Bakersfield isn’t what you probably think it is

Bakersfield CA sign

We spent an enjoyable Saturday in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Museum of Art has quality exhibitions, including iconic photography by Horace Bristol documenting Dust Bowl refugees in California. He took the photos accompanied by John Steinbeck, who later wrote Grapes of Wrath. Other exhibits included art by a Chinese-American exploring her roots in China and two artists who were born in India and live in California.

We later had dinner at an excellent Mediterranean restaurant.

So, if you think Bakersfield is still all about oil and Buck Owens playing core pone roles, think again. (By the way, Buck Owens wasn’t a dumb hick at all and detested the role the TV show Hee Haw forced him into.)

Exhibitions at the museum include:

Horace Bristol: The Dust Bowl Series.

In conjunction with The Grapes of Wrath’s 75th anniversary celebration at CSU Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Museum of Art proudly presents Horace Bristol’s The Dust Bowl Series. Born and raised in California, Horace Bristol used his camera to document some of the most striking and memorable images to come out of the Great Depression. Accompanied by writer John Steinbeck, Bristol attempted to draw attention to the struggles of migrant workers escaping the barren hope of the American Dust Bowl.

The World on a String: Puppets from The Alan Cook Collection.
On loan from the International Puppetry Museum and from the Alan Cook collection, this exhibition highlights a selection of puppets from various time periods and countries from around the globe.

A Story Of Immigration: Illustrations by Belle Yang.
In an effort to reconnect with her parents’ mainland China roots, Yang studied at the Beijing Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting, where she developed an appreciation and respect for traditional ink paintings and folk art. After experiencing the horrors of the Tiananmen Massacre, Yang returned to the U.S. determined not to waste the gift of freedom of American expression.

Siddharth Parasnis and Suhas Bhujbal.
This exhibition explores two emerging California painters who were born in India. Their current body of work explores identity relating to places. The two incorporate people and architecture native to their homeland paired with the similarities found in their new California environment.