MSJC Art Gallery Presents Elizabeth Leister: Under the Wallpaper

November 6, 2018

image by Elizabeth Leister of woman in hospital roomElizabeth Leister Visiting Artist Talk: Thursday, November 15, 2018
12:00 – 1:00 p.m., with reception to follow

The MSJC Art Gallery is pleased to present a new solo show by Elizabeth Leister, Under the Wallpaper. Under the Wallpaper includes a virtual reality experience, drawings, writing and photography. The works were inspired by the feminist text The Yellow Wallpaper written in 1932 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Rockhaven Sanitarium in Glendale, California. Rockhaven was the first mental health facility for women, founded by a woman, in the United States.

The show includes, The Rockhaven Creepers Trilogy, a cinematic virtual reality experience that allows the viewer to enter the space of the abandoned sanitarium. Rockhaven becomes the set and one of the main characters in the exhibition. The VR experience uses three rooms of the sanitarium that the dancers respond to. Each of rooms is inhabited by a dancer/character, who through movement, embodies the various "nervous disorders" associated with female health in the 1930's and even through present day.

Elizabeth Lester received an MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Fine Arts at Bard College and a BFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Leister is Assistant Professor of Multimedia Production in the Cinema and Television Arts Department at California State University at Northridge. Her work has been presented at the Torrance Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, and the Delaware Museum of Art; The Drawing Center, Art in General, Apex Art and P.S. 122 in New York, Counterpath in Denver and Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Santa Monica in addition to various artist run spaces.

Exhibition dates: November 13 – December 6, 2018

This exhibition fuses many types of art production that might on the surface seem disparate but in the expert production and conceptual presentation by Leister produce a poetic experience that disarms the viewer and bridges an emotional gap between the past and new technology. As the viewer puts on the VR headset and immerses their self in the ghostly world of the sanitarium and Leisters vision they at once feel a sense of connection and emotional intimacy with the women performing and a detachment as they can never fully occupy the same space as the female dancers.

Gallery Hours:
Mon. – Thurs., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Holiday closures: Mon., Nov. 12th, Thurs. and Fri., Nov. 22nd & 23rd)
MSJC Art Gallery
1499 N. State St. Building 1400
San Jacinto, CA 92583

For more information, contact John Knuth at (951) 487-3585 or