“portraits” juried by Alyssa Coppelman

The “portraits” exhibition juried by Alyssa Coppelman, was in the Main gallery from March 30 to May 13, 2018.  Alyssae selected fifty five images from fifty one artist.  Lisa Krantz’s “Rowan Rests” received the Juror’s Award.  Dale Niles’ image “Aunt Willie’s Nursing Cap” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Anthony Marchetti’s “Untitled (Paul)”, Christopher Priebe’s “Marcella Takes a Look” and Sandra Chen Weinstein “Into the Blue”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Jim Dratfield’s “On The Town”, Katherine Hershey’s “Garden Statue”, David Morel’s “English Lady and Her Dogs” and Project Barbatype’s “Angela Webb, World Champion Whiskerina Realistic  Moustache, 2017”.

 

The Photographic Performance 2018 / Marilyn Maxwell

This is the first in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2018”.  Marilyn Maxwell’s exhibition “At Risk” was in the gallery from April 20 to May 20, 2018.

“At Risk” is about vanishing species.  With this collection of images, I want to advance the idea of enlightened human stewardship of African species at risk of extinction.  These photographs not only celebrate the beauty and power of Earth’s great land animals, but are also meant to call attention to their plight.  They are at our mercy. My fear is that these images may depict the last decade these creatures walk the earth before Man eradicates them through poaching and habitat destruction. This portfolio follows in the tradition of Sebastiao Salgado’s Vanishing Cultures and Nick Brandt’s dark vision of African wildlife’s future. – Marilyn Maxwell

“Being Set Free” exhibition juried by Karen Divine, Melanie Walker, Amanda Smith, Diana Perkins and Kevin Tully

The “Being Set Free” exhibition juried by Karen Divine, Melanie Walker, Amanda Smith, Diana Perkins and Kevin Tully, was in the Salon gallery from February 23 to April 15, 2018.  Thirty three images from twenty four artist were selected for the exhibition.  Dorothy Kloss’ “Longing for Someone to Get It”, “Monsters Don’t Sleep Under Your Bed, They Scream Inside Your Head” and “Outside and Out of Touch  received the Juror’s Selection Award.  Eduardo Fujii’s “Uncertain Destiny” received the Director’s Selection Award.

The Photographic Performance 2017/Jim Riche

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2017” that were not chosen for exhibition in the gallery, yet we feel demand an audience.

Jim has worked in the film industry for many years.  He has a cinematographers eye.  He looks at his subject like David Lean or Stanley Kubrick, who was also a photographer.  The decay and rugged, salt impregnated visions of the environs around the Salton Sea are framed not unlike Lawrence heading out into the majestic, yet also vertiginous desert or Spartacus leading gladiators across the wide Italian plain towards Rome.

 

How did you come to photography?

I got a BFA in Photography as a Fine Art from RIT many years ago. During those years I interned for Pete Turner one summer and was totally immersed in the darkroom creating different techniques of developing Extachrome.  After a number of years in the business I ended up becoming a Director of Photography on a stop motion film.  From there I spent the next 25 years working in Visual Effects for films such as Tron, X-Men:First Class, Deadpool and many others as a VFX Supervisor and an Executive Producer. Now I find myself drawn back to photography as I wind down my film career.  I live in the Palm Springs area of California and the Mojave Desert and Salton Sea areas have a special appeal, a special beauty that you just need to find.

What drew you to do a series on the Salton Sea?

The Salton Sea was created by mistake back in 1905 when a dam broke and it filled with water for 2 years. In the 50s and 60s it became a resort on the water, cities were planned, marinas were built and hotels and resorts flourished.  There were yacht clubs, speed boat races, the stars came from palm springs to have fun in the beautiful water.  Communities built along the coast, Desert Shores , Salton city, Salton Sea Beach with its marina.  Then over on the east side of the lake were the North Shore Yacht Club and the resort town of Bombay Beach and Niland Marina. It has now been left to the elements and the few thousand people who still hang on to life on the edge of the sea.  Two hurricanes in the 70s ripped through the area devastating the communities.  Yet it is still a beautiful place in its own right.  It is a huge bird-way for 80% of the worlds white pelicans and 90% of the eared grebe.  It is a world with history and a beauty that deserves to be saved and to be seen by today’s generation and future generations.

What do you hope people will see in your work? 

I created this series so people can see what man has brought to the world and what nature is taking back.  The Salton Sea was a wonderland totally created by man, it didn’t exist until man made a mistake.  Nature has a way of correcting our mistakes yet the footprint of man will still remain.  It is a shame that we create things that should not have been there in the first place.  I hope people see the Salton Sea as a land that nature is trying to take back and something we need to make sure is taken care of properly.

http://www.jimriche.com

 

The Photographic Performance 2017/Paula Riff

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2017” that were not chosen for exhibition in the gallery, yet we feel demand an audience.

Paula is an extremely sincere, generous and open individual.  Dwelling behind her quick smile and generosity is shining intellect, curiosity and creativity.  This project of Paula’s is rich.  Her images are constructions — compilations of artistic peregrination, photographic process and narrative.

How did you first get into photography?

My first career had nothing to do with photography.  I had been living in Japan for several years working as an interpreter at a Japanese newspaper and the staff photographer gave me his used Minolta camera before I returned to the states. On my way home I travelled to Nepal and the very first photos I took was during that trip, trekking in the mountains. I become completely obsessed and when I moved to Los Angeles, I enrolled in a few photo classes and set up a mini darkroom in my bathroom.  I also lucked out and was hired soon after as an intern at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the photo department and the head curator at that time was very influential in the beginning of my photographic education. I had access to an amazing photo library which I poured over and I was also fortunate to view the prints in their expansive collection.

Tell us how you got started experimenting with historical processes and why you primarily choose camera-less photography as your method?

I started in the darkroom making my own prints and loved the hands on process of making something by hand.  It was just so magical to be in the darkroom and see what happened.  Then I started hand coloring my prints, again getting really close to the print and feeling as if I were one with it.  I also loved polaroid cameras and bought a camera that used SX-70 film which I manipulated and hand colored and did all kinds of things with. The other real impetus was the wonderful Judy Sherrod, who spearhead and founded the photo based group Shootapoolza.  She always encouraged experimentation and pushed me to try new things.  So when I started experimenting with cyanotypes and coating my own papers, a whole new world opened up to me. My motto is, if you think you can coat it then go ahead and try it!   I will also say that making camera-less based art liberated my way of creating.  I no longer feel held back by anything and it is such a tremendous feeling of freedom to make art in this manner.  The piece of paper or whatever substrate I am using is now my camera. I am inspired by the artists and photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, who believed in adventure in their art making and that the possibilities within the photographic realm was limitless. I am interested in the history of photography and how images are made using photographic materials and am inspired and pushed to make art that is modern and hopefully on the cusp of the avant-garde in a way to blend the two. 

Can you please tell us a little bit about your project: “ Concerto in Three Movements”?

This project came about as a continuation of combining my hand marbling of different papers, a method of floating paints and inks on water; transferring that one time pattern or design onto the paper and then making photograms.  This time I decided to use platinum palladium as my coating preference instead of cyanotype, as the country was moving towards a darker political environment. So black was my choice for these darker times.

I was also feeling the tremendous weight of the passage of time. I am constantly  thinking about how much more or how much less of it there is. As a result, this series looks at the fragility and impermanence of the natural world. It is about mortality and how things change. It is also about our relationship to the earth, the tenuousness of beauty, and shift of the natural state of things.

This project is intended as a concerto, a piece for an orchestra with three contrasting movements, and was conceived as a musical meditation for the passage of time through one’s life. It is this connection to the earth and the sun that allows us to somehow survive the varied stages and changes in our existence.  I use leaves and bones, rocks and dust, as metaphors for these connecting but separate parts.

I am continually interested in testing the parameters of photography by using the natural world as my camera, instead of being bound by a single lens. These are camera-less images made by placing objects on hand marbled papers, which are then coated with light sensitive materials and exposed in the light to make photograms. Like the earth, these images are bound to the inherent ways of nature and like photography, dependent on light, the passage of time, and the inexplicable existence of human trial and error.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about myself and my art!

To see more images please visit my website: 

http://paulariffphotography.virb.com/a-concerto-in-three-movements

“chair” exhibition juried by S Gayle Stevens

The “chair” exhibition juried by S Gayle Stevens, was in the Main gallery from February 16 to March 25, 2018.  Gayle selected fifty four images from forty three artist.  Patricia Leeds’ “Chairs Deconstructed” received the Juror’s Award.  Elizabeth Sanjuan’s “La Sala” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Joel Butler’s “Café Noir”, Carol Isaak’s “The Clean-Up Crew” and David Glen Larson’s “Man’s Best Friends”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Pete Holland’s “Seat at the Mausoleum”, Deborah Sfez’s “Wedding on a Bench Dresden 1947” and Thomas Zamolo’s “This Is”.

“response” juried by Amanda Smith and Kevin Tully

The “response” exhibition juried by gallery directors, Amanda Smith and Kevin Tully, was in the Main gallery from December 22, 2017 to February 11, 2018.  Amanda and Kevin selected fifty seven images from forty five artist.  Charlotte Watts’ “Road Kill #12 – Fawn, La Pieta” received the Juror’s Award.  Carlos Detres’ “The Anxiety of Love” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Dave Hanson’s “The Valley”, Keith Kesler’s “Beware of Falling Coconuts” and Sara Silks’ “Sliding”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to  Gary Beeber’s “Double Portrait, Providence, RI”, Charlene Hardy’s “Giggles” and Jaime Siragusa’s “The Future is Nasty”.  Kathy McCall’s “Worship” received the Visitors’ Award.

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“How do we respond?  Many of us respond with anger.  Many of us respond with disbelief.  Many of us respond with indifference.  Many of us respond with our cameras.

We photographers can catch devolution or evolution or revolution.   We can comment without uttering a word.  Beautiful metaphor and devastating irony can flutter or shout from the image.  The passionate confusion of lovers can exist in time with the startling rage of provocateurs.

Response can be in the form of a psalm or an answer — an answer to life’s moments that break our hearts or set them on fire.”

Franklin Cincinnatus

“unique: alternative processes” juried by Christina Z Anderson

The “unique: alternative processes” exhibition juried by Christina Z Anderson was in the Salon gallery from November 24, 2017 to January 14, 2018.  Christina selected thirty nine images from thirty two artist.  Merte Lien’s “The CooCoo Tree” received the Juror’s Selection award.  Ralph Wilson’s “Blues in a Bottle” received the Director’s Selection award.  Donna Moore’s “Momento Mori: Aves” received the Visitors’ Award.

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“It was an honor to be selected as the juror for Unique: Alternative Processes. I have practiced, taught, and written about handmade processes for almost 20 years, during which time “alt” has increased dramatically. Galleries are representing artists working in a variety of handmade processes. Museums are collecting the work. Art critics are taking notice and writing about “alt” as if it has just recently been discovered.

I judged close to 300 works by 56 artists, and to narrow my choices down to 10% of that was daunting; I could easily have chosen twice that number. Artists’ works were presented anonymously so my selections could be made without prejudice. Sometimes it is a hair’s breadth between one work and another.

32 artists were chosen for the show. Processes were widely varied: cyanotype, gum, photogravure, wet plate collodion, carbon, platinum, Van Dyke brown, intaglio, bromoil, image transfer, chemigram, mordançage, collage, lith printing, salted paper, lumenprint, and perhaps others I don’t recognize. Abstraction was well-represented, and some of my favorites were minimalist. Organics, birds, and women all figured prominently, but one of my favorite images is of leaves fallen in a hirsute man’s lap. Landscape had its prominent place: a tree’s shadow sprawling across leaf-covered pavement, a verdant forest untouched by human hand, turbulent Caspar Friedrich-like seas. The 175-year old cyanotype process is more popular now than when it was first discovered, printed on glass, paper, and fabric, one particular piece an artful combination of a photograph within a photogram accented by gold stitching. I could speak about each one of my choices and why it spoke to me, and also about those that are not in the final 33, and how that hair’s breadth factored in. Ultimately it comes down to this against that, and a juror’s (my) particular frame of reference.

For the juror’s award I kept coming back to one image that upon first glance was not necessarily in the running. Through each succeeding pass through all 300 images (a process that happens multiple times over multiple days), I kept coming back to it, a primitive image of blues and browns that references folk art, outsider art, Audubon, holiday trees. The image is both abstracted and decorative, not a perfect image but one full of beauty and depth in the way the birds are articulated, the pile of feathers below referencing the shedding of life and the passing of all things. And that’s why I chose it: it is full of subtle paradoxes, beautiful yet imperfect, happy yet sad, primitive yet sophisticated, light yet deep. It grew on me with repeated viewing.

I thank all artists for taking the time to submit work and Amanda Smith for allowing me to collaborate with her on this show. I am truly thrilled to see contemporary alt work of this caliber.”

Christina Z Anderson

 

The Photographic Performance 2017/Catherine Panebianco

“Benny Was A Good Boy” by Catherine Panebianco was selected during our call for exhibitions “The Photographic Performance 2017”.  It was exhibited in the Salon gallery from January 19 to February 18, 2018.

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“Benny Was a Good Boy began as a chronicle of my old dog’s final year but ended up being a way for me to deal with death. By photographing his slow decline, I dealt with the feelings that accompany the breaking of a connection that was so important in my life. Moving a lot as a child led me to crave connections with people or places but I was also afraid to be hurt when the connection was ultimately broken. Dogs have always been that one unquestionable connection in my life – they never failed me.

Benny Was A Good Boy series includes a hazy, grainy, closed-in mood that embodied what I was feeling at the time. Presenting the images as diptychs intensified the close relationship that existed between the two of us.”

Catherine Panebianco

 

The Photographic Performance 2017/Anton Gautama

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2017” that were not chosen for exhibition in the gallery, yet we feel demand an audience.

Anton had an image in a past exhibition in the gallery, Light, titled, “Larung Gar.”  It is a beautiful photograph taken in the evening of row upon row of stacked and sandwiched little crimson and vermillion and magenta houses shot through on one edge by an electric golden ochre roadway with unbroken threads of headlights and taillights.  Larung Gar is the world’s largest Tibetan Buddhist Institute.  It was in Seda, a county in Sichuan China.  The photo depicts the homes of over 40,000 monks and nuns just prior to demolition by the Chinese Government.  The image is compelling both for its wonderful display of shape and color and for its content.  If Anton were to be described in the vocabulary of painters he could be called a colorist.  His images grab the viewer with their strong colors and then tug harder with their poignant narratives.  

How did you come to photography?

I began taking pictures with a mobile phone before 2015. Since Mar 2015 I have been working professionally as photographer with a passionate focus on documentary photography. I believe that the essence of the medium is the ability to help us understand life.

I seek unique moments that generate powerful emotional responses. With patience and determination, I often immerse myself for months at a single location pursuing my photographic observations.

My photographs have been featured in several on-line and printed magazine platforms since 2016, such as “LensCulture” and “National Geographic Travel.”   My works have been exhibited at the Goethe Institute, Jakarta and Institut Seni Indonesia in Jogjakarta.

Could you please give us a little background and some insight into your process? 

I first became fascinated by the complexity of the home as I observed rows and rows of old Dutch colonial structures, while working on my first book, Pabean Passage. These old colonial structures showed a distinct East-Indies architecture, an adaptation of European architecture to the tropical climate of Indonesia, which gained its popularity in the mid 18th century.

Growing up in two major cities contributed a lot to this project. Born in Makassar, I also live in Surabaya for the most part of my life. What makes this project special is that I tried to capture those places from my experiences of growing up in the two cities.

Built in the early 1900s by Chinese immigrants and based on a European design, these buildings show distinct East-Indies characteristics on the outside, while being infused with an assimilation of Chinese and Indonesian culture.

As I entered those houses, I felt the air of familiarity, a connection with the harmonious combination of two distinctive cultures that I was brought up under. Born as a third-generation Chinese-Indonesian, I was raised under the influence of the Chinese culture that my grandparents brought from the old world, while at the same time being schooled in a mainly Indonesian setting by my Indonesian-born parents.

Walking into those historic houses sparked my interest to discover more about the roots of my own cultural heritage. I felt my amazement turned into an aspiration to comprehend the lives of these Chinese- Indonesians, along with the challenges they faced to preserve their own culture while living in a whole new world.

In Indonesia, there is this notion of family home, a place where history, culture, and tradition still live for generations. Just as the proverb says, “A house is built with boards and beams, a home is built with love and dreams,” these family homes have become a testimony of the evolution of Chinese-Indonesian cultures and traditions.

For many Chinese-Indonesians, their family home was (or still is) a place for business. Packed with merchandise, and various items collected over the years by the owners, these family homes silently tell their stories. They tell the stories about love and dreams, opportunities and challenges, laughter and tears of those who have called them home.

Home Sweet Home is a one-year journey into the evolution of the Chinese-Indonesian culture. It is the story of a harmonious marriage of two beautiful cultures, three centuries in-the-making. It was not a journey without obstacles, but it certainly was one with countless rewards. What began as a challenge to obtain the owners’ consent to photograph their homes has later proved to be a beginning of new friendships. The challenge to find the appropriate houses to shoot had presented me with the privilege of listening to countless stories that offer valuable lessons in life.

What did you discover when you were making your project, “Home Sweet Home”?

As I embarked on this journey, I have discovered that there is more to a home than what meets the eyes. Beyond the evidence of economical, functional, or sentimental hoarding. Beyond the cluttered halls or the neatly-organized storage rooms. Beyond the simplicity of aging and the glitters of luxury.

There is a story in each frame, hope and dreams embedded and encrypted beneath the layers of objects that fill the space. Walls displaying pictures of joyous achievements and traumatic miseries, the good-old days and the modern reality that stole their thunder.

A home is more than merely a dwelling place, it is a monument where stories are carved and histories are made. Whether it is an aging third-generation family home or a modern private home, there is this air of familiarity, a connection, a deep sense of longing.

A pride in calling it a Home Sweet Home.

www.antongautama.com