Karyl Newman

Events & Exhibitions

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Desert Visionaries: Esotouric Excursion

Date: June 17, 2017

Time: 09:30-17:00

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

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

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

Arts Connection Conference 2016

Date: October 8, 2016

Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location: University of Redlands - Orton Center

Arts Connection, the arts council of San Bernardino County, holds their annual conference, From Competition to Collaboration, on Saturday, October 8.

In September, Arts Connection partnered with artist Karyl Newman to make possible the new ESRI-based Blightsites.org crowdsourced beta  reporting application – anyone can participate by adding a geo-tagged image and description of where waste is out of place. This data can be used to organize cleanups or identify locations as material yards for adaptive reuse.

Blightsites founder, Karyl Newman will be speaking about the project as part of the panel:

Arts + Ecology: Creative Problem-solving

Join us for a passionate conversation about the critical role of the arts in generating awareness, developing solutions and activating change towards environmental health and justice. The impact of climate change is already impacting our lives and ultimately our survival. Air quality and water scarcity are real problems we face everyday in our region. How can we as visual and performing artists and administrators develop creative, collaborative projects that engage our communities in positive and effective ways? A variety of perspectives and current projects that harmoniously unite the arts and ecology in San Bernardino County will be shared and discussed. 

Joining Forces

Start date: May 27, 2016

End date: June 26, 2016

Time: 6:30 PM

Location: 29 Palms Art Gallery

As part of Mil-Tree’s Plant to Paper Project Karyl Newman will be reading from the writing workshop’s anthology at 6:30 PM on Friday, May 27.

Louise Mathias and Leilani Squire led the writing workshop. Silkscreened handmade paper covers each of the chapbook anthologies of prose and poetry by the participants.

Please join us as we celebrate the opening of the culminative work of the Plant to Paper Project. For months, civilians and veterans have been working side by side to create art in a variety of mediums, all based on paper created by removing invasive species from Joshua Tree land.

The California Arts Council announced a grant for projects that would enrich the lives of California’s veterans, active-duty military and their families through the arts. Arts Connection reached out to Mil-tree, an arts-based, veterans and community organization in Joshua Tree, California with a similar mission. Together, they enlisted the help of numerous other non-profits and developed a project that would offer opportunities for everything from hiking and environmental work, to paper-making, writing and life casting.
The project involved the removal of invasive plants under the leadership of Joshua Tree National Park vegetation management’s team, with support from Mojave Desert Land Trust.
Artists Denise Kraemer and Cathy Allen then guided participants in transforming the plant material into pulp and paper, and lead subsequent workshops for veterans to develop 2 and 3 dimensional works. A silkscreening workshop with the paper and writings was led by instructor, Duan Kellum.

Project filmed by Kate McCabe.

Blight Sites

Date: April 20, 2016

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

As part of Arttalks: Conversations with Tomorrow’s Experts

Blight Site Drone 29Palms

Since 2013, Karyl Newman has documented illegally dumped materials left in the Mojave. Using GPS coordinates, she links her images to locations using digital mapping technology, revealing the unseen scope of disregard for our desert. As an artist and researcher, she assembles abandoned objects in place or rescues items to reconstruct stories. In celebration of Earth Day 2016, she is launching a collaborative public map project, Blight Sites, where citizens can contribute their own dumpsite discoveries citing both materials available as a creative reuse resource and areas identified for cleanup initiatives.