Archive Exhibit: "Simply Because You're Near Me", an exhibition by Eileen Cowin, Artist-in-Residence

March 13 - May 2, 2009

male sitting on bed, women laying on bed in background

EILEEN COWIN “Simply Because You’re Near Me”

Exhibition: March 13 – May 2, 2009 Public lecture by the artist: Monday, March 23, 7 PM

Reception for the artist: Monday, March 23, 8 – 9:30 PM

Related Event: Lecture by Photographer Mark Wyse: “Photography's Stories: How We Understand Ourselves, ” Tuesday, March 24 at noon in room R122.


“Simply Because You're Near Me,” an exhibition by Eileen Cowin, will feature two new video installations created specifically for the Pasadena City College art gallery. Cowin is Pasadena City College’s twenty-third annual Artist-in-Residence.

Actors break into song, argue the merits of sentimentality and comment on the structure of the fiction they are inhabiting in “Sentimental Over You,” a work that commands the main space with a large projection screen suspended in the center of the gallery. Stories will unfold in a split-screen format, as actors sing classic love songs as part of the narrative.

A second new work, “Blow Me a Kiss,” invites viewers to explore the multiple meanings that are suggested by a single gesture; gallery visitors are surrounded by sixteen discrete video channels, each one presenting the face of an individual in the act of blowing a kiss.

A brochure, with an essay by artist Shana Lutker, will accompany the exhibition. “Cowin's work is focused on relationships—between fact and fiction, private and public, cause and effect, language and image, truth and lies,” Lutker writes. “To investigate these binaries, Cowin often uses personal relationships as a subject. She explores the problems of representing love and intimacy, of depicting stories with images and the discomfort that arises upon encountering constructed or staged emotions.”

Cowin will lecture about her work at 7 PM on Monday, March 23rd at the Vosloh Forum, followed by a reception for the artist in the gallery. She will be introduced by Shana Lutker, artist and managing editor of the contemporary art journal X-Tra.

In conjunction with Cowin's residency, photographer Mark Wyse will speak about ways that artists have explored the narrative aspects of photography. His talk, “Photography's Stories: How we Understand Ourselves,” will take place on Tuesday, March 24 at noon (in room R122).

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Eileen Cowin's work has been presented in over 30 solo exhibitions and in more than 165 group exhibitions. Her work is represented in major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan. (An extensive résumé is available online at

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Cowin holds degrees from the State University of New York, New Paltz, and Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, where she studied with the innovative photographers Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegel. A long-time resident of Southern California—she recently retired from a distinguished career as a professor of art at California State University, Fullerton—she currently lives in Santa Monica.

Cowin has received many awards, including three Individual fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a commission from the Public Art Fund in New York, an Individual Artist Grant from the City of Los Angeles, a Completion Grant from The Durfee Foundation and an Artist's Fellowship in New Genres from the California Community Arts Foundation. She was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to do a billboard for its exhibition Made in California and was selected to be the inaugural artist for the Metro Rail Light Boxes in Los Angeles. Her videos have been included in the USA Film Festival (where she received the award for best experimental film), The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival.

A mid-career retrospective exhibition, Still (and all) Eileen Cowin, 1971-1998, opened at The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, in 2000. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication and traveled to additional venues in Florida, Maryland and Ohio.

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC LECTURE BY THE ARTIST: Monday, March 23, 7 PM at the Pasadena City College Vosloh Forum. RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST: Monday, March 23, 8:30 P.M. in the art gallery.

LECTURE BY PHOTOGRAPHER MARK WYSE: “Photography's Stories: How We Understand Ourselves, ” Tuesday, March 24 at noon in room R122.

A participant in ArtNight Pasadena, March 13.

Related link:


man blowing kisses

Related Events:

Mar 23, 2009

Eileen Cowin, Artist-in-Residence Public Lecture
7:00 p.m. - Vosloh Forum

Mar 23, 2009

"Simply Because You're Near Me", an exhibition by Eileen Cowin - Gallery Reception
8:00 p.m. - Art Gallery

Mar 24, 2009

Mark Wyse, "Photography's Stories: How We Understand Ourselves"
12:00 p.m. - R-122

Mar 27, 2009

"Simply Because You're Near Me", President's Reception
2:00 p.m. - Art Gallery