Professor Richard Willson's work will be celebrated in Avenue 50 Studio's latest exhibition, "BOTTOM FEEDER: Views from the Arroyos."
Willson, a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, holds a Ph. D. from UCLA and studied art at the Otis College of Art and Design.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 9, 7-10 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: March 9-April 6
Location: Avenue 50 Studio, 131 North Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA.
“I grew up a stone’s throw from the Detroit River. It carries the waters of lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron to the Atlantic Ocean. Wide and constant, it rivals the Mississippi. The Detroit River separates Canada and the U.S. and was a crossing point in the Underground Railway. Escaping slaves called it the Jordan, as they passed from Midnight (Detroit) to Dawn (Windsor).
When I moved to Los Angeles, its rivers were unrecognizable chunks of industrial infrastructure. These concrete channels are sized for winter storms and so devoid of flow most of the year. Once I learned of LA’s historic floods, I understood the modernist sentiment to wrestle these wild things into passivity. They were seen engineering problem to be solved, rather than a part of nature or a place. LA’s rivers anticipated its freeways – efficient flow above all.
Most people pass over the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco in their cars. They have little interest from that vantage point. To understand them, you have to get into them. Ride or walk the bike path in the Arroyo Seco, venture further south to the confluence with the Los Angeles River. Head to the ocean if you wish. These paintings share what I’ve seen and felt as I’ve run and ridden in the Arroyos of Los Angeles.”