Jackrabbit Homestead Exhibition Opens at UCR ARTSblock June 29

Project by Joshua Tree artist Kim Stringfellow traces the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape from 1938 to 2008

photo of abandoned shack in desert

T1N R11E SEC31 Lot 9 San Bernardino Meridian, California, U.S.A., 2008Photo courtesy of Kim Stringfellow

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Stories and photographs from the vast desert region along State Highway 62 — one of the last remaining communities of so-called jackrabbit homesteads — form the basis of an exhibition that opens June 29 at UC Riverside’s Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside and continues through Sept. 28.

“Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938-2008, a project by Kim Stringfellow,” consists of a published book, photographic exhibit and Web-based multimedia presentation featuring a downloadable car audio tour exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in Southern California’s Morongo Basin region near Joshua Tree National Park.

A closing panel discussion and reception are planned for Sept. 28. The panel discussion will begin at 3 p.m., followed by the reception at 6 p.m. Admission to both events is free.

“Stories from this underrepresented regional history are told through the voices of local residents, historians, and area artists — many of whom reside in reclaimed historic cabins and use the structures as inspiration for their creative work,” said Tyler Stallings, artistic director of the Culver Center and director of the Sweeney Art Gallery.

Small, dusty cabins, most of them abandoned, dot the landscape, the only remaining physical evidence of former occupants who were some of the last to receive land from the federal government for a nominal fee through the Small Tract Act of 1938.

These structures — ranging from 200 to 400 square feet — acquired the name “jackrabbit homestead” long ago from a Desert Magazine writer who observed that jackrabbits sought shelter from the sun in the shadows cast by cabin walls, Stringfellow explained.

Stringfellow is an artist and educator residing in Joshua Tree, Calif. She teaches multimedia and photography courses at San Diego State University as an associate professor in the School of Art, Design, and Art History. She received her M.F.A. in art and technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Her professional practice and research interests address ecological, historical and activist issues related to land use and the built environment through hybrid documentary forms incorporating writing, digital media, photography, audio, video, installation, mapping, and locative media.

Among other awards, she is the 2012 recipient of the Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence. Stringfellow’s work has been exhibited nationally at many prominent museums. Her newest audio tour project — “There It Is—Take It!” — was funded by the California Council for Humanities in 2011. She is an editor at ARID: A Journal of Desert, Art and Ecology and also writes about Southern California arts and culture for KCET Artbound.

“Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938-2008, a project by Kim Stringfellow” is organized by UCR ARTSblock’s Culver Center of the Arts and curated by Stallings. UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the city of Riverside provided support for the exhibition.

UCR ARTSblock is located at 3824 and 3834 Main St., Riverside, and includes three venues: California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts, and Sweeney Art Gallery, which are open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., plus 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for First Thursday ArtWalks. Admission is $3, which includes entry to all three venues, and is free during First Thursday ArtWalks. For film screenings, Culver Center opens 30 minutes prior to the start time. http://artsblock.ucr.edu.

Concurrent Exhibition Opening and Closing Receptions on Sept. 28:

  • “ESSENTIAL: Selections from the Permanent Collection Celebrates UCR Sweeney Art Gallery’s 50th Anniversary,” Sweeney Art Gallery, June 29-Sept. 28, closing reception
  • “Patrick Quan: Accidents and Failures, Culver Center of the Arts, Aug. 17-Sept. 28, closing reception
  • “Reconsidering Winogrand’s Women,” California Museum of Photography, Aug. 10–Oct. 26, opening reception
  • “Zoe Crosher: The Further Disbanding of Michelle duBois,” California Museum of Photography, Aug. 24–Nov. 9, opening reception
  • “Japanese Cameras from the David Whitmire Hearst Jr. Foundation Collection,” California Museum of Photography, Sept. 28–Jan. 11, 2014, opening reception

Ongoing Summer Exhibitions @ UCR ARTSblock:

  • Monuments of Void: Wolf von dem Bussche’s Photographs of the Twin Towers,” California Museum of Photography, through July 6
  • “Around the World in Forty Pictures,” California Museum of Photography, May 4-July 27
  • “Geographies of Detention: From Guantánamo to the Golden Gulag,” California Museum of Photography, June 1–Sept. 7
  • “Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938-2008, a project by Kim Stringfellow,” Culver Center of the Arts, June 29–Sept. 28
  • “ESSENTIAL: Selections from the Permanent Collection Celebrates UCR Sweeney Art Gallery’s 50th Anniversary,” Sweeney Art Gallery, June 29–Sept. 28
  • “Patrick Quan: Accidents and Failures,” Culver Center of the Arts, Aug. 17-Sept. 28
  • “Reconsidering Winogrand’s Women,” California Museum of Photography, Aug. 10–Oct. 26
  • “Zoe Crosher: The Further Disbanding of Michelle duBois,” California Museum of Photography, Aug. 24–Nov. 9
  • “Japanese Cameras from the David Whitmire Hearst Jr. Foundation Collection,” California Museum of Photography, Sept. 28–Jan. 11, 2014

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Tyler Stallings
Tel: 951-827-1463
E-mail: tyler.stallings@ucr.edu

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