Exhibit by Photographer Michael Rauner Takes Viewers on a Tour of California's Eccentric Religious Movements

'The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape' runs Oct. 29 - Dec. 10 in Sol Mednick Gallery

October 25, 2010

San Francisco-based photographer Michael Rauner traveled through California documenting its more eccentric religious movements: Neopaganism, UFO cults, Spiritualism, New Age and Dianetics, among others. Detailed color photographs create portraits of these various belief systems through their landscape and architecture and are on display in the exhibit "The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape," October 29 - December 10 in the University's Sol Mednick Gallery.

Druid Heights, a secluded retreat nestled among redwoods; the golden domes and gardens of Yogananda's ashram; the Victorian townhouse where Kenneth Anger conducted occult rites - all are a part of California's rich spiritual history.

Michael Rauner has shown his work at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, the George Eastman House, Photo-Eye Gallery, the Center for Photography at Woodstock and Internationale Fototage in Germany. His artwork and handmade photographic books reside in numerous private and public collections including the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Bancroft Library. His photographs have been widely published, and Chronicle Books published The Visionary State, with text by Eric Davis, in 2006.

This exhibition is concurrent with "Best of Show: The 'Photo Review' 2010 Competition Winners" in Gallery 1401, the Sol Mednick Gallery's sister space.

The Sol Mednick Gallery, located on the 15th floor of Terra Hall (211 S. Broad St.) in the University's Media Arts department, offers a regular schedule of exhibitions of contemporary photography. The only endowed gallery in Philadelphia dedicated solely to the exhibition of photography, the gallery earned the Photo Review Award for service to photography and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009. Associate Professor of Photography Harris Fogel has been the director of both galleries since 1997. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 - 4 p.m. Call 215-717-6300 for further information.

Above: God Is, Salvation Mountain, Slab City / Rooftop tower, Vedanta Old Temple, San Francisco

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