Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stop the Car, Dad! is First Exhibit at New Laxalt Gallery

"Once a Lake, near Fallon," by Erik Lauritzen
Stop the Car, Dad! is the debut exhibit featured in the new Laxalt Building Gallery at the offices of Nevada Magazine in Carson City, through March 1. The new art space is in the historic building that rings chimes throughout the community at 401 North Carson Street. The gallery is open to the public during normal business hours Monday through Friday, and admission is free.

While traveling the often-deserted roads of Nevada, renowned photographer Erik Lauritzen depicted quirky evidence of humans affecting Western landscape. Thirty of his photographs included in Stop the Car, Dad! capture life across the Silver State.

“From abandoned military installations to roadside architecture that reflects local flair, the sites Lauritzen photographed reveal a certain irony often underlying everyday encounters in the Nevada desert,” says Fran Morrow of the Nevada Arts Council. The council organized the show as part of its Nevada Touring Initiative – Traveling Exhibition Program that brings diverse art projects to communities across Nevada and beyond.

Stop the Car, Dad! is named for the moment of curiosity that often accompanies the discovery of a roadside attraction. The images record places where development gave way to dilapidation. Now abandoned, these way stations are evidence of the “boom and bust” Nevada lifestyle. In the photo collection, solitary signs and deserted buildings emerge as intriguing records of history.

Highly regarded as a representational and landscape photographer, Lauritzen was also considered an abstract artist working with photography. While maintaining a full teaching load, curating a gallery, and conducting workshops throughout Nevada and the region, he continued to challenge himself as an artist until his death in 2007.

In partnership with the Nevada Commission on Tourism and Nevada Magazine, the new Laxalt Building space will house occasional exhibits. Read more about the Traveling Exhibition Program in the January/February 2013 edition of Nevada Magazine, on newsstands now.

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