Artist Statement 2023 Moving from New Jersey to Southern California in 2018 was transformative. I had been painting roller coaster structures since 2002, based on photos I took from the front car of the rides. Soon after the move, I went to the Santa Monica Pier at night to capture new images. Later as I worked with the photos, I realized I was more fascinated with the light streaming across the sky than the rides, and the emphasis in my work shifted. While the light in my paintings has always been important, now it takes the starring role: a fusion of abstraction and realism, providing glimpses of eternity – our connection with spirit.
I first included fireworks in my 2010 painting, California Screamin’ that featured the extreme drop of Disney California Adventure Park’s roller coaster at night. To celebrate our emergence back into society in the summer of 2021, a few years after I began focusing on light streams, I decided to revisit the imagery of fireworks.
I can trace my attraction to light emerging from the darkness back to my childhood. Riding in the backseat of the car at night, sleepy after a weekend at the beach, transfixed by the white and red car lights speeding by. Sitting on my father’s shoulders at a crowded Fourth of July fireworks display, mesmerized by the explosions of lights in the sky. Christmas Eve midnight services with my father at the pulpit, encouraging a full congregation to hold up their glowing candles with extended arms to light up a dark church. The symbolism of light overcoming darkness was instilled in me at an early age.
This mystical quality of light from darkness is at the core of my work. Yes, the fireworks are celebratory, and the light streams are experienced in a euphoric state on amusement park rides, but for me, the light in my painting symbolizes our undying spirit, our true self. An explosion of light – the Big Bang, created our universe; at birth we are thrust into light; during meditation, we experience illumination from within; and near-death experiences often involve a bright light at the end of a tunnel.
Sky light celebrations lift us out of our mundane reality, connecting us to our own essence as well as each other. We are inseparable from the light.
Artist Biography Carla Falb receive her BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and a Certificate in Fine Arts (Painting) from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1983 and received her MFA in Painting from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, in 2003. Her work has appeared in exhibitions throughout the United States including at the Noyes Museum of Art in New Jersey, the Preston Contemporary Art Center in New Mexico, and the Alumni Gallery of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2009, she was a recipient of a Dodge Foundation Fellowship for Artists/Educators to document amusement parks for her series of rollercoaster paintings. Her work has been featured in Shoutout SoCal, New American Paintings, ArtSpeak, and Fresh Paint Magazine among others. She lives and works in Southern California.
EDUCATION 2003 MFA Painting: The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 1983 BFA Liberal Arts Major, Art Education: Philadelphia College of Art 1983 Certificate in Fine Arts, Painting: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
SOLO & SMALL GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2023 Sky Lights, Billis Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2013 Euphoria! Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2011 2011 Exhibit 5, four-person exhibition, Preston Contemporary Art Center, Mesilla, NM 2007 Spinning Worlds, two-person exhibition, Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, NJ 2003 University of the Arts Thesis Exhibition, four-person exhibition, Gallery Siano, Phila., PA 1987 Into the Light, Belanthi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2022 Faculty Biennial, Fullerton College Gallery, CA 2021 Hope & Possibility: Benefit Exhibition for Tools for School and Education Works, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA Group Exhibition, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA 2020 Faculty Biennial Online, Fullerton College, CA Into the Light, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA 2019-20Salon at the Triton Statewide 2-D Competition and Exhibition, Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA 2019 LA Open 2019, TAG Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2018 Faculty Biennial, Fullerton College Gallery, CA Into the Light: Benefit Exhibition for Friends of the Rail Park, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2017 2017 International Juried Exhibition, The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ Spiritus Lumine, Summer Group Exhibition at Dacia Gallery, New York, NY 60th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition, Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, Chautauqua, NY 2016 Studio Montclair's 19th Annual Exhibit: ViewPoints 2016, Aljira: Contemporary Art Center, Newark, NJ 2015 Old Enough to Known Better, Crane Arts, Gallery 105, Philadelphia, PA International Juried Exhibition, The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ Small Matters of Great Importance 2015, Edward Hopper House Art Center, Nyack, NY 2015 Women Painting Women, RJD Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY The 116th Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Annual Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA 4th Annual National Show: The Figure, East End Arts, Riverhead, NY 2015 National Juried Exhibition, First Street Gallery, New York, NY 2010 7th Annual International Juried Exhibition, The Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Long Branch, NJ 24th International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit. NJ 2009 From Here to There, Arts Council of the Morris Area, Morristown, NJ 2008 22nd International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ 2007 Blank Canvas Benefit, Invitational Exhibit & Auction: Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit, NJ 2006 20th International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ Viridian Artists 17th National Juried Exhibition, New York, NY 2006 2006 National Juried Exhibition: Works of Art on Paper, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, Long Beach, NJ Blank Canvas Benefit, Invitational Exhibit & Auction: Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit, NJ 15th National Juried Show, Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford, NJ 2005 Audubon Artists 63rd Annual Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, New York, NY SUMFA 10 10th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Exhibition, The National Arts Club, Gregg Galleries, NY 2004 Ellarslie Open XXII, The Trenton City Museum, NJ Viridian Artists 15th National Juried Exhibition, New York, NY 2003 21st Annual Juried Exhibition, Pleiades Gallery, New York, NY 2002 Six Degrees in Cold Storage, CAA MFA Exhibit, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA 2000, 2001 Works in Progress, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 1994 Annual Piccolo Spoleto Juried Exhibition, Charleston's Visitor Center, SC 1990 Art 1990 Charleston, Piccolo Spoleto, Tidwell Slavens Gallery, Charleston, SC 1988 Seascapes In Sight In Sound, benefit for Marine Mammal Stranding Center & Composers Guild of NJ, Beach Haven & Cape May, NJ 1984-1993 Represented by the Belanthi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
BIBLIOGRAPHY / MEDIA Carla Falb/Painter & Professor Interview, Shout Out SoCal. May 27, 2020. Thought Provokers Interview, SDVoyager. October 24, 2018. Samantha Mondonado, “Old Enough to Know Better at Crane Arts.” Broad Street Review. November 20, 2015. Drew Moss, “RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor Features Women Painting Women.” Long Island Pulse. Sept. 25, 2015. Interview, Fresh Paint Magazine. Issue 8, July 2015. Pat Johnson, “Carla Falb Paints Final Roller Coaster for Sandy Relief.” The Sandpaper. August 21, 2013. Alex Biese, “Jet Star Painting a Symbol of Sandy.” Asbury Park Press. July 21, 2013. New American Paintings, 15 Years. Open Studios Press, 2009. Ralph J. Bellantoni, “Warren Artist has Fun Time Turning Roller Coasters into Art.” Courier News [Central Jersey] February 8, 2007. Linda Reddington, “What Goes Around . . . Spinning Worlds: Emerging Artists Thrill at Noyes.” Ocean County Observer [Ocean County, NJ] January 24, 2007. “Color, Energy at Noyes: ‘Spinning Worlds’ Exhibit,” featuring “Medusa Storm” on the cover. Art Scene NJ [Southern New Jersey] January -- February 2007. Family Gallery Guide. International Juried Show 2006, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, February 2006. SUMFA 10: Celebrating the First Ten Years. The University of the Arts, June 2005. Notre Dame Review. “Nitro” -- cover illustration. Number 18, Summer 2004. New American Paintings, MidAtlantic Region. Open Studios Press, #51 May 2004. Robert E. Novit, "Unmasking Artistic Talent." Press and Standard [Colleton County, SC] July 15, 1997. Dennis Wepman, "The Powerful Visions of Carla Schultz." ArtSpeak [New York, NY] June 1, 1987.
AWARDS /RESIDENCIES 2019 Honorable Mention: LA Open, TAG Gallery Los Angeles, CA 2013 Associate Artist: Atlantic Center for the Arts, 150th Residency, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 2010 Honorable Mention: 24th International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey 2009 Grant Recipient: Dodge Foundation Fellowship for Artists/Educators, Morristown, NJ 2005 The Elisha Turner Award for Graphics: Audubon Artists 63rd Annual Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, New York, New York 2005 2nd Place in Drawing: Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Exhibition, The National Arts Club, Gregg Galleries, New York, New York 2004 Trenton Artist Workshop Award for Drawing: Ellarslie Open XXII, Trenton City Museum, NJ