presentation

The Thread in the River- Installing the Show

To say that I have been buried in the preparations for this show the past few months is to make a gross understatement. The pace has been non-stop, but it has all come together without any last-minute disasters, which is a miracle. I went down to the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery today to help with the layout of the work as it is installed. Since virtually none of this work has ever been exhibited before, I am beyond nervous as to the impact it will have once it is all up.

Installing "The Thread in the River" exhibition at the Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

The show consists of 6 different bodies of work. Will all of those series make sense when seen together in the same space? Does the order and presentation of the work help the viewer make sense of it? Is it a problem that 2 of the series are in color and 4 are in black & white? Or that two series are presented as videos and 4 consist of still images? Does anything need rethinking for future exhibitions? What's missing that could make it stronger?

Initial installation of "The Wind Telephone" series at the Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

Only about half of the work was up today, and none of the labels were done, so it was hard for me to answer those questions. I'm going back tomorrow to look things over again, and might get a better sense of it then.

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,

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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

Piezography Workshop for Black & White Printing

My current project, titled The Thread in the River, is a mix of photographic media: film, digital, and video. I am creating a number of series, some of which are going to be printed in black and white. My Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered project was printed with  Piezography software and inks back in the early '00's, so I knew that that is the method that I want to print this new b&w work with. But a lot has changed since then and I knew that I needed a total reboot. So I signed up for one of the New Piezography Workshops at Cone Editions Press in East Topsham, Vermont, and traveled there last month for it. With participants from China, Japan, Canada and the US, it was a truly international experience. Throughout the workshop, Jon ConeWalker Blackwell, and Dana Hillesland each filled us in on different aspects of the process, including information about how to prepare image files, how the software works, printer setup and maintenance, and far, far more. We were able to print on a large assortment of papers using 5 different inksets. They did a lot of one-on-one work with each of us, as we all had come there with different needs and agendas.IMG_3408

In addition, I got to see Cathy Cone's photographic work, which is gorgeous and evocative. At the end of the last day, we spent some time at the waterfall nearby, then walked back to share wine, beer, and stories. It was a beautiful summer day and a fitting end to a fantastic experience, surrounded by people for whom craft is important. For anyone who is serious about fine digital black & white printing, Piezography is the way to go.

Photograph by Cathy Cone

Dayton Theatre Guild Production

Many thanks to director Kathy Mola and the Dayton Theatre Guild for their thoughtful and moving use of photographs from my "Tears of Stone" project in their recent production of "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914". This moving musical interweaves songs from that era with excerpts from poems and journals by soldiers from both sides of the trenches who experienced the Christmas Truce in December of 1914. It deserves to become a staple for theater companies around the world during the annual holiday season. Kathy decided to project my images onto the backdrop of the set so that the characters appeared to actually be in the battlefields and cemeteries themselves. It was very creative and remained truthful to the spirit of the images. It was a great experience to collaborate with her in this way and a nice opportunity to have these pictures "speak" in a different kind of way to an audience that otherwise would not have seen them.

Dayton Art Institute Artist's Talk

Tomorrow (Thur., Sept. 17) I'll be giving an artist's talk about the "Tears of Stone" show currently on exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute. The show is up through Sunday, October 4. Here's a link with more information about the lecture, which includes a short video of me talking about one of the pieces in the show.

I've spent the past few days putting this talk together. In brief, it will include information about the research I did for the project, the technical aspects and challenges of shooting it, and I'll be reading excerpts from my field notebooks about experiences I had while working on the project. I'm really thankful for the opportunity to do this- it's been a while since I've made a presentation about this work, and it's nice to get back to it.

Dayton Art Institute "Tears of Stone" Show Opening

"Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered" opened at the Dayton Art Institute today. It is paired with "Call to Duty", an exhibition of United States war posters from both world wars. Banner announcing the two shows on the exterior of the Dayton Art Institute

There was a Member's Opening a few days ago, which was really fun, and which spoke to my appreciation of detail. Below is an example of the table decorations in the reception hall. Please note that this is an ammunition box with shells draped over it! DSC_2669

 

 

 

 

 

I had to make a short speech to the assembled masses:DSC_2686

Here are a few pictures of the "Tears" installation:DSC_2698 DSC_2702

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to Laura Fisher (left) and Alex McClay (right), without whom I wouldn't get half the work done that I do get done:DSC_2719

"Tears of Stone" at the Dayton Art Institute

My work on World War I remembrance, "Tears of Stone", is being exhibited at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) from July 4 through October 4. I was able to travel there a couple of weeks ago in order to help train the docents and the show looks fantastic. The walls are painted a deep stone-grey that has slight hints of brown in it, which ensures that they enhance the tone of the photographs beautifully. Many thanks to the University of Cincinnati's Professor Theresa Leininger-Miller for bringing my work to the attention of the DAI and to Curator Aimee Marcereau Degalan, who has been such a pleasure to work with.

Thanks, too, go to my two assistants, Laura Fisher and Alex McClay, without whose help I would not get much done!

Alex McClay and I prepare a print for the DAI exhibition

The opening is in two days and I'll post more about it after that.

Pinhole Photography Exhibition in Santa Fe, NM

For decades, Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer have not only run The Pinhole Resource, they have also collected thousands of pinhole photographs and pinhole cameras from around the world. The Pinhole Resource Collection was recently accessioned to the Palace of the Governor's Photo Archives at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, and it is on exhibit at the museum until March, 2015. Two of my photographs (see below) are included in the "Poetics of Light" exhibition, which I was fortunate enough to see earlier in the year.

Municipal War Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

Le Wettstein French Military Cemetery, France

Although I am well-aware of the wide-range of technical and aesthetic approaches to pinhole photography, I was completely blown away by this exhibit. It is educational, enlightening, and awe-inspiring. Beautifully presented, the 40 cameras and 225 photographs made me want to go out and use my pinhole cameras immediately, even though I didn't have one with me. Interestingly, the show had the same effect on the three non-photographers I was with. We were all amazed at the range of possibilities this type of camera has.

I don't know if this show will travel, but I hope it does. Anyone who is interested in photography, analog or digital, should have a chance to see it. Here is a brief article about it in the New Yorker magazine, which includes some of the images and cameras in the exhibit.

Below is a (somewhat blurry) picture of the section of the installation that my work is in, which gives you an idea of what the exhibition itself actually looked like. (The camera displayed below my images is the same make and model that I used for shooting the "Tears of Stone" project.)

If you find yourself in Santa Fe anytime between now and the end of March, check it out. It doesn't matter if you are a (pinhole) photographer or not- it's worth it, regardless!

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