This is an undeniably big year for me! It’s as if all the things I have been cultivating in my life of late is coming to fruition at once. It’s a biennial year for the Louisville Photo Biennial and I have quite the presence in it this year! Not only am I still teaching with the Biennial, I am also part of several exhibitions…this being one of them. And let’s face it, this isn’t just any exhibition…it’s an exhibition at Mayor Greg Fischers gallery in Metro Hall!! You can see this show until January 19th, 2018.
What an incredible honor to be selected by Keith Waits of LVA to be part of their Louisville Photo Biennial show at Metro Hall. The show is entitled “Altered Perceptions” and I am a one of three featured artists who use a photographic image as a means to an end. I, along with C.J. Pressma and Mitch Eckert illustrate ways in which photography can be employed outside of the traditional realms of 2-d presentation.
Photographer C.J. Pressma is well known amongst the visual art scenes in Louisville and far beyond. He is the founder of the Center for Photographic Studies in Louisville that originated in the 1970’s and has inspired many with his lifelong dedication to the photographic medium…in all it’s forms! In “Altered Perceptions”, Pressma exhibits his beautiful photographic quilts, and was the foundation that this exhibition was built around.
Artist and University of Louisville Associate Professor of Art, Mitch Eckert also approaches the use of the photographic image in different ways. In his ‘Translations’ series, he staged still life compositions inspired by Dutch masters still life paintings. Initially unhappy with the work, he crumpled up the images and tossed in the trash. But he wasn’t quite done with them and upon retrieving from the trash, he smoothed out the surface to reveal a beautiful crumpled texture he resinated with and decided to reshot the work…and we are all glad he did! .
And then if you know anything about me, you know that I am a photographer whose heart lies beyond the click of the shutter. For years, my goal has been to keep a hands-on approach in processing digital imagery. In this show, I feature not only some of my recent work incorporating digital image transfers onto wood and metal substrates but also exhibit some of my photo encaustics from the Tiny World Series.
Go see this exhibit! Mitch Eckert‘s work is located on the second floor, CJ Pressma‘s is located in the third floor stairwell and my work is featured on the fourth floor by the elevators.
Metro Hall is located at 527 West Jefferson St in downtown Louisville. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.
Ready for yet ANOTHER super long blog post? First I gave you a full on overview of my experience at the CONTACT photography festival in Toronto…now here’s the INSPIRED AT post. But this post will largely be told in photographs, so sit back, scroll down and enjoy!
First up…Angela Grossman Models of Resistance by Poïesis Contemporary. Saw this work early in the trip and fortunate enough to talk with Gallery Director, Dr. Lynn Ruscheinsky, gaining insight about the artist as well as her practice and approach to the work. Love how the work blurs the line between photograph and sculpture! Wish I could work in such a loose fashion…#studiogoals!
Another favorite in the festival was the Alternative Photo Revolution exhibit at Connections Gallery. Bob Carnie is a photographer, printer and owner of Alternative Photo Services and Connections Gallery. The concept for this show was for photographers to submit images that would then be reinterpreted by Carnie through alternative processes such as gum dichromates and pallidium prints. Carnie is a master printer, both inside and out of the darkroom. I thought it was a great concept for a show and a nice way to collaborate with fellow photographers.
The artist 2Fik was a featured exhibition of CONTACT and one I was happy I spent some time with. 2Fik is a contemporary Cindy Sherman on steroids! Like Sherman, 2Fik plays a different character in each image…he just may play between 4 to 30+ unique characters in the same image. The images below feature both his final pieces and images highlighting a few of the rotating characters in his work. Heard that he actually shoots the work fairly quickly so he can maintain the same source of light in his images. Impressed with his vision AND his composting skills. I mean, his website is 2fik or not 2fik dot com…how can you not like that?
Andrew Owen is a photographer after my own heart! I have always loved alternative processes and developing my images in the sun. When I started teaching photography I started experimenting more with sensitizing papers and fabrics with cyanotype chemicals and produced a number of photograms using natural plant specimens. It’s not as easy as you may think it would be and to see such a large amount of successful LARGE scale cyanotype fabrics is impressive!
Just in time for the rebroadcasting of the original Twin Peaks, Blake Morrow presents Return to Twin Peaks at Field Trip Cafe. Morrow traveled to Washington state and photographed actual filming locations from the TV Series and then digitally integrated the environments with models shot in his Toronto studio. Well done and super fun!
Ok…if you know me even remotely, you know that I lived in Key West for many years…I reference it A LOT! But I can’t help it…Key West is an amazing place and full of wonderful, creative human beings. One of these such people is author and historian of science, Jim Gleick. A body of work entitled dot-dot-dot by Jacob Robert Whibley that was totally inspired by Gleick’s Time Travel novel. HAD to make sure I saw the exhibit…photos follow below:
And finally, the last exhibition I took in…after 9 days…The Journey is the Destination by Dan Eldon. I have been a fan of Dan Eldon for many years now. Dan was an adventurous human, photojournalist, artist and activist. He was 22 years old when he was killed with three other photojournalists while on assignment in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. His story and artwork has been featured in many books as well as a recently produced independent film. I am continually blown away by what he accomplished in his short time on earth. Learning more about his story will inspire you to make a difference I promise!
This barely scratched the surface of what I took in and this experience will surely inspire me for years to come. #thankyougreatmeadowsfoundation! And thank you for hanging in there!!
***Warning…lost blog post…but how could it NOT BE when you attend the WORLD’S LARGEST photography festival???!!!***
Yep, supposedly CONTACT, is the world’s largest photography festival. Gotta say, how can you argue with 20 exhibitions in major museums and galleries, 17 site specific installations in urban spaces, 40 selected exhibitions in galleries around the city AND 110 exhibitions in venues throughout the community. That’s 187 unique photographic experiences (not including opening parties, receptions, artist talks, panels discussions, etc) to be had during the 2017 Soctiabank CONTACT Photography festival held this past May in Toronto, Ontario. And via Great Meadows Foundation, I was granted the opportunity to travel to Toronto and spend nine days taking in this amazing festival!
The theme of this years CONTACT was recognition of Canada’s 150 anniversary, so the works exhibited were largely by Canadian photographers and largely works about Canadian people, places and things…with an emphasis on the beauty of the Canadian landscape. As this was my first trip to Canada, it was a great way to learn about the country’s history through the evolution of the photographic medium as work spanned from early tintypes, through the Kodachrome era and finally with contemporary interpretations of the digital image.
It was wonderful to see major representation by Canada’s indigenous community and see both the past and present from their perspectives. Like the United States, Canada had a highly contentious colonial history and I was impressed to see so many artists address the subject in thought provoking ways. Dana Claxton (above) questions how histories are represented and for whom by layering found images of middle class Canadian outdoor holidays with beadwork patterns from the Lakota tribe who formally inhabited those landscapes.
One of the most visible trends I witnessed throughout the festival was the use of large-scale images printed onto vinyl. The vinyl adheres to a variety of surfaces and can be installed anywhere from interior gallery walls to natural elements or even sides of buildings. This really interested me as I continue seeking ways to work larger.
One on my key interests of the CONTACT festival was the incorporation of photography as public art. Public art and environmental installations are huge in the world of art these days, but I feel like it is mostly of a sculptural, 3-dimensional nature and I couldn’t wait to see what a photographic festival would showcase. Seeing work on billboards, subway platforms and even positioned onto the large scale rocks as featured in Lori Blondeau’s work, inspired me to think creatively about transforming environments with photographic imagery.
A unique aspect of a Great Meadows Foundation grant is the encouragement for applicants to make connections with professional colleagues in conjunction with their proposal destination. My good friend Paul Paletti of the Louisville Photo Biennial was kind enough to connect me with Bob Carnie, photographer, printer and owner of Alternative Photo Services and Connections Gallery in Toronto.
Bob and Connections Gallery Production Coordinator, Carissa Ainsle planned a full day of not only viewing prominent exhibitions featured at the CONTACT photo festival, but also introducing me to key players of Toronto’s photographic art world. Highlights included a private studio tour of Matthew Plexman (pictured below) and meeting with Sarah Burtscher, Gallery Director at Stephen Bulger Gallery.
But nothing topped meeting with Brian St. Denis, the Festival Coordinator of CONTACT!! Because of my involvement with helping to organize the upcoming 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial, I was excited to meet with Brian, who was very generous with his time. He clued me into some key elements of how a team of 5 successfully pull off this major photo festival EVERY year. He was also kind enough to explain how an individual, such as myself, could go about finding space and showing their work as an Open Exhibition of CONTACT, which is what attracted me in the first place. I love that an artist can participate in the festival without being represented by a gallery or included in a museum show. The Open Exhibitions can be featured in gallery spaces, but also cafes, shops, restaurants, etc and the bulk of the exhibitions at CONTACT fall into this category.
Needless to say, I had an amazing time taking it all in! The festival itself was spread throughout the large city of Toronto which enabled me to take in the vast and different neighborhoods that make up the artistic fabric culture of this amazing city. I made a lot of great connections and was inspired on a number of levels. I will definitely be processing this for years to come!