This January my worked will be exhibited in "Out of the Pines: Works by photography instructors from North Carolina Colleges and Universities" in the Wilma W. Daniels Gallery at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC. I am so happy to show work alongside my colleagues all over the state and look forward to meeting those who will be at the opening on Friday, January 26th 6-9pm.
I am pleased to be a part of the exhibition "WATER" curated by Jennifer Murray on view now in Ft. Collins, CO at the Center for Fine Art Photography. Thank you C4FAP for all that you do!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORT COLLINS, CO | November 17, 2017
Water 2017 Exhibition Events
Exhibition: December 22 – January 27, 2018 Free Admission
Artist + Public Reception: January 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Doors at 5:30 ) Free
Water 2017 Photography Exhibition This exhibition presents the prominent theme of water within the art of photography, both visually and conceptually, and across a range of photographic genres. “Few things encompass such a range of emotion as water – beautiful, calming, useful, seductive, and deadly. Recurring themes emerge in this collection of images: environmental concerns including water usage and the built environment, pollution, and drought; and human fragility in the face of water’s sublime including images that depict both the real and fantastic relationships we have with and in water”.
–Juror Jennifer Murray, 2017.
49 Featured Artists: Nicholas Abriola, Babeth Albert, Julie Brook Alexander, S Brian Berkun, John Bonath, Melissa Borman, Claire Burnett, Lorraine Castillo, Eugene Daams, Marianne Dalton, Ellie Davies, Scott Durka, Rachel Ferguson, Jerry Freedner, Caroline Fudala, Alessandra Tecla Gerevini, Anahid Ghorbani, James Glass, Carole Glauber, Alexander Heilner, Ken Hochfeld, Marty Ittner, Stephan Jahanshahi, Leslie Jean-Bart, Rose Wind Jerome, Andrea Laue, Tracy Laulhere, Alan Leder, Heami Lee, Bonnie Levinson, Court Loving, Andy Mattern, Chris McCann, Teresa Meier, Carsten Meier, Bobby Mills, David Obermeyer, Jane Paradise, Heather Perera, Beverly Poppe, Karol Rice, Lee Saloutos, Debora Schwedhelm, Julie Stephenson, Graham Stewart, JP Terlizzi, Preston Utley, Katie Waugh, and John Zimet.
+ Exhibitions and Receptions at C4FAP are always free and open to the public
+ Mingle with artists & art lovers at our reception Friday, January 26th from 5:30-8:00 pm
+ Please check our site at c4fap.org for event information and to sign up for email updates
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Since 2004, The Center for Fine Art Photography has been a preeminent supporter of photography. As a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, C4FAP is supported globally with donations, grants, and memberships. Based in Fort Collins, CO, the Center offers three public galleries with 20+ unique exhibitions yearly, classes, reviews and online exhibitions that give photographers and photography enthusiasts from all over the world an opportunity to engage with the Center and its community. For more information about C4FAP, including information on exhibitions, workshops, becoming a member or donor, please visit the website at C4FAP.ORG
On view at the Hanesbrand Theatre through December 2017 are a selection of prints from my ongoing project, Establishing Kinship.
ESTABLISHING KINSHIP | A PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT
In April 2016 I relocated to Winston-Salem with only one contact in the city. It wasn't my first time moving to a place with only one connection; I had done that years before when I moved to London. While this process of finding roots was not foreign, it was no less daunting 10 years later.
Jared Diamond, in his book Guns, Germs and Steel writes about the rise of civilizations and the growth of societies from small bands to tribes and on to our current states. Bands are the most basic organization of people, and are blood related, tribes are the next largest, and are kin related. In tribes, where there are more people contending for resources, establishing kinship is crucial to inclusion (which means survival.) I thought about that and wondered, how do we establish kinship in the US today?
With this question in mind, I wanted to document the process of building community. As a photographer, it is through the lens that I examine and explore our shared experiences, so I began making portraits of all of those people I was encountering and building relationships with. From colleagues to students, the post-man to baristas, I wanted to build a visual diary of the people who created the Winston-Salem I was getting to know.
For me, the arts have played a significant role in this experience. It is through Winston-Salem State University's art department and the Diggs gallery, Sawtooth Center for the Arts and Arts Nouveau Winston-Salem that I have been connected to so many of the people depicted on these walls. It is important to note that this is a work in progress, there are many people I would love to add and many more I have yet to meet.
These 40 images are a tiny sample of the rich diversity and complexity that is embodied in a community. This city of arts and innovation is not made up of bridges, buildings and businesses—it is made of the people who build, design and manage them. Ultimately these photographs aim to reflect on the individuals that add to the dynamism of a particular place, and highlight Winston-Salem in its uniqueness. They ask who we are in relationship to one other, building connections between disparate people who are all a part of the core of what makes a city, a place and a home.
-Rose Wind Jerome
A very special thank you to ANWS and to all of the beautiful people who sat
and allowed me to get very close to you, literally, with a camera and make a portrait
of you. And of course, thank you for making Winston-Salem better every day.
Reading the last page of "33 Artists in 3 Acts" by Sarah Thorton, author of "Seven Days in the Art World" is a relief. I kind of struggled through this book. Perhaps because I find the question "What is an artist?" as excruciating as many of the people who attempted to answer it seem to. The artists I've worked with over the years are extremely dissimilar, as are the 33 featured in this book. As described in this book, they seem to share two things in common- the label "artist" and their divergent goals and personal victories navigating the art world. No two are alike, even if married, and many disagree with each other's approach, practice and methods. That sums up so much of art to me that I find it amusing.
The artist who I was most intrigued by is Andrea Fraser. I am not going to repost any images from any of her performances here for fear of there being some big reason I'll get into trouble for it. I will say I am fully encouraging researching her more and I am going to quote Sarah Thorton quoting Andrea Fraser on page 376 of "33 Artists in 3 Acts."
' "Artists are not part of the solution," she says firmly. "We are part of the problem." What is the problem? I ask. "Give me a minute," she says..."Whether we are talking about cultural capital or economic capital," she says..."art benefits from inequality and the increasingly unequal distribution of social power and privilege. The avant-garde has been trying to escape its own privilege for the last hundred years, but the art world is increasingly a winner-take-all market." She stops and shakes her head. She feels that we are at "the beginning of a new epoch," citing the enormous expansion of the art market as well as art schools and museums that cater to the public's demand for spectacle as much as scholarship. "These things make all the contradictions of being an artist much more intense," she explains."'
- excerpt from Sarah Thorton's book "33 Artists in 3 Acts" page 376
From my perspective working day in and out for the last however many years, witnessing first hand the game that is the art world can be very difficult to stomach. Fraser sums up the challenges I see with art and the physical spaces that contain it being elitist, esoteric and exclusive. Part of my goal as an artist and professor is simply to demystify the entire experience of art and the art world, as much as that impenetrable bubble may be what makes the whole thing seem so valuable to those who collect and endorse it. Despite that, the increasing cost of art school and the privilege of entering those spaces is disheartening. Fraser herself teaches at UCLA, the top art school in the US (labeled by something somewhere.) Tuition at UCLA are posted below directly from their website.
Food for thought.
In the South during the 1950’s, paper fans with wooden handles could be found everywhere. Churches, general stores, beauty parlors and barber shops had them readily available to combat the heavy Southern heat. Many fans were covered with religious iconography. It would be common to see depictions of Jesus surrounded by sheep or praying hands backlit by a heavenly glow. One might also see African-Americans leaders, such as the civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. or the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, while others had advertisements and other secular imagery.
These fans are remembered by older Americans as a part of everyday life in the South, and especially of religion and Sunday church services. In his Memento Series the artist Chris Watts appropriates the historical church fan by drawing African-Americans from more contemporary times in lightly shaded, highly detailed pencil drawings. When displayed together, Heavy D and Colin Powell may bookend the likes of TLC, Florence Griffith Joyner (known as Flo-Jo) and Mary J. Blige. African-American performers, celebrities, athletes and politicians of the 90’s and 2000’s are memorialized, icons of culture are embedded on a Southern symbol of hope and reverence.
Whether the artists’ intent was cynical or celebratory, Watt’s Memento Series take this symbolic object, the church fan, rich with Southern history, and repurposes it in 2016 as memorials to a group of African Americans who have become icons in their own right.
To see more of Chris Watt's work and to see the full "Memento Series" visit his web page: http://cargocollective.com/iamchriswatts/Memento-Series
"People make art ...as a way of expressing their need for contact, or their fear of it. "
-Olivia Laing in The Lonely City
I don't know exactly why I put The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone on my Amazon wish list. Perhaps it was just the title that reminded me what it felt like to live in London and New York. I had no idea I was about to read an excellent book not just about loneliness, but about art and art history in NYC. Laing brilliantly ties together themes of loneliness within her own experience and the experience of some of our greatest artists. Through that she penetrated what I have felt of loneliness in myself and what is often commented on in my work, and I'm sure so many others can relate to this.
She ends by saying:
"There are so many things art can't do. It can't bring the dead back to life, it can't mend arguments between friends, or cure AIDS, or halt the pace of climate change. All the same, it does have some extraordinary functions, some odd negotiating ability between people, including people who never meet and yet who infiltrate and enrich each other's lives. It does have a way of healing wounds, and better yet of making it apparent that not all wounds need healing and not all scars are ugly.
If I sound adamant it is because I am speaking from personal experience. When I came to New York I was in pieces, and though it sounds perverse, the way I recovered a sense of wholeness was not by meeting someone or by falling in love, but rather by handling the things that other people had made, slowly absorbing by way of this contact the fact that loneliness, longing, does not mean one has failed, but simply one is alive.
There is a gentrification happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenizing, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feelings- depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage- are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.
I don't believe the cure for loneliness is meeting someone, not necessarily. I think it's about two things: learning how to befriend yourself and understanding that many of the things that seem to afflict us as individuals are in fact a result of larger forces of stigma and exclusion, which can and should be resisted.
Loneliness is personal, and it is also political. Loneliness is collective; it is a city. As to how to inhabit it, there are no rules and nor is there any need to feel shame, only to remember that the pursuit of individual happiness does not trump or excuse our obligations to each another. We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last."
I love when google searches lead to inspiration. I recently came across the work of Cedric Bernadotte when looking for materials for a public art exhibition we're planning for the campus of Winston-Salem State University.
Bernadotte creates large scale interventions in public spaces from materials like scotch tape and cellophane that envelope existing objects, from benches to bike racks, transforming them into other worldly creations of stretched plastic. He hopes the work will catch passersby in their daily flux, inviting them to stop and re imagine urban spaces. By covering forms in ways that enhance their existing shapes, his work "makes it possible to discover the architecture"* and to consider its possibilities and place in culture more deeply.
You can see more of his work on his website at http://cedricbernadotte.com/
*from the artists website
ALL images below Copyright artist Cedric Bernadotte/ reblogged or reposted here on my blog from the internet google image search simply to share this artists work to a wider audience
Viewing an artwork can elicit love at first sight. For me, that happened in 2010 when I was introduced to the work of Korean born artist Do Ho Suh by the amazing artist and professor Lisa Kjaer. As a recent transplant to New York City, from London, by way of Florida, after my birth in Germany, I felt a certain connection to anyone who had experienced displacement in its many forms. I had then, and have now, a special relationship to "home" and often explore this notion of place in my personal work (and thoughts.) I am inspired by the many artists who have made work about home, and especially by Do Ho Suh, who takes on the complexity of a place woven into our identity so gracefully- and with actual thread.
For this blog post, I revisited a term paper I wrote about artists who make work about home while studying under professor Kjaer at The City College of New York in 2010. For the fun of self-publishing something I worked pretty hard on at the time, I'm going to post the portion covering Suh's work here:
Dropping one hundred and forty-nine inches from a ceiling, an edifice of sea green silk hovers over an empty space below.1 The structure is fragile, but resolute. Sturdily sewn together are four silk walls and a rooftop hovering above open space. This void becomes the wormhole by which we enter artist Do-Ho Suh’s family home in Seoul, Korea.
When creating this work, Seoul Home, 1999 (image above), Suh, who currently lives and works in New York City, had his childhood home in mind. Spending sleepless nights in his apartment in New York, Suh found himself longing for the peace and tranquility of his family’s traditional Korean home.2 Was it the space he longed for or its location…presumably far removed from the noises and distractions found in the city?? Was it companionship? In this case, the company of his parents. Was it the cultural familiarities of the home? Its layout, materials and utilities? The ultimate question is, what exactly is home? How can it be represented? What are we longing for when we long for home? Shelter? Comfort? Safety?
A notion worth exploring, home is something that each person individually seeks to reconcile. It has ever-changing functions and facilities and represents a myriad of ideals. It is a place that serves as a commune, a congregational space for families, couples and friends and a unit within a larger community. It can be as comforting as it can be calamitous, as constricting as it can be liberating. It is a functional space, a necessary place and, ideally, a safe space. What home means to each person is a personal experience based on his or her particular conditions, culture, and upbringing.
As globalization increases, and populations continue to shift freely, the idea of home will inevitably remain under constant re-evaluation. In an essay written in conjunction with “Home and Away,” an exhibition that explored the work of displaced artists, writer Joan Kee wrote “one of the challenges for artists living in this global configuration is to maintain a sense of self that is linked to a place of origin, while critically assessing the mobility and movement characteristic of our time.”3 Because so many artists personally experience dislocation, the theme of home has inevitably found its way into their oeuvres. For Do Ho Suh, these sculptures are metaphors for a complex combination of hopes, dreams, memories, needs or desires, evoking a visceral response as they offer up perfected, functional, or memorialized versions of a place all of us have an incredibly personal, if not complicated relationship with.
Do-Ho Suh’s Seoul Home is simple, but poignant. As the silken apparition of Suh’s old home hangs from a gallery ceiling, the air is filled with a sort of desperate desire for the real thing. Suh was born and raised and Korea and moved to the States in his adult years to pursue art.4 He became interested in the cultural differences between Korea and the U.S. and began to reference Korean culture and society in his work. His sculptural work often deals with his personal identity and the relationship people have with their surroundings, both in public and private. Because Suh travels frequently between New York and Seoul, he is constantly experiencing the difficult readjustment to these contrasting worlds. When he conceived the idea to create Seoul Home, Suh was dealing with issues of longing and cultural displacement.5 There is a saying in Korea that you “walk the house” when you move. “Walk the house” literally means to disassemble your home and bring it with you when you relocate. Suh wanted to do this with his home in Seoul. He wanted to deal with his personal experience of longing by finding a way to actually transport the tranquility and comfort associated with his home in Seoul.6
Suh’s conclusion was to create a lightweight, completely transportable, exact replica of his family’s home. To do his, Suh first measured every square inch of the house. He then learned traditional Korean methods of sewing and recreated the shell of the home entirely from silk. During the process of measuring, Suh encountered markings he had made as a child in the floorboards and walls.7 The connection of the material space with his memories solidified the idea that home acts as a vessel for our identities and essentially becomes a part of us. Suh concluded that the notion of home is something you can repeat infinitely, something that is malleable and that depends solely on individual perception.8
By creating this replica of his Seoul home, Suh challenged the ideas of what home is. For him, this portable replica became a metaphor for the stability and comfort of home. He made home something that is constant, something that can represented, if not functional, and brought that to the public sphere. This work identifies with many people who live globally and deal with issues of alienation and displacement as they work out their position geographically and culturally.
2 Art 21 : Art in the Ttwenty-First Century. (New York:Harry N. Abrams, 2003), 54.
3 Bruce Grenville, Home and Away, Deanna Ferguson, ed. (Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 2003),9.
5 Art 21 : Art in the Ttwenty-First Century. (New York:Harry N. Abrams, 2003), 48.
6 Ibid., 54.
I was first introduced to Thomas Jackson's work in 2014 when he showed at the Center for Photography at Woodstock . His work was featured in the "Photography NOW 2014" exhibition juried by Julie Grahame, publisher of aCurator.com. It was pretty much love at first site.
In his series Emergent Behavior, Jackson references "self-organizing 'emergent' systems in nature." (termite mounds, swarming locusts, etc.) But these are no ordinary swarms. Jackson creates site specific installations out of man made materials (predominantly plastic) and photographs them set against serene landscapes(using a 4x5 film camera!). The compositions are alluring, musical and even mesmerizing. Plastic take away trays are sublimely illuminated by the orange glow of the setting sun, and when the sun is gone, strands of glow sticks form a luminous stream of color beneath the twilight sky.
Jackson's emergent systems of plastic trays, plates, balloons and even tutus are a colorful and clever juxtaposition of the natural world and the synthetic products humans put in it. While these formations hover and dance playfully above landscapes mostly devoid of people, they probe into the possibility that these man made materials might be more invasive than we created them to be.
To see more of Thomas Jackson's work, visit his website: www.thomasjacksonphotography.com
or follow him on instagram @thomasjackson415
(All images are copyrighted by Thomas Jackson and were posted with the artists permission with the sole purpose of sharing his work.)
Acting on a tip from a landscaper, I found a huge unidentified sculpture today. It is about 15 feet tall and wide, and made of several extremely shiny polished stainless steel pyramids welded together. As I approached it, tucked away in some woods with weeds and grass growing up around its edges, I got goosebumps. I felt like I was discovering some UFO or alien object in a Spielberg film.
I tried googling a description of it, and in that search came across the work of Rob Mulholland. This is just great. It makes an amazing photograph and I imagine being near these in person can be very eerie.
So my current fascination is with the South African artist Mary Sibande. It started when I discovered her sculpture "Wish You Were Here." (below)
In lieu of the protests and riots in Charlotte, NC, which is about an hour from where I live now, among other reactions and thoughts, I started thinking about art and protest. I wondered how artists have addressed the act of protest, in the past and present. At a recent lecture I attended the professor said "art creates a collective memory," which really resonated with me and made me very curious to look at art made by many different artists during a specific time. I wanted to see what kind of narrative disparate artworks may tell us about a movement, or even whether or not art could simply capture the zeitgeist. I thought specifically about looking at the civil rights movement, and then began to look at apartheid as well. I was curious how different national artists, through their unique vision and cultures, addressed these two monumental race struggles.
In my internet searching, I have derailed on Mary Sibande and her character "Sophie" who is the woman depicted in her sculptures. Sophie is this kind of alter ego character who, while dressed in this garish, prohibitive Victorian style maid's uniform, embarks on these epic fantasies. Through Sophie, Sibande is exploring female identity by examining the role of women in contemporary society, notions of beauty, power struggles, and race.
Sibande doesn't appear to have a website, so I just googled her. There are lots of articles, like this one.
I submitted a few photographs to National Geographic's "yourshot" online community and one of my pictures was selected for the final story on "Hair." Your shot is a really neat platform that I've enjoyed participating in. It allows me to engage within this massive international community of photographers. I enjoyed looking at so many amazing pictures. It really made me think about the way hair is so intimately tied to our identities, religions, power, vulnerability, creativity commonality and character. The story is published below:
If you're anywhere near Durham, NC, I'd recommend going to the Nasher Museum of Art to see "Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art." (On view through Jan. 8)
The show features over 60 artists, some still living. I left thinking about one of America's great photographers, Gordon Parks. His photographs of the Jim Crow era are some of the best documents made during that time. The image below was one of three featured at the Nasher.
More about the life and work of Gordon Parks at The Gordon Parks Foundation website.
The Arts Center in Carrboro, NC displays the work of local artists in rotating exhibitions in their main foyer, which serves as not only the entry point to the building, but as a meeting space and art gallery. I spent the first week of August teaching at their summer camp and not only really enjoyed working with students (teaching Digital Collage) but was so happy to be introduced to the work of Lamar Whidbee.
Lamar is a second year student in UNC Chapel Hill's MFA program. He's an extremely talented painter, grappling with challenging issues often centered around race, religion and family.
So, in honor of me officially being a North Carolina resident (got my drivers license and tags switched this week, which I actually can't believe) I wanted to feature a North Carolina artist. You can see more of his work at his website:
I notice plastic bags. I see them on roadsides and trapped in trees and I wonder if it isn't better that they've been snatched up by those branches to slowly deteriorate in the wind and rain. The internet is full of contradictory information about how long it takes for these artifacts of our consumption to actually degrade.
I photograph bags in trees a lot. I once showed these photos in a basement gallery my friends were calling "The Church of Light, Sound and Touch." We sewed some tote bags for our friends who came to the opening. I had never used a sewing machine until that day so I think we made some bad bags, but it was fun.
I wondered how other artists have explored the impact of plastic bags on our environment and came across this project by Tomas Saraceno. He's one of my favorite artists, so I was pretty happy to discover this new-ish work. Composed of hundreds of used shopping bags pasted together by people in the communities this hot air balloon travels to, this museum as they call it, is meant to help people reimagine the potential of our discarded objects and reconsider the gravity of our consumption. To see more, visit: http://tomassaraceno.com
Image is copyright Tomas Saraceno
In the wake of the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL on June 12, 2016, National Geographic sent photographer Wayne Lawrence to photograph for a story they ran on June 24. (full story here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/orlando-shooting-lgbt-portraits/)
I was immediately struck by the portraits Lawrence made. In a world where we are completely inundated with photography, he has a strong, unique voice which beautifully captured the dignity and humanity of the friends and survivors in Orlando. For more of his work visit his website: http://waynelawrenceonline.com