Out of Frame: October 13th – November 18th: Studio Works by Zoom Group
1503 Bardstown Road, Louisville, 40204
This past summer I had the pleasure of teaching a 12-week photography class with StudioWorks artists at Zoom Group. There was nothing more thrilling than showing up to an attentive and excited crowd ready for another photographic adventure. The class was rooted in the fundamentals of strong photo composition and reinforced with each new lesson, allowing the artists to hone their photographic eyes.
Louisville Photo Biennial provided the cameras and photos printers for processing the work created in class. And just like the darkroom, there is a sense of magic when you see an image coming to life. Because StudioWorks produces art for sale to the general public, we spent a lot of time reviewing images and selecting the worthiest of being printed.
StudioWorks artists explore a variety of artistic mediums and it was fun for me as an instructor to introduce several photo-based mixed-media projects to this group. We addressed photography’s early history but in a modern fashion when printing digital negatives and exposing them on fabrics via light sensitive dyes in the bright sunlight. We also referenced 19th century tin types through digital image transfers that we ‘printed’ onto aged aluminum with interesting results!
Highlights of the course were creating light paintings, an in-camera photography effect achieved through slow shutter speeds in low lighting; as well as several off-site field trips to the Kentucky State Fair, the Big Four Walking Bridge and exploring the vast photographic collection at Paul Paletti Gallery in NULU Arts District. The length of this program enabled me to establish a relationship with each artist while having the time to fully dive into the creative options of the digital camera as well as explorations beyond the electronic image.
Out of Frame is a featured exhibition in the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial, a regional festival occurring in over 60 venues throughout the Louisville, Lexington and Southern Indiana area from September 22-November 11. Through exhibits, receptions, workshops and educational opportunities, the Biennial celebrates the medium of photography in all of its richness and variety, and its ability to touch and enrich our lives.
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!