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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

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

Dayton Daily News Article on "Tears of Stone" Exhibit

The Dayton Daily News (DDN) published an article on my upcoming "Tears of Stone" exhibition in last Sunday's paper. Because the article is only available through subscription on the DDN's website, I have posted it below. Many thanks to Features reporter Meredith Moss for her insightful and comprehensive writing. Pages from DDN20150628

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!

Planting Seeds....

In the mid-1990's, I was invited to exhibit images from the Stargazing project in Sao Paolo, Brazil. A catalog was published that included an image from that work. Fast forward to two days ago, when I received the following message from someone in Brazil through my Facebook page, which I have edited somewhat:

"A few weeks ago, while looking for references material to start drawing the graphic design of my first EP (CD) - I'm an actor, singer, producer (former MTV latin america) and performer, born in Sao Paulo - came to my hands,  the book "Fotografia Pensante" (edited by) the valuable and genius Luiz Guimaraes Monforte!"

He goes on to say that he found my photograph in the book as he leafed through it. Then he wrote:

"The impact that this image generated in my heart was so intense, that there is more than one week can not sleep! Seriosly!"

The idea that someone couldn't sleep for a week because of an image I made was.... well, way cool!!! But what struck me most about this is that once you put your work out into the world, you never know who will see it, when they will see it, or if it will resonate in any way with those who do see it.

It reminds me of the seeds of desert wildflowers that lie dormant for decades until just the right conditions occur that cause them to finally germinate and bloom. So plant the seeds, just get your work out there, and see what happens.

PhotoEye Blog Interview

I was recently interviewed about the Seeking Perfection project for the PhotoEye blog. Here's a link to the interview. It's always a struggle to put into words the thought processes behind my work, but always a rewarding experience. This is because I find that I learn something different about my work and about my approach to making pictures when I either talk about it or write it down, than when I simply think about it. I really enjoy that sense of discovery as it helps to move me forward, even when I have long since completed a project.

Holiday Print Sale

I was recently invited by Fraction Magazine's editor and publisher David Bram to participate in this year's Holiday Print Sale. (A portfolio of my work appeared in Fraction Issue #16 a couple of years ago.) If you are looking to gift someone with original photographic art for the holidays, there is plenty to choose from in this sale. This is the image that I am selling- one of my favorites from the "Secrets the Land Told Me" series:

 

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:

"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!