What's It All About?

Join Guest Curator, Larry Lytle, as he moderates a panel discussion on the life, art, and influence of William Mortensen. Panelists include Dennis Reed, Michael Dawson and Stuart Balcomb. Face masks are required to be worn by all attendees.

Advance tickets recommended.
Museum members: $7
Non-members: $14


Meet the Panel

Larry Lytle is a fine artist, award winning commercial artist, author, photography collector and lecturer in art at California State University Channel Islands. Lytle graduated from California State University Northridge with B.A.s in Speech Communication and Political Science and a M.A. in Art.

Lytle has been a contributing writer for Black & White magazine for the past 10 years. Most notably Lytle is known for his scholarship and writing on the life and work of American photographer William Mortensen. On that subject Lytle contributed to The Center for Creative Photography’s 1999 seminal book William Mortensen: A Revival. In 2014 he co-edited and wrote biographical essays for widely reviewed books American Grotesque: The Life and Work of William Mortensen and The Command To Look: A Master Photographer’s Methods For Controlling the Human Gaze, both published by Feral House.

For the past 22 years, Lytle has taught photography at The Otis Evening College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California from 2000 – 2005 and then at California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, California as a lecturer in the Art Department where he developed the photography curriculum and has taught from 2003 to the present.

Michael Dawson is a private dealer and appraiser specializing in rare books and fine art photography including historical photographs of California and the Southwest. Dawson has written widely on photography and has owned and operated his own gallery as well as the celebrated Dawson’s Book Shop in Los Angeles – a business established by his grandfather in 1905. He is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), and the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD). Dawson is known as an expert in the history of Southern California photography. His writing on the subject is included in LA’s Early Moderns: Art/Architecture/Photography published by Balcony Press in 2003 and Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Los Angeles published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2005. Dawson contributed an essay for the publication from the Book Club of California titled William Reagh. A Long Walk Downtown: Photographs of Los Angeles & Southern California, 1936-1991.

Dennis Reed is an educator, curator, collector and artist. He has organized over fifty exhibitions, large and small, for such institutions as The Huntington, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Japanese American National Museum. He has written for the Getty Museum, Stanford University, Oxford University, and UCLA, among others. Works from his collection have been shown in museums nationally, and he has donated works from his collection to the Getty, LACMA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside. Before his retirement, he was the longtime Dean of Arts at Los Angeles Valley College. He is the former chair of the Photographic Arts Council at LACMA.

Stuart Balcomb is the son of William Mortensen’s protégé, Robert Balcomb, Stuart grew up in the four darkrooms his father built during his lifetime. He witnessed the Mortensen technique at work, and learned much of it himself. While photography was an important part of his life, Stuart went in another direction, becoming a composer, orchestrator, artist, educator, and publisher.

In 1978, after teaching at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, he moved to LA and began writing arrangements for Woody Herman, Cher, Donald O’Connor, Andy Williams, Magician David Avadon, and jazz star Gary Burton. He composed for “Batman: The Animated Series,” documentaries, and a 3-hour soundtrack for the yoga DVD, “Gravity and Grace.”

From 1984 to 2006 he was the supervising music copyist at Universal Studios, working on shows such as Murder She Wrote, Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, Knight Rider, and on over 600 films, including Back to the Future I-II-III, Scent of a Woman, Field of Dreams, Shawshank Redemption, and Spiderman I-II.

Since June 2001 Stuart has been the Editor/publisher of TheScreamOnline, an Internet magazine for Art, Photography, Literature, Music, and Film.

In 2012 his father wrote a book about his time studying with Mortensen, and Stuart’s Amphora Editions edited, designed, and published it.

In addition to being a freelance composer, he currently teaches Zoom classes for one- and two-point perspective drawing, cartooning, and music theory. In his copious spare time he continues writing his novel, short stories, film scripts, his memoirs, and even some poetry.

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