California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

New exhibit at Calif. Historical Society: Oyster Farm, featuring the documentary photography of artist Evvy Eisen, opening Oct. 27

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From October 27, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the California Historical Society will host the exhibit Oyster Farm, featuring the documentary photography of artist Evvy Eisen. Evvy Eisen’s photographs will be accompanied by pieces of ephemera and other materials from the rich collections of the California Historical Society. From the CHS’s announcement:

When discussing Oyster Farm, Evvy Eisen explains, “I set out to photograph the workers at the Drakes Bay Oyster Company because they are part of our community, though few of us have ever seen them or understand what they do. They stood before my camera, with dignity and patience. Their portraits communicate information specific to these individuals, but also illuminate essential aspects of the universal human condition.”

The Drakes Bay Oyster Company is located on Drakes Estero in the Point Reyes National Seashore in western Marin County. It is also currently the center of a controversy about whether it will be permitted to remain in operation after 2012. Opposing positions have divided the community and have been argued at the state and national levels as well. This exhibit does not deal with the complex issues involved in these disagreements. Rather it focuses on the people who work at the oyster farm, who are silent and stoic in the face of an uncertain future. Their portraits communicate information specific to them but also illuminate essential aspects of the universal human condition and reveal unrecognized facets of daily life at the Drakes Bay Oyster Company. This exhibit creates a place where differences can be set aside, and where the people portrayed can be appreciated in a new light.

Evvy Eisen was born and educated in New York City and has lived and worked in Marin County since 1971. She specializes in environmental portraits and often works on long-term projects, portraying the people involved in socially relevant issues.

Please join us for the Oyster Farm opening reception on November 16 at 5:30 p.m. and meet artist Evvy Eisen. The event is free and open to the public.

Oyster Farm is on view at the California Historical Society from October 27, 2011 through January 19, 2012. For more information about this exhibition visit http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

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