Fotofocus

Foto Founders Exhibition for FotoFocus 2016

When asked to participate in the Photo Founders exhibition at the Behringer Crawford Museum as a part of [embed]http://www.fotofocusbiennial.org/[/embed]

I initially thought that I would (of course) show new work. But the more I thought about it, the less I liked that idea. The concept of the show is to celebrate the work of the 5 founders of the university photography programs in the Cincinnati region. So I went into my archives and took a look, the first in a long time, at my Master of Fine Arts thesis photographs, with which I applied to the open position at the University of Cincinnati back in 1982. Since these were the pictures that got me the job that I remained in until recently, and since they had not been exhibited since 1983, I decided to show this work.

I wanted to see them up on the wall in order to reevaluate them, to see how they stand up over the test of time, to see what I can learn from my younger self when I was still figuring out my creative voice. Here are some of the images from that series, which was titled "Dancing on a Wall", and which were printed on Rockland Photo Aluminum:

Annie's Dream

Untitled #25

Dancing on a Wall

 

FotoFocus 2016 Exhibition Preparation

Photography is now an accepted part of a university curriculum, but that was not always the case. By the 1960's and 70's, the medium had firmly established itself in art and design programs around the US, including those at universities in the Cincinnati Tristate region. I was fortunate to be one of the early professors in the program at the University of Cincinnati, along with Jerry Stratton, who founded the program. The other photography program founders in the region are Cal Kowal at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and Barry Andersen and Barbara Houghton at Northern Kentucky University. This year for FotoFocus 2016, Cincinnati's biannual festival of photography,

[embed]http://www.fotofocuscincinnati.org/biennial/[/embed]

the Behringer Crawford Museum is hosting an exhibition of photographs by us 5 Photo Founders, and it has been fun trying to decide what work to put into the show. I finally decided to exhibit photographs from my Masters of Fine Arts thesis show, "Dancing on a Wall", which has not been shown since 1983. More on the work itself in a later post, but here are a few images showing the final framing of the work, which will be delivered to the museum later this week. The show opens on Friday, September 30.

Pulling the protective coating off of a plexiglas sheet

Fitting the top onto the rest of the frame

Interview Published in AEQAI

ÆQAI (pronounced ‘I’ as in ‘bite ‘ and ‘qai ‘ as in ‘sKY’ ) is a Cincinnati based e-journal for critical thinking, review and reflective prose on contemporary visual art. An interview titled "Jane Alden Stevens: Photography in Motion" authored by Laura A. Hobson was recently published in the November, 2014, edition of AEQAI. The article includes images from various bodies of work, a discussion about my teaching career, and covers a number of issues including the role that feminism played in my classroom, mentors, technical changes in the field and my approach to art-making.

Many thanks to editor Daniel Brown for including me in this issue!

Exhibition Review- Cincinnati Enquirer

Nice to see that the media in town is still interested in photography after FotoFocus ended. Click here to read a review of the "Landscapes of the Mind" show that appeared in last Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer. My work is mentioned towards the end.

Since the writer referred to "Red Inner Bag #1, Fall, Aomori Prefecture" but didn't print it, here it is:

The Value of FotoFocus

I was on a panel at Xavier University last week that had as it's topic "The Future of Photography". Towards the end, we were asked what we thought the value of the  FotoFocus biennial has been. My answer to that is: It made so many people in this region aware of photography as a creative medium.

It pointed out the many different ways in which people approach this medium and proved that a photograph can be so much more than just a recording of something in front of the lens.

It introduced photographers to each other who otherwise wouldn't have met.

It provided networking opportunities to photographers, students, and others who love the medium.

Finally, it made photography important in a way that a million photos posted on Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media sites can't.

Kudos and many thanks to Tom Schiff, Cincinnati Art Museum Chief Curator James Crump, and their team of sponsors, supporters, and workers for the fantastic job they did at making FotoFocus be such a success.

 

"Landscapes of the Mind" Show Opening

The final show that I have up during Fotofocus Cincinnati is "Landscapes of the Mind", which opened last Friday at the YWCA Women's Gallery on Walnut Street. Curated by Judi Parks, it is a look at how metaphor and symbolism has expressed itself through the photographs of Nancy Rexroth, Judi, and me. The show is up until January 10, 2013.

Both Nancy and I presented work that was culled from projects that had been thought complete. In her case, she went back into her negative archives that had resulted in her book "Iowa". Printed in the late '70's, "Iowa" became a defining body of work for anyone working with simple lenses or toy cameras. It legitimized them as a serious tool for the photographic artist. For the YWCA show, Nancy took another look at what she had shot back then, and presented a series of images that shed new light on that series.

In my case, I exhibited work that took a completely new look at what I had shot while in Japan a few years ago to photograph the process of apple growing in Aomori Prefecture. Rather than focusing on the process itself (as I had originally done when choosing the pictures of the "Seeking Perfection" series), I this time focused on the impact that the process had on the land and trees themselves. Amazing what you can discover about yourself and your work when you take another look.

"Photographers X Photographers" Opening

The opening for the "Photographers X Photographers" show at the A.B Cohen Art Center at Xavier University was last evening and it was packed! Connie Sullivan had a show of some of her smaller light boxes in one gallery, while the "P. X P." show was in the larger space. It was fascinating to see how each photographer approached the task of making a portrait of another photographer. While I didn't know all the photographers who participated, I knew enough of them to appreciate that so many of these portraits perfectly reflect both the maker and their subjects. I found myself thinking, "I'd love to be photographed by the person who took that picture." many times over throughout the event.

Gallery hours are Mon. - Fri., from 10:00am-4:00pm. The show is up through October 26.

Show Opening

I had an amazing time at the opening of the show at the Phyllis Weston Gallery this past Friday. Lots of people in and out all evening, and one of my pieces sold. My work is being shown together with that of Connie Sullivan, Devin Stoddard, and Kent Krugh. Although our photographs are very different from each other technically, they all work really well together, I think. The show is up until October 31. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am-5:00pm. 2005 1/2 Madison Road in Cincinnati. Check it out!

FotoFocus Cincinnati

The first wave of openings for Fotofocus Cincinnati began last night, and what a buzz! The crowds were great and the work was better. All the Cincinnati newspapers and magazines are filled with articles about the 70+ shows that will be up in October. Also yesterday, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran this article about the three shows I have work in for Fotofocus. I delivered the "Secrets the Land Told Me" show to the YWCA Women's Gallery two days ago, so all the work is now in place- let the openings begin!

Final Edit- Finally!

I've completed the final editing for the show that will be at the YWCA Gallery in Cincinnati in October as part of the Fotofocus Cincinnati photography festival. I was at an impasse until I went to the gallery and was able to see for myself the layout and lighting of the space. Once I did, the final edit just fell into place. I'm once again struck by the difference between seeing something in real life, or experiencing it through other means, like in a photograph, a map, or the written word. Prior to that visit, I had had a map of the space and had tried to imagine the work there, which worked to a degree. But it was totally different to actually stand in the space, absorbing its ambiance, sounds, and look.

This was the same kind of experience I had had once in an art history class, when we were looking at The Hunters in the Snow (Winter) (see below), by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, initially in books and then via projected images. Then later we went to a museum, where we saw his works in the flesh. It was like night and day.

Always opt for the real thing, whenever possible!

The Hunters in the Snow (Winter)