Karyl Newman

  • Events & Exhibitions

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    A Journey to New Llano

    Date: December 9, 2017

    Location: The Museum of the New Llano Colony


    One hundred years ago this month, two groups of colonists from Llano del Rio made the trip to Stables, Louisiana from the Antelope Valley in California. In honor of this centennial, artist Karyl Newman will travel to New Llano to share her fieldwork, research, events and exhibits organized at sites around the desert ruins of “the most important non-religious Utopian experiment in western American history” – California State Historic Preservation Office. As the 2016-2017 Archibald Hanna Visitng Research Fellow at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, she continues to make discoveries using clues from the Walter Millsap Papers in the Paul Kagan Utopian Communities Collection while seeking out relatives of comrades and their private collections. The Mojave location offers no historic marker and Newman looks forward to learning from Louisiana and the Museum of the New Llano Colony. In lieu of a brick and mortar base for ongoing utopian studies in Llano, please explore the ON ALL Day digital exhibit made possible by a grant from California Humanities at http://bit.ly/4AllonLlano.

    Stories & Stewardship – Cove Cleanup at Giant Rock

    Date: September 9, 2017

    Time: 08:00 - 11:00

    Location: 34.328742 -116.388655

    Overview of Abandoned Camp near Giant Rock

    An Explorer of the Mojave Desert shared sickening images of illegal dumping with the XMD Facebook group – an abandoned long term camp with rotting food, tents, inflatable mattresses, clothing and much more too gross to go into here. He and many others wanted to organize a cleanup.

    Blightsites and DEHSART have collaborated in the past on #storiesandstewardship clean up events at Giant Rock, so I contacted the BLM-Barstow Field Office.

    Turns out a lot of people care about Giant Rock as the Landers Community Association posted about it and explained the Mojave Desert Land Trust wanted to help.

    Please join all of us for a public display of affection for our public lands on Saturday, September 9 from 8-11 AM. I’ll be sharing some stories about Giant Rock from my ongoing research and I hope we’ll learn others while we make quick work of cleaning up multiple sites around Giant Rock while appreciating those we can’t touch!

    Organized by the BLM BFO, Landers Community Association, the Mojave Desert Land Trust and reporting/creative reuse map project Blightsites.org. Hope to see you there!

    ON ALL Eve – Figuring the Volume of a Utopian Cylinder

    Date: August 4, 2017

    Time: 19:00-22:00

    Location: Llano, CA

    Crow's View of the Llano del Rio Silo

    ON ALL Eve – Figuring the Volume of a Utopian Cylinder, invites you to walk under the waxing sturgeon moon, reflecting on the end of the Llano del Rio utopian socialist experiment in the Antelope Valley with Karyl Newman, arriving at the silo ruin for a tranquil soundbath to contemplate our next steps with local artists Jean Monte, Moriah Cain Gross and Kristen Cramer, known as Anahata Mousai.

    This ticketed event, co-produced by Positional Projects and LAUNCHLA, was conceived by participants at the ON ALL Day event on May 6th, 2017. Each guest receives a limited edition guide/map. Please view the accompanying online exhibit made possible by California Humanities and Arts Connection at http://bit.ly/4AllonLlano. ON ALL Eve is part of Maiden.LA, is an inclusive and expansive county-wide survey of art happenings that in encouraging the use of alternative spaces, considers the city as a platform for generative discourse and exchange.

    Space is super limited – the soundbath is inside the silo! Only ticketed guests may participate. Reserve your place at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00PM on Eventbrite.

    Desert Visionaries: Esotouric Excursion

    Date: June 17, 2017

    Time: 09:30-17:00

    Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

    Special Event – Desert Visionaries: Llano del Rio, Antelope Valley Indian Museum & Aldous Huxley’s Pearblossom Ranch – Saturday, June 17th

    In this special event bus adventure, part of Esotouric’s tenth anniversary celebrations, we’ll explore the Southern California dream as it has manifested through creative residents of the Antelope Valley, and mark the centennial of the shuttering of the Llano del Rio socialist colony.

    Joining us as we explore the ruins of Llano del Rio are two expert guides: historian Paul Greenstein (co-author of Bread & Hyacinths: The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles) and artist-archivist Karyl Newman (2016-2017 Research Fellow at the Beinecke Library and founder of positionalprojects.org). They will tell stories of the colonists’ colorful adventures set against a backdrop of the conservative Los Angeles power structure, personified by Job Harriman’s arch-nemesis, Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis. And Karyl will share new research on Alice Constance Austin, a feminist city planner engaged by Harriman to implement her ideas at Llano–structures created to eradicate domestic housework, situated to offer privacy and tranquility, yet connected to facilitate tasks communally–decades ahead her time.

    Listen to the Esotouric Podcast with interviews with Paul & Karyl here.

    California Humanities Grant Awarded

    Start date: June 7, 2017

    End date: November 1, 2017


    San Bernardino, CALIF. — California Humanities has recently announced the first round of 2017 Humanities For All Quick Grant awards. Arts Connection, the arts council of San Bernardino County, has been awarded $5000 for its fiscally sponsored project entitled ON ALL Day ­—A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio conceived by San Bernardino based project director Karyl Newman of PositionalProjects.org.

    “a community history and place-making multimedia project in the Mojave Desert”

    Humanities For All Quick Grant is a highly competitive grant program of California Humanities, and is awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely. These narratives help us find our commonalities, appreciate our differences, and learn something new about how to live well together. ON ALL Day was awarded one of 15 grants and the sole project to receive support in San Bernardino County.

    The ON ALL Day project marks the 100 year anniversary of the final May Day celebration at the Utopian socialist experiment founded by Job Harriman, which operated in the Antelope Valley from 1914-1917, at four exhibit locations around the nearly 10,000 acre colony. Organized by Karyl Newman and PositionalProjects.org, collaborators Dydia DeLyser and Paul Greenstein, Jean Monte, Kristen Cramer, Moriah Cain Gross, Leora Wien, Michelle Andrade created exhibits documented by Adriana Campos-Ojeda and Verlon Allen III. Our fiscal sponsor, Arts Connection, the arts council of San Bernardino County, hosts our ESRI story map.

    Explore the interactive, map-based exhibit at http://bit.ly/4AllonLlano.

    View the full press release – ArtsConnectionSB_6717NR

    ON ALL Day – A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio

    Date: May 6, 2017

    Time: 10.00 - 16.00

    Location: 93544


    Please join Positional Projects on Saturday May 6th from 10-4 for ON ALL Day – A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio, a self-guided tour featuring multiple locations around the 2,000 acres of the experimental utopian community honoring their final May Day celebration in 1917. Host Karyl Newman will share insights into the colony’s history from her Beinecke Fellowship while presentations by special guests will offer new perspectives on California Historic Landmark #933. Please RSVP to reserve your spot, souvenir guide, directions and details.

    Guests provide their own transportation between locations. Sites are not wheelchair accessible, guests under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. There is no fee to participate, however check-in is required. Tickets are limited.

    We look forward to reflecting on Llano’s important history and building a new public memory, together.

    Guest Speaker at Artists’ Tea at Joshua Tree National Park

    Date: March 19, 2017

    Time: 09:00-11:00

    Location: Cap Rock Parking Area


    Join Karyl Newman this Sunday to talk trash over a cup of tea. Newman documents waste abandoned in our landscape on Instagram as @dehsart and large dumpsites @blightsites. She will share her projects mapping illegal waste deposits across our desert, identifying spots for cleanup and providing free reuse resources for artists using the app at blightsites.org. Recently she used debris data to collect over 300 pounds of broken furniture, re-purposed for her stage design at the Wallis Center for the Performing Arts. Take a tour of what was taken HERE.

    We will discuss easily accessible online cartography tools to share location based information and how we can re-think waste as a resource.

    Please bring a mug, cup, or container to enjoy tea together.


    Eco-Scenography at the Wallis

    Start date: March 10, 2017

    End date: March 26, 2017

    Location: The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts


    Almost exactly ten years ago, Karyl designed set and costumes for Coy Middlebrook’s production of Edward Albee’s Zoo Story, at Deaf West. In 2004, Edward Albee wrote a prologue to the better known Zoo, giving a new window into that upper east side world, At Home.

    The Wallis and Deaf West have co-produced an evening uniting these two pieces under Coy’s direction, At Home at the Zoo.

    Newman is thrilled to return to this story and cohort, in this production design incorporating images she shot in Central Park with pieces of discarded furniture found at dumpsites, uniting her site photography with material resourcing to offset the often wasteful practice of scenery production while interpreting the savage behavior of illegal dumping with our animalistic instincts.

    Over 300 pounds of discarded furniture were gathered from locations around the Mojave, places Newman is well acquainted with through work documenting discards for over 4 years now and by utilizing the blightsites.org mapping tool she created to crowdsource reports of dumping for clean up or as a free reuse resource.

    Please see the show.

    Llano Community Association

    Date: February 11, 2017

    Time: 2 PM

    Image and note by Paul Kagan as found in the Beinecke's Utopian Communities Collection.

    The LCA has invited Karyl Newman to speak about her research on the Llano del Rio Colony reflecting on her 2016-2017 Beinecke Visiting Research Fellowship on Saturday, February 11th at 2PM.

    Beinecke Visiting Research Fellowship

    Date: October 21, 2016

    Location: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

    Photo by Will Pryce

    The recently renovated Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale holds research collected by Paul Kagan while writing New World Utopias and includes photographs and papers about the Llano del Rio Colony and a travel journal by little known feminist architect Alice Constance Austin recently acquired by Yale Professor, Dolores Hayden within the Western Americana Collection.

    Karyl Newman was awarded the Archibald Hanna Beinecke Visiting Research Fellowship during the 2016-2017 academic year to support her research on Alice Constance Austin’s plans for the socialist utopian experiment in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles founded by Job Harriman in 1914. She looks forward to sharing her discoveries in a series of public discussions in 2017 marking the 100 anniversary of the comrades’ exodus from the desert to New Llano, Louisiana.

    Beinecke Interior Photo by Will Pryce