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Conversations at the Culver: Lewis deSoto

Inlandia Institute: Celebrating Our Region in Word, Image and Sound

Culver Center of the Arts

March 17, 2016


Thursday, March 17, 2016, 7pm - 9pm

Free admission with Reserved Seat

Inlandia in conversation with photographer and essayist Lewis deSoto, author of the Heyday/Inlandia publication, EMPIRE

Join Inlandia in celebrating the release of the latest Heyday/Inlandia Imprint publication, EMPIRE

Landscapes of Transformation 

In this book of photographs and essays, noted visual artist Lewis deSoto explores his birthplace and ancestral Cahuilla homeland, the “marvelous and abject” landscape of Southern California’s Inland Empire. Sixty intimate photos capture the paradoxes of the region’s deserts, lushly manicured lawns, freeways, and inland sea. Punctuating these single-frame images are panoramas of landscapes that capture infinitudes of detail. DeSoto’s captions unpack these panoramic shots, revealing their geologic, social, and cultural significance. 

But beyond captions, Empire marks deSoto’s emergence as a nonfiction writer. Eight essays meditate on a youth spent in regions including San Bernardino, mountainous Highway 18, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, and Palm Springs. DeSoto’s elegant prose marks these places as locales of rich history, industrialization, sharp social strata, as well as sites of deep personal transformation. Taken as a whole, this is the work of an established artist and the dawn of a new literary voice: one that both assembles, piece by piece, a picture of a specific place, and deconstructs the complexities of home.

Lewis deSoto is a professor of art at San Francisco State University. His highly acclaimed work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across the country for three decades.

Support has been provided by UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) and the City of Riverside

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