Beth Yarnelle Edwards: Suburban Dreams
January 19–June 30, 2013

Photographer Beth Yarnelle Edwards peeks into households and explores at-home dynamics in this exhibition on view in the Gallery of California Art. The second in OMCA’s California Photography series, Suburban Dreams: Photographs by Beth Yarnelle Edwards features 22 carefully staged photographs of scenes from subjects’ daily lives, examining the complex relationships among people, their homes, and their possessions.

Edwards began photographing in the suburbs of Silicon Valley in 1997, hoping to tell textured stories about the area’s predominantly affluent population. The resulting images are similar to film stills, capturing distinct and truthful moments that lie somewhere between the mythic and the mundane. Fascinated with the relationships between people, their living spaces, and their possessions, the San Francisco-based photographer began photographing in the suburbs of Silicon Valley in 1997, where she had lived for years. Collaborating with her subjects to re-create scenes from their daily lives, Edwards creates carefully posed depictions of domestic scenarios revealing how people behave in their homes.

Edward's photographs embody the "American Dream" as it is often represented in the Valley-natural beauty intersecting with high-tech industry, a diverse yet predominately affluent population, and access to nearby cultural epicenters. The resulting images lie somewhere between the mythic and mundane. Edwards's photographs have been exhibited and published frequently, both nationally and internationally, and her work resides in numerous public collections, including the Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

On view in OMCA's Gallery of California Art, the exhibition is part an ongoing series exploring contemporary topics in California through photography. The third exhibition, Peter Stackpole: Bridging the Bay (Opening July 20, 2013), features stunning black-and-white photographs of the original San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge construction by one of LIFE magazine's first staff photographers.

This exhibition is made possible in part through the generous support of Dr. Philip D. Schild and Shirley Dichek Schild. 

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