Bakersfield is a different kind of California, one that's kind of like a mix between Nashville and Texas. It's where Okies landed during the Dust Bowl, and there's a famous neon sign at a bar called Trouts that reads “The Bakersfield Sound,” referring to the music of Merle Haggard and other fiddle-wielding, Midwestern imports who settled in the city. When Mary Weatherford spent a few weeks in residence at Cal State Bakersfield, she made a series of paintings that's now on view at LAXART. Each one has a strip of neon about as thick as the neon at Trouts attached to it; behind the neon, there are big, rectangular splotches of color, sometimes earthy tones with bright pinks, blues and purples seeping out at the edges. They're ungainly but still pretty cool in their own special way, like Bakersfield itself. 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Oct. 27. (323) 868-5893, laxart.org.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 21. Continues through Oct. 27, 2012
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