Inhabitable Postcards

Quilted Printed Fabric and thread. 2014

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An indoor picnic on inhabitable postcards

In the spring of 2014 I participated in a Studio Seminar as a part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative at UC Berkeley. Our Seminar was called No Cruising: Mobile Identities and Urban Life in Los Angeles and we made several trips to LA over the course of the spring. My focus became researching the Minnesota Picnics which were part of a larger series of picnics held by midwestern states-people who identified as Minnesotan, Iowan, etc… but lived in Los Angeles in the 20th Century.  My aunt, a Minnesotan currently in her 70s had lived in LA for a year with my grandmother at some point near the end of the 1940’s. Through my interview with her I discovered that they went there for a year to accompany a friend whose daughter was unwell and it was believed that the Southern California climate would help heal her ailments. She never attended a Minnesota picnic but I found several newspaper clippings for the once annual event. At the Long Beach historical society I got to look at their collection of historic photographs from the Iowa Picnics that were traditionally held at Bixby Park. Inspired by images of those mid 20th century pictures I set out to photograph the sites as they stand now, and made picnic blanket quilts based on my photographs. After presenting them in our final seminar, we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the blankets, prompting a guest critic to call them Inhabitable Postcards.

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