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Thie Avenue 50 Studio Show featured views from the bottom of the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco. The was open through April 6, 2019 in Los Angeles. In addition to paintings, the show included video, found object assemblage, and written reflection. 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 in a commitment to 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 have seen and felt as I have run and ridden in the Arroyos of Los Angeles.
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