the center of high technology. His hometown, once called the Garden City, has now grown massive. Bland warehouses and suburban sprawl have supplanted the once bountiful fruit orchards.
Although San José has evolved into the tenth largest city in America, Garza finds solace knowing communities like Globe remain the same. His photographs remind us of a bygone era — a time that lingers precariously in rural America.
These rural sites have become curios immortalized on photographic paper, their value increasing with every ubiquitous mall erected in San José, Los Angeles and San Diego. In his photographs, Garza demonstrates that this vanishing America gains value by remaining the same.