Join us Sunday, October 15th for the opening reception for photography Gene Kennedy. His solo exhibition “Reflect and Repeat: Images from the Gladding, McBean Factory” will run throughout the month of October. Come meet the artist, enjoy his works and experience the most unique gallery location in town. The afternoon artist reception will include a free concert with the New Harmony Jazz Band.
Gene Kennedy has been photographing for more than forty-five years. He gained recognition nationally for his photography of the evolving California Landscape. Regionally I am known as a photography of the evolving California landscape. Regionally he is celebrated as a photographer, teacher, gallery, administrator and former director of the popular Gladding McBean Photography Workshops.
Gene’s photographic projects have focused on the man-impacted environment, with a few nods of appreciation to the natural world, and the occasional touch of humor. His documentary-style landscape reside in the collections of the California State Library, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.
“It makes sense in a place whose job is to make multiple identical copies of products, ranging from roof tiles to gigantic sewer pipes to delicate figures for architectural decoration that pictures made in that place might also reflect the same repetitious quality. That is, repetitious in the best sense of the word. Such was my intent in selecting the images for this show. Most of them have never been exhibited before, but a few old favorites also appear.
The Gladding, McBean & Co. factory, in the Placer County town of Lincoln, opened in 1875 and has operated continuously since then, surviving two World Wars and the Great Depression. Starting as a clay pipe manufacturer, “the pottery” expanded its product line and by the end of the 19th century was producing architectural Terra cotta ornamentation for buildings, most notably after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Ernest Hopkins, columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, said in July, 1928: “From a hole in the ground, here in the lower end of Placer County, the modern city of San Francisco has come.” (Not to mention thousands of other buildings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle, and places as far-fetched as New York, Chicago, Tokyo and London.
I was privileged to be able to organize and lead photographic workshops at Gladding, McBean for 16 years. Close to 300 enthusiastic photographers made it into the pottery during that time, and many of them came back time after time after time, simply because they weren’t finished taking pictures there. If we had been able to continue after 2011, I’m sure many of them would have come back again.
I’m sure all those photographers would join me in expressing their sincere gratitude to the workers and management of Gladding, McBean for the extraordinary gift of being allowed to visit and photograph this magical place.”
Gallery 1855 is located at the historic Davis Cemetery District office at 820 Pole Line Road, Davis, CA. . It is a non-profit community space that celebrates local artists as well it’s unique history. For more information about upcoming exhibitions please go to www.daviscemetry.org.