“still life” juried by Kate Breakey

The “still life” exhibition juried by Kate Breakey, was in the Main gallery from May 18 to July 1, 2018.  Kate selected fifty five images from fifty one artist.  Susan Fenton’s “Untitled (WOOD) 3” received the Juror’s Award.  Ashton Thornhill’s image “Floating Still Life #1” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Geoffrey Agrons’ “Elixirs”, Evy Cohen’s “Fragments (2)” and Charlotte Watts’ image “Perhaps It Is Not Dark Inside After All”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Patricia Dudley’s “Untitled from the series DELIGHTful”, Jimmy Salmon’s “Lemon Curls” and JP Terlizzi’s image”Orange Swirl”.

The Photographic Performance 2018 / PhotoSynthesis

 

This is the second in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2018”.  The “PhotoSynthesis” exhibition juried by Kevin Tully and Amanda Smith, was in the Salon gallery from May 25 to June 24, 2018.  Participating artist in the exhibition were Jeri Eisenberg, Sherrie Posternak, Janise Yntema, Lia Rothstein, Michelle Robinson, Wayne Montecalvo and Fran Forman.

“The Oxford English Dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination…producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” The most accomplished artists have the experience and intuition to utilize the medium that most successfully contributes to the ideas they are trying to put forth in their work.

Artists must ask themselves if their preferred medium is the best path to expressing their vision. Sometimes, a combination of mediums can have a profound result that could not have been accomplished any other way. Synergy, when one plus one equals more than two, can happen when artists work with the mediums of photography plus encaustic. They take advantage of the inherent characteristics of each, but bring their work to a higher level. The viewer may have a difficult time distinguishing where the image produced by the camera ends and the strokes of wax begin, or whether one is looking at a  “real” or altered reality that represents a synergism of image and encaustic.

Applying wax to a photograph can exponentially extend the meaning of an image. The texture of the surface and the invitingly sensuous and tactile sheen of the waxes add to the visual and emotional impact of the underlying handmade photographic work.  What is revealed or concealed, contextualized or isolated and emphasized or obscured, as well as the ambiguity of foreground vs. background; all are called into play when wax, resin, pigments and other materials are used with photography.

The artists selected for this exhibition display technical mastery in both encaustic and photography and employ both mediums to their maximum expressive capabilities. They also demonstrate a wide variety of techniques and accomplish their artistic goals by utilizing luminescence, texture, translucency, opacity, color and composition effectively.”

“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.

—oOOOo—

“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.

—oOOOo—

“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