Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Book Reading Del Mar Arts Center and Exhibition Palm Desert Community Gallery!

This past weekend saw me traveling to Del Mar to do a book reading/signing at the Del Mar Art Center and then to Palm Desert the following day for the opening of the exhibition, Portraits of the Desert at the Palm Desert Community Gallery.

Talking. Photo by T Weiner
 This of course meant that I got to talk about the Salton Sea. A lot. And   the people who were there were interested to know about it. In Del Mar, I spoke a bit about the background of the project, then read a couple of excerpts from the book itself.

I had never done a book reading before (reading out loud in 10th grade English class would perhaps be the last time I read a book out loud to others) much less a book signing. So it was all just a little lot bit daunting.

Talking and Reading. Photo B Coletti
What did make it a little easier was that I was speaking on a subject I felt comfortable talking about as once I start I generally cannot stop for a while. Difficult was knowing what excerpts to choose from as there are so many passages that I could have easily picked. The great thing is that I will be able to mix it up and read other passages in the future to other crowds. There were some very interesting questions that were asked that ranged from the publishing of the book to the project and organising it; to what the solutions are with regards to restoring the Salton Sea and  questions about the history of it as well as the alien lifeforms that visit it. Some of the conversation verged on the more serious, some was more light hearted, a very nice mix.

Still talking. Photo by B Coletti
Over all I did enjoy this experience of doing the book reading as the audience were really engaging and wanted to know more about this place. The space was also really wonderful, a beautiful gallery, colourful, light, amazing art work, which I really appreciated! I also wanted to pass on my most gracious thank you to Bob Coletti for approaching me with the idea and talking with the Del Mar Arts Center to make it happen. Thank you to Ursula Heintz! And Terry Weiner for making the journey! And the Del Mar Arts Center for allowing me to use their space.  

Bob Coletti, Ursula Heintz and me.

Thank you to all for coming and for your support!

On Monday I left San Diego County  and headed back towards Palm Desert for the exhibition "Portraits of the Desert". I have really been looking forward to this exhibition. Back already in 2010 I applied to the Palm Desert Community Gallery hoping to have the chance to show my then Salton Sea photographs of the wetlands, landscapes and people using the sea for recreational purposes. I was in the UK at the time and duly sent off my application form and CD with images on time (ok... just in time) and waited.  And waited some more. And more. And then some. And started getting discouraged. Then about three months later, I received an email saying that the art gallery manager had just received my application form and cd from another department. The package had been sitting unopened for this time in another office somewhere and so my application never had the chance to be viewed by the judges for inclusion in the show. Of course this isn't to say that I would have definately gotten into the show, but I had missed the boat.It wasn't meant to be.

Come this year January 2012, it was time to send off the application form and CD again. This time I had a new project I wanted to share and so sent off the "Portraits and Voices of the Salton Sea" images and was super happy to hear in February that I was accepted into a three person show with two other photographers, George Kenton and Dennis Johnson!! Ten months later, the opening night was on and the photos were all up and the other two photographers are amazing and very different, but complimentary and it looked so good. A really enjoyable evening with a nice crowd.
Dennis Johnson

The exhibition runs until the 7th of February and is open to the public. Palm Desert Community Gallery is located in Palm Desert City Hall, 73-510 Fred Waring Drive, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 760-346-0611, ext. 664 or visit

So if in the Palm Desert area, why not stop by in the gallery?

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