Under Construction: The Port in Paintings and Photographs

The LBCG/Rod Briggs Gallery is proud to present, Under Construction: “The Port in Paintings and Photographs. The exhibition will run from April 3rd -May 1. Sat-Sun. 1-4 .

Contact Person:  Marka Burns, Long Beach Creative Group. Phone and text: (562) 400-5166. longbeachcreativegroup@gmail.com

Artists: Helen Werner Cox, Kathryn Babcock, Sarah Arnold, and Liz Talbot. Photographers: Paul Trinidad and Nick Santa Ana.

An historic bridge. 

The New Gerald Desmond Replacement bridge is a marvel of modern technology.  It is suspended on huge cables from two main towers stretching 500 feet in the sky.  The supporting pylons go 180 feet underground.  To make it as earthquake-proof as possible, the roadway in the center of the bridge is suspended from the towers and rests, unattached, above huge supporting pillars.  This elegant bridge dominates the harbor skyline.

Oil painting by Kathryn Babcock.

The art. 

Four artists spent three years documenting the dynamic construction of this bridge. Through special permission from the Shimmick Construction Company, they were allowed on location, both under the bridge and on the top, with unparalleled 360-degree views of the harbor.  Outfitted in hard hats and safety vests, the artists worked in locations carefully vetted by the safety manager. As a result, they have accumulated a significant collection of small to mid-sized paintings and drawings—completed on location—in oil, watercolor, charcoal, ink, and pencil.  From these observational works several large images were developed. There is also a tunnel book—a three-dimensional re-creation of the harbor that replicates theatrical stage sets.  Tunnel books date back to the 1700’s and were made to commemorate special occasions.

Photograph by Nick Santa Ana.

Crane operator/photographers. 

The construction workers were fascinated and excited to see their work through the eyes of the artists; it affirmed the importance and beauty of their work.  The Project Engineer wrote: “I have said in the past the geometric design of the towers was the essence of form meeting function. [Building the towers from the bottom up] We came up with the octagonal design that goes from eight sides to a four-sided diamond because we wanted to have only four sides varying in width for the ease of forming the concrete placements.  We did not realize how aesthetically pleasing the tower design would be.  These paintings also demonstrate the power of form meeting function.” The photographs from two of the crane operators are included in the exhibit.

Presentations:  The Project Engineer and all four of the artists will be making gallery presentations throughout the show.

After all these years building the bridge, people are ready to celebrate their achievements; the art works are a significant way to do this.  We believe the relevance of the show to their own lives will bring people to the gallery.

Photo by Juan Jimenez.

We are thrilled to re-open the gallery with this exciting exhibit that is important to the city and surrounding communities. We are Covid compliant and following the current guidelines.

Take a minute and look at the video and the virtual gallery. They will give you an idea of this extraordinary exhibit!

Virtual Tour



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