Curated by Ciara Ennis
Cathy Akers is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her multi-discipline practice spans photography, sculpture, and installation. Her art investigates the desire to create a more perfect society. Recent projects have focused on the societal ramifications of rural communes founded in the 1960s as a result of the countercultural revolution. In the summer of 2011, she presented Open Hearts, Open Land, a solo exhibition of collaged photographs and audio pieces at Emma Gary Headquarters in Culver City. This body of work pairs Akers’s own photographs of ‘60s-era communes in California, Oregon, and Washington with historical images and audio interviews from Morningstar Ranch, an influential but short-lived commune founded in Northern California in 1965 that functioned as an important “psychic release valve” for society during a transformative moment in American history. Her work has been exhibited widely in the U.S., as well as in the Czech Republic, Israel, and England. Akers received her BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1996, and her MFA from CalArts in 2006.
Artwork Selected by the Curator
Ciara Ennis is the director/curator of Pitzer Art Galleries at Pitzer College and was formerly the curator of exhibitions at the University of California Riverside/California Museum of Photography. Ennis moved from London to Los Angeles where she was project director for Public Offerings, an international survey of contemporary art, at MOCA, Los Angeles in 2001. From there she became associate curator at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, where she initiated the Project Room and programmed a series of experimental exhibitions. Ennis has been director of Pitzer Art Galleries for the past four years, during which time she has curated a number of exhibitions. Ennis’ curatorial practice merges fact with fiction and focuses on storytelling as a means to explore the fluidity and fragility of identity, revealing the subtleties of the social, political, and the cultural issues that impact our lives. She received her MA in curating contemporary art from the Royal College of Art, London.