Bedford Gallery's Safe At Home Baseball Exhibition

Walnut Creek art gallery's "Safe at Home" exhibition explores the cultural and sociological impact of the great American pastime.



As vice president of the Lesher Foundation, Steve Lesher makes a point of never getting involved in the content of the various artistic efforts that his foundation funds. He made an exception for Bedford Gallery’s spring exhibition, however, because he knew that he shared a common passion with curator Carrie Lederer: baseball.

“I mentioned to Carrie that I know an amazing photographer named Brad Mangin, whose body of work as a baseball photographer just blew me away,” says Lesher. Lesher’s reference inspired Safe at Home: A Short Survey of Baseball Art, an ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition opening at the Bedford Gallery on April 3.

“More than any sport, baseball is rooted in American culture. Issues of race and identity have been vetted through the game,” says Lederer. “There are so many artists whose work reflects our national pastime in fascinating ways.”

To create Bedford’s Safe at Home exhibition, Lederer teamed up with San Francisco art dealer George Krevsky, who hosts an elaborate show of baseball art every year.
 

Lederer and Krevsky have gathered works from notable American artists, such as LeRoy Neiman, Claes Oldenburg, Raymond Pettibon, and Andy Warhol.

Also on display are still photographs from the former women’s professional baseball leagues from World War II and the work of Berkeley photgrapher Tabitha Soren, who spent a decade following and documenting the 21 players drafted by the Oakland A’s in 2002.

Lesher’s friend Mangin, a longtime sports photographer with dozens of Sports Illustrated covers and two books about the San Francisco Giants’ recent championships, will be featured with a grid of his now-famous Instagram photos.

“When I got to know Brad, I came to realize, ‘What would baseball be without the photography?’” says Lesher. “It dawned on me that despite all the technology we have now—slow motion, instant replay cameras—the still photograph is still with us. In many cases, the still photograph is all we have of some of the game’s greatest players.”

 

Schedule

When: April 3–June 12     Where: Bedford Gallery     Info: (925) 295-1417, or bedfordgallery.org