Exhibition: Bill Owens, Suburbia – 50th Anniversary
October 8 - November 13
Exhibition: Bill Owens, Suburbia-50th Anniversary
October 8 – November 13, 2022
Opening Reception and Artist Talk, Saturday, October 8th
In person artist talk with Bill Owens in Carpenter Hall, Sunset Center: 3:00 – 4:00pm
Reception to follow in CPA gallery, 4:00 – 6:00pm
Join us for the 50th anniversary of the seminal publication in the history of photography: Bill Owens’ Suburbia. Hailed internationally as the ultimate document of the American Suburban experience, this book and exhibition continue to show us who we were and who we are. Owens’ Suburbia project has deepened with time and continues to resonate with audiences throughout the world. A half century later the images have become timeless testaments and a celebration of American life. It is iconic in the history of photography and in the understanding of our society.
This exhibition features large-scale fine art prints of the essential Suburbia images for a new experience of this important project and a unique glimpse into the power of Bill Owens’ vision. There will also be 36 small silver gelatin prints (“Baby Bills”) from the original negatives from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
A limited-edition publication, Bill Owens: The Legacy of Suburbia Photographs 1964-2022 is available with a special edition print included. This book features images from Bill Owens’ entire career from his work in Jamaica with the Peace Corp to his current Digital Renaissance. The book is available in an edition of 100. The book can be pre-ordered at True North Editions.
You can either pick up your book at the opening on October 8th and have Bill sign it or you can have your pre-ordered book shipped to you. But either way, you won’t want to miss the chance to hear Bill Owens talk about his work on opening night as well as celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his legendary book, Suburbia!
About Bill Owens
Bill Owens was born in 1938, in San Jose, California, and grew up in Northern California. After volunteering in the Peace Corps, he picked up photography and began his journey as a documentarian. While living in Livermore, California, in the late ’60s, he worked as a photographer for the local newspaper. He became increasingly interested in the suburban areas that became heavily populated after WWII. Owens started photographing middle-class America and would eventually publish a best-selling book, Suburbia, in 1971. Suburbia is considered one of the most important photography books to date. He went on to publish three more books, Our Kind of People, Working, and Leisure, focusing on the suburbanites of America. Owens was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, which he received in 1976. He was also awarded two National Endowment for the Arts grants.
Between working commercially and on personal photographic projects, he opened one of the first microbreweries in the country. In the past two decades, his interest lies in the craft distillery business. He founded the American Distilling Institute, which publishes a quarterly magazine, and an annual trade show for the craft distilling industry. Bill Owens continues to photograph the odd and colorful world of 21st Century American culture. He is also working on a dystopian science fiction novel, The Delco Years, and on his memoirs, Chicken Heads. The photographs of Bill Owens are highly sought after and can be found in private and public collections such as the Getty Museum, Modern Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
About Geir and Kate Jordahl, True North Editions
Geir and Kate Jordahl bring their love of books and passion for images to the creation of a variety of visual projects. They founded True North Editions in 2012 as a collaborative effort to give voice to unique work by artists working authentically. They have worked together as a team since 1980 as editors, curators, and imagemakers.
The Jordahls’ book projects include San Joaquin: River of Spirit with the Ansel Adams Gallery, Searching for True North with Modernbook Editions, Native American Ceremonial Dancers, The Village: Bill Owens – Jamaica, Pride: Heart of a Movement, and Bill Owens: CARS. Collaborations with Dreaming Mind include Traveler, Jizo, the Conversation Series, and the one poem books.
Book awards include a Gold Medal and Best of Show in the PubWest Book Design Awards, a Silver Medal in Prix de Paris and a Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards for Searching for True North and a Silver Award-Photography and a Bronze Award-Art in the PubWest Book Design Awards for Native American Ceremonial Dancers. The Jordahls also edited, published, and designed Cultures in Transition: Spirit Heart Soul which features the photographs of Oliver Klink. Cultures in Transition has been awarded international eight awards including the 2019 IPPY Gold Award from the Independent Publisher and the 2019 Judges’ Choice Award and a 2019 Gold Award from PubWest.
Geir and Kate Jordahl both have Masters of Fine Arts Degrees in Photography from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. In 1983 they founded the PhotoCentral Program in Hayward, California, and were directors of PhotoCentral until 2020. Kate is a Professor of Photography at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California. The Jordahls now operate True North Editions based in Bellingham, Washington.