top of page

You Can't Arrest an Idea

Sheila Pinkel

September 21 - November 15, 2021


Glendale Library, Arts and Culture and ReflectSpace Gallery is proud to present “You Can’t Arrest an Idea,” an exhibition by Sheila Pinkel, that brings together an important selection of the artist’s social and political work never before shown together. Sheila Pinkel is an American visual artist, activist and educator who has been creating engaged political and socially conscious art for four decades. Her topics of inquiry are as varied as her techniques and approaches. A research-based artist, she employs data visualization, digital and medical technologies, photography, and Xerox machine works to make critical and ethical inquiries into often invisible but pressing issues of our times. Casting a wide net across multiple subject matters—from the military-industrial complex, nuclear industry, consumption, incarceration, environment, and others—Sheila Pinkel’s work is as ambitious as it is outspoken. “You Can’t Arrest an Idea” weaves many of these threads together to present a decades-long and unrelenting vision of an artist attempting to make the invisible visible in nature and in culture.

“You Can’t Arrest an Idea” runs September 21 to November 15, 2021 at ReflectSpace Gallery in the Glendale Central Library at 222 East Harvard Street


Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-9pm,

Fridays & Saturdays, 9am-6pm.

Sheila Pinkel is an American visual artist, activist and educator whose practice includes experimental light studies, photography, conceptual and graphic works, and public art. She first gained notice for cameraless photography begun in the 1970s that used light-sensitive emulsions and technologies to explore form; her later, socially conscious art combines research, data visualization, and documentary photography, making critical and ethical inquiries into the military-industrial complex and nuclear industry, consumption and incarceration patterns, and the effects of war on survivors, among other subjects. Critics and writers identify an attempt to reveal the unseen—in nature and in culture—as a common thread in her work.

Pinkel has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Center for the Study of Political Graphics and National Endowment for the Arts, among others. She has exhibited internationally and her work belongs to public collections including those of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Photography. In addition to her art, Pinkel has written for journals including Leonardo, Afterimage and Heresies, and taught at Pomona College in Claremont, California. She lives and works in Los Angeles.




Installation Photos & Artists' Work


bottom of page