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Ken and Melanie Light: Valley of Shadows and Dreams

July 27 – December 30, 2012

Featuring 31 black-and-white photographs on view for the first time in a museum, Ken and Melanie Light: Valley of Shadows and Dreams is a photographic exploration of California’s Central Valley, a region known for both its agricultural plenty and the marginalization of its people. Through Ken Light’s poignant photographs and Melanie Light’s insightful essays, viewers discover the harsh truths of the daily experiences of farm workers and their families through an intimate look into their lives. The photographs showcase highs and the lows of daily life—from the devastating results of home foreclosures to the jubilant experiences of children enjoying the simple pleasures of a rope swing on the San Joaquin River. In the tradition iconic collaborations such as that between Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor, the Lights provide a fresh, contemporary view of both the beauty and the callous truths in this important agricultural region in California. On view in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art, the exhibition is the first of a series exploring contemporary topics in California through photography. The second exhibition, Beth Yarnelle Edwards: Suburban Dreams (January 19 – June 30, 2013) features large-scale color photographs of domestic scenes revealing how people behave in their homes. Coinciding with the opening of the new Bay Bridge span, Peter Stackpole: Bridging the Bay (dates to be announced) features stunning black-and-white photographs of the original San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge construction by one of LIFE magazine’s first staff photographers.