UCSC alumni photographers focus on environment for exhibition

Robert Dawson, "Cracked Mud and Vineyard," Arvin, CA, 1985
Robert Dawson, "Cracked Mud and Vineyard," Arvin, CA, 1985
David Pace, "Karaba 2495," 2012
David Pace, "Karaba 2495," 2012
Joel Leivick, "Salsepuedes Apple Tree," 2003
Joel Leivick, "Salsepuedes Apple Tree," 2003

Three UC Santa Cruz alumni will present their work as artists, environmentalists, and educators at a new exhibition beginning April 9, on campus at the Sesnon Gallery.

Titled Three Lives in Photography, the show features acclaimed photographers Robert Dawson, Joel Leivick, and David Pace. It runs through May 10, with an opening reception on Wednesday, April 9, at 5 p.m., followed by an artists’ lecture at 7 p.m.

The work in Three Lives in Photography--curated by Sesnon director Shelby Graham--uses traditional format photography to reveal the severe impact of industry on the contemporary landscape.

Robert Dawson employs his camera to examine the scarcity of water in the West and other global water issues--a timely and vitally relevant subject as we face record-setting drought conditions in California, 

Founder and co­director of the Water in the West Project, Dawson’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian); and the Library of Congress.

He graduated from UCSC in 1972 and has taught photography at San Jose State University since 1986, as well as at Stanford University since 1996.

Dawson’s books include Robert Dawson Photographs; The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland; Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream; A Doubtful River; and the upcoming Public Library: A Photographic Essay.

Joel Leivick creates large-format black-and-white landscapes that capture nature battling the junkyards of the world’s industrial experiments. He has a long history of photographing the landscape of California, and has also shot extensively in Italy.

Leivick was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2012, and last year his installation of photographs made in Rome's Pantheon, "The Rapture," was exhibited
 at the Stanford Art Gallery. His monograph, "Cararra: The Marble Quarries of Tuscany" was also published by Stanford University Press.

Leivick, who has taught photography at Stanford for the past 32 years, received his BA from UCSC in 1973, and an MFA from Yale University in 1981.

David Pace has been working on several bodies of work in the small West African country of Burkina Faso. His use of color photography accentuates how bricks are cut by hand and extracted from the landscape.

A Bay Area photographer, musician and filmmaker, Pace has taught photography for more than 20 years at San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, and Santa Clara University, where he currently serves as Resident Director of the Study Abroad Program in West Africa.

Pace’s photographs from Burkina Faso have been recently exhibited in solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, and the World Affairs Council of Northern California in San Francisco. His award-winning animated music films have also been screened at film festivals around the world.

Pace has served as the President of the Board of Directors of both SF Camerawork and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). He graduated from UCSC in 1974 and received his MFA from San Jose State University in 1991.


UCSC presents "Three Lives in Photography," an exhibition by Robert Dawson, Joel Leivick, and David Pace, April 9 through May 10, at the Sesnon Gallery. An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, April 9, at 5 p.m., followed by an artists’ lecture at 7 p.m. Sesnon hours are Tuesday- Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m. The gallery is located at UCSC’s Porter College and is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free. For more information, call (831) 459­-3606.