Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson & Jean Schnell
October 7 – November 12, 2017
Reception for Artists: Saturday, October 7, 5-7 pm
Mark Bennington, America 2.0 (click for online flatfile of all Bennington prints in show)
Carlos Saavedra, Women Fighters, Unknown Memories (Bangladesh)
(click for online flatfile of all Saavedra prints in show)
Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson, The Journey (El viaje)
Jean Schnell, Framing the Light:
Quaker Meetinghouses as Space and Spirit
(click for online flatfile of all Schnell prints in show)
About the Artists
Mark Bennington, America 2.0
America 2.0 is a translation through representation of what a dynamic American community looks like. This project, Mark Bennington’s newest body of work, began over the summer of 2016 and is a direct response to the politicized images of American Muslims depicted as a plagued foreign diaspora. It is about the universality of youth – young Muslims who are vivacious, earnest and informed and eager to participate in their American democracy. Shot in the studio and painted with only natural light, the images are meant to invoke the timelessness of the first American portraits taken by Matthew Brady in New York City. Against a neutral grey background, the vibrancy of each subject stands out in sharp relief, symbolizing clarity in the midst of all the political noise. This is our young complex America, simultaneously integrated, independent, and highly networked. These images are Bennington’s attempt to harness concerns into the normalcy of daily life and start to shift the national dialogue to one of unity.
Bio Mark Bennington is a portrait photographer based between New York City and Mumbai. He travels often and widely for commercial/corporate/editorial assignments and his personal projects. America 2.0 has been featured in PDN Photo of the Day, UpWorthy & Haute Hijab, CNN’s “Parting Shots” , The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, CairoScene, SkyTG24, EmiratesWoman, His first book “Living the Dream: The Life of the ‘Bollywood’ Actor” (HarperCollins) is now available.
Carlos Saavedra, Women Fighters (Series 1: Bangladesh, 1971)
Krishna Rahman, video still From Women Fighters, Unknown Memories by Carlos Saavedra
Carlos Saavedra’s extended series of women who have fought in wars for independence is a tribute to by the artist through hushed video portraits and black and white mediated visions of their memories that until now have been left with no physical support.
The first chapter of this project, presented here, was developed in Bangladesh and India during 2016. Saavedra collected information about the role and participation of several women in the Bangladeshi Independence War and the events surrounding it that marked them: the student movements, the political parties and the guerrillas that for several decades have been part of the territorial and religious conflicts of the region.
Saavedra’s brief silent videos present portraits of fifteen Banladeshi women who had a role in their country’s armed conflict. Although the stereotypes of war leave women in the exclusive role of impotence, fragility or victimization, the courageous testimonies he has collected bring the strength and courage of women to the forefront.
Saavedra’s black and white photographs represent a memory described to him during interviews with each woman. “The interviews are my roadmap: I travel to places in their past to register the objects and spaces from their memories, attempting to reconstruct them visually.” His goal is not only to fix those verbal memories through the photograph but in so doing, transform each into a social and collective asset.
Bio: Award winning Colombian photographer Carlos Saavedra’s projects have focused upon key moments in the lives of his subjects such as birth, motherhood, political action, old age and death. His photographs and videos have been exhibited in New York, Woodstock, Los Angeles, London, Turkey, Washington DC, Mexico City and Dhaka. His work has appeared in print and online media originating in Columbia, England, United States and other countries. Saavedra was selected for the Ian Parry Scholarship, the 2015 New York times Portfolio Review, the 2015 Eddie Adams Workshop and was a finalist for Photo of the Year for National Geographic in 2012. He studied Photography at Lasalle College in Bogotá.
Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson, The Journey (El viaje)
In The Journey (El viaje), Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson pieces together a visual diary from her early years in Lima, Peru to her later experiences after arriving in this country with nothing but a suitcase. She constructs her diary’s pages using a wide range of photographic resources. These include old family snapshots, objects of sentimental value and scraps of her journals destroyed in a rage—which she credits for planting the seed to start the visual diary to preserve her memories.
With these elements, Ruiz-Gustafson remembers her family history from her idyllic childhood in Lima to the pivotal experiences that led to living in fear during the terrorist attacks by Sendero Luminoso and to her growing feelings of alienation from society and religion. In her diary entries of more recent times, the artist adds symbolic objects and photographs of women at different ages to represent her ongoing journey, reflect on her fears and dreams, and portray her resilience.
Bio: Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson is a Massachusetts-based photographer who grew up in Lima, Peru. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the New England area, among them the Griffin Museum of Photography, Danforth Art Museum, Sohn Fine Art Gallery, U-Forge Gallery, Fountain Street Gallery, the Providence Center for Photographic Arts, and the Cambridge Art Association Galleries. In Lima, she worked as a freelance photographer for a local feminist magazine and a regional newspaper. In 2005, she started her photography business in the Boston area.
Jean Schnell, Framing the Light:
Quaker Meetinghouses as Space and Spirit
Light has many meanings for Jean Schnell. As a photographer it is a subject in and of itself. As a Quaker, Light is a metaphor for the Divine. It means connection with the most inner self, or the Inner Light as Quakers call it. It gives her a sense of peace and clarity. For Framing the Light, Schnell began each day of photographing with silent meditation. It is a quiet, reflective and serene process. She also paid special attention to the light. As she worked through the day, the light traveled around the space illuminating the benches, walls and floors in subtle and revealing ways. Though these Quaker meetinghouses seem empty, Schnell sees them as full of both light and Light. “I could pause, gather strength, peace, clarity and serenity in the spaces. They are sanctuaries, and I think they are needed in this increasingly chaotic world.”
Bio Jean Schnell’s recent work has been exhibited in solo exhibits including the Feldman Family Art Space on Martha’s Vineyard, the Friends Meeting of Cambridge and at Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat Center in Wallingford, PA. Her photographs have also appeared in numerous group shows in the New England region. In 2017 Framing the Light photographs appeared in Lenswork Magazine. She was also the featured artist on Aspect Initiative online gallery. Her Quaker meetinghouse photographs have been featured in the Friends Journal accompanied by her article called “Framing the Light: Quaker Meetinghouses as Space and Spirit.”
Collage, Montage, Composites
Carol Erb & Teresa Meier
Exhibition Dates: September 2 – October 1, 2017
Pat Horner, Collage Montage (see all images – Pat Horner Flat File)
Stories from the Kitchen Table (see all images – Astrid Reischwitz Flat File)
Portfolio Showcase Portfolios by Carol Erb & Teresa Meier
Dominion: Portraits of Animals in Captivity (see all images – Carol Erb Flat File)
Teresa Meier, The Witness Within (see all images – Teresa Meier Flat File)
About the Artists
Pat Horner, Collage Montage
Early in her career, Hudson Valley artist Pat Horner considered herself an artist doing photography. Later, she started to experiment with collage and mixed media, ultimately creating her personal style. Drawing on her imagination, memories, dreams and beliefs, she works with photographic images from family, nature, feminism and politics. For her, collage is a form of visual writing.
Strongly based on gender and most specifically, women, Horner’s collages/stories talk about relationships between the sexes, values, nature, war, history, fashion, indifference, blindness, and power. Horner looks for opportunities to construct oppositions and induce an emotional response. She believes that mixed media is the best common language to express her feelings and stimulate the viewer. In addition to using photographs in these works, several pieces in this exhibit have added texture using fabric, thread, digital reproductions, cut-outs and paint. This exhibition spans forty years of art-making.
Pat Horner’s work is in numerous private and public collections throughout the US including the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Center of Photography at Woodstock. She has exhibited widely in the Hudson Valley, New York City, Minneapolis, Houston and Seattle. Her work has been published throughout the Hudson Valley and worldwide including: Aperture, Utne Reader, Chronogram, UNESCO, The Progressive, Tokuma Shoten (Japan). Horner has lived in Willow, NY since 1994.
Astrid Reischwitz, Stories From the Kitchen Table
For Astrid Reischwitz, “going home” means traveling a continent away to a village in northern Germany and her family’s old farmhouse. The house seems untouched by modern time, and sometime soon it will be left behind. When she visits, she absorbs the ingredients of home: the familiar flavors of dishes, the knick-knacks, garden flowers, fabrics, and worn kitchen tools that have been there for countless generations. Most of all, the essence of home for her is gathering around the kitchen table for a meal with family and friends to share stories old and new.
Reischwitz created “Stories from the Kitchen Table” to preserve and honor that fading way of life in her childhood home and to salute the generations of women who lived and worked under its roof. Connecting past and present, her composites include old family photos combined with fragments of her heritage. Her grandmother was a great influence. She was the keeper of local history and the family stories that were shared among women in “spin clubs,” gatherings for the purpose of spinning wool, stitching and doing needlework, “Stories from the Kitchen Table” transforms this tradition of storytelling into a visual journey.
Astrid Reischwitz’s series have appeared in numerous solo and featured exhibitions including: the Danforth Art Museum, Framingham MA; the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA; 555 Gallery, Boston MA; Soho Photo Gallery, NYC, Providence Center for Photographic Arts, RI and Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Lenox MA. Her photographs have appeared in juried group exhibitions throughout the US.
Reischwitz has been recognized with many awards including: Photolucida Critical Mass photographer (Top 50, 2016; Top 200, 2015.) Her photographs have appeared online on LensCulture, Lenscratch, Wired Japan, Il Post Italy, P3 Portugal, What Will You Remember, and 3200K, online blogs and in numerous publications throughout New England.
Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring portfolios by
Carol Erb & Teresa Meir
Carol Erb, Dominion: Portraits of Animals in Captivity
“Modern civilization developed in ways to shield us from the cruelty and neglect with which we treat our fellow creatures.” In each of Carol Erb’s images, an animal has been removed from its natural environment and placed in a human space where it does not belong. The longing to be elsewhere is clear from the animal’s confinement and expression. Faded murals allude to a history of domestication and the way we can often fool ourselves into thinking of animals as extensions of our own needs and emotions. These animals are not at home here. Nonetheless, there is a disturbing beauty in their isolation.
Carol Erb is best known for creating constructed and staged digital images. Her work has been exhibited at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Phoenix Art Museum, Houston Center for Photography, and many other institutions. Her images have been featured in several publications including: Rfoto Folio, Beta developments in photography, Square Magazine, Lenscratch, and Adobe Create. In 2016, she was a finalist for Critical Mass. Erb is represented by the Sophie-Maree Gallery in the Netherlands.
Teresa Meier, The Witness Within
For Teresa Meier, the images in The Witness Within are the most honest expression of herself that she can give us. “They represent all the things that I saw, witnessed and experienced, disassembled, analyzed, and meticulously rebuilt into my own personal mythology.” She sought out landscapes she remembered as a child, carrying her memories with her, and let each place tell a piece of the story as she came to know it—slowly, in bits and pieces, out of time, and from many different points of view. Meier seduces viewers with rich, fantastical colors and landscapes, hoping to open their minds and hearts and send them on a journey to discover their own personal narratives.
Teresa Meier is an award winning multi-media artist based in Oregon. She holds an MFA in photography, enjoys teaching and is fascinated with telling stories through elaborately constructed digital photo-montages. Recent group exhibitions include: Center for Fine Art Photography; Light Leaked, Cosntructing Narrative; Millepiani, Loosen Art, Rome Italy; Reclaim Photography Festival, UK and uBe Art Gallery, Berkely CA. Her images have appeared in Communication Arts, Interactive Annual (Editor’s Pick), Oregon Historical Society, Serious Eats, Oregon Business and The Source. In 2016, Meier founded Light Box Laboratories, a photography based art-therapy program dedicated to serving underprivileged and at-risk teens. She firmly believes that photography changes lives. It changed hers.
Third Annual Group Show
photography, photo-based works
Juror: Paula Tognarelli
Executive Director & Curator: Griffin Museum of Photography
Exhibition Dates: July 29 – August 28, 2017
Reception for Artists: Saturday, July 29, 5-7 pm
View Show Catalog Here
• Ben Altman •Rachel Beamer •Amy Becker •Sheri Lynn Behr •Debra Bilow
•J Felice Boucher •Todd Bradley •Suzette Bross •Joan Lobis Brown
•Jessica Chen •Bill Clark •Cheryl Clegg •Richard Cohen •Francis Crisafio
•Wendy Drews •Ken Dryfack •Diane Fenster •Bill Franson •Steve Gentile
•Bill Gore •Roger Gottlieb •Tamsin Green •Michal Greenboim •Janet Holmes
•Anne Hopkins •Benjamin Hoste •Mark Indig •Paul Ivanushka •Leslie Jean-Bart
•Diana Nicholette Jeon •Susan Rosenberg Jones •Karen Klinedinst
•Melissa Lynn •Alysia Macaulay •Brian Malloy •Aline Mare •Calli McCaw
•Rebecca Moseman •Jan Nagle •Elizabeth Panzer •Betty Press •Irina Shoyhet
•Leif Skoogfors •Vicky Stromee •Jane Szabo •JP Terlizzi •Marie Triller
•John Verner •Melanie Walker •Dawn Watson
Our brains are geared to process a multitude of images. Fast! As a result visual analysis happens quickly also. Thank dog for that, at least for the photo curator’s sake.
Again this year Davis Orton Gallery gave me the opportunity to jury their annual exhibition. They handed off a large quantity of submissions in response to their call for entry. The experience of responding to these photographs was pleasurable, filled me with curiosity and gave me the opportunity to communicate in what seems my native language; the photographic image. What also has been gratifying is discovering the authorship of anonymous submissions. I could never have guessed the origin.
While Karen and Mark did not ask for a theme, in looking at the final assembly some common elements come to the surface. Was it my context on the days I juried the show that directed the outcome? Was it that submitters were influenced by days’ events at hand? All are possibilities.
This year’s ensemble has definite emotional overtones. It has experiential rhythm and gesture. It is performance at root. Congratulations to each exhibiting artist for your solo moments and in your collaboration as a whole. You are all sure to delight the audience.
My sincere thank you goes to Karen Davis and Mark Orton for their trust and vision. My gratitude extends as well to all artists who submitted to this year’s call. Experiencing your photographs always shapes my humanity, hones my perception and connects me to you and the world we share.
Paula Tognarelli July 26, 2017
Exhibition Dates: June 24 to July 23, 2017
Reception for Artists & Artist Talk – Saturday, June 24, 5-7pm
Portfolio Showcase Prison Related Photography
Jason Koxvold and Dana Ullman
Still My Mother, Still My Father – Parent Child Visits (more – Kosofsky flat files)
Joe Librandi-Cowan, The Auburn System (more – Librandi-Cowan Flat Files)
Portfolios by Jason Koxvold & Dana Ullman
Jason Koxvold, Knives
Dana Ullman, Another Kind of Prison: Women and Reentry
About the Artists
Isadora Kosofsky, Still My Mother, Still My Father
For the past six years, Isadora Kosofsky has documented the relationship among youth, families and confinement through multiple long-term projects in the American criminal justice system. Still My Mother, Still My Father documents quarterly bonding meetings between children and their mothers and fathers at twelve men’s and women’s prisons in the state of Florida. These events are facilitated by Children of Inmates, an organization in Florida dedicated to bringing incarcerated families together.**
One question that drives Kosofsy is if and how family trauma is repairable. For many of those incarcerated in the US, parents and children have to express love in a setting that, by its nature, negates human contact. But, in these bonding visits, they are able to feel, smell and caress those closest to them.
More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent, and approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. Nationally, there are more than 120,000 incarcerated mothers and 1.1 million incarcerated fathers who are parents of minor children.
** In New York state prisons, children and parents have been able to meet, touch and bond in a way reflected by Kosofsky’s photographs from Florida. However, county jails have not allowed such intimacy. Here in Hudson, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood (GHPN) with the cooperation of Columbia County Jail have initiated a program for area children of parents incarcerated there to meet in a family-friendly environment. PPMP’s fourth Thursday program, July 20, 6-7:30pm led by Joan Hunt of GHPN will present images and information about this local project.
bio Isadora Kosofsky is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She takes an immersive approach to photojournalism, working with her subjects for years at a time to document American social issues from a humanistic stance.
Kosofsky’s work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and can be found in Family Photography Now (Thames and Hudson, 2016) and in Public Private Portraiture (Mossless.) Her series, “Vinny and David: Life and Incarceration of a Family,” is on exhibition at Art Works Projects for Human Rights in Chicago from June 8 to August 10, 2017. She will also be an exhibiting photojournalist at the 2017 Visa Pour L’Image Photojournalism Festival in Perpignan, France in September.
She received the 2012 Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation for her multi-series documentary about romantic relationships of the aged. Her work has received distinctions from Flash Forward Magenta Foundation, Ian Parry Foundation, Social Documentary Network, IAFOR, Women in Photography International, Prix de la Photographie Paris, The New York Photo Festival and a nomination for Reportage Photography of the Year at the 2016 Lead Awards.
Kosofsky’s images have been featured in The London Sunday Times Magazine, Slate, The Washington Post, TIME, Le Monde, VICE, The New Yorker, Mashable, and The Huffington Post, among others.
Joe Librandi-Cowan, The Auburn System
Joe Librandi-Cowan’s hometown, Auburn, NY, is host to a maximum-security prison. The Auburn System is his ongoing portrait of Auburn and its relationship with its prison.
The prison sits directly in the middle of the city, nestled between busy roads and residential neighborhoods. Its thirty-five-foot high walls become largely ignored. The walls around the perimeter of the prison are a visual and psychological reminder of the two distinctly different worlds inhabiting the same space. The people in his photographs are members of his community – some live across from the prison’s walls and others have worked behind them.
Historically, Auburn prison has played a large role within the workings and systems that structure modern day correctional services and prisons. In the 1820’s, Auburn Prison implemented what became known as The Auburn System – a series of corrections that included lockstep, solitary confinement, and complete silence. The prison was also home to the first execution by electrocution. Many of the practices that began in Auburn have led to what is now called the Prison Industrial Complex.
Librandi’s work explores how a community so deeply ingrained within the prison industry and penal history coexists with its prison. The work also exists to foster a discussion that asks difficult questions regarding prisons, prison towns, incarceration, correctional practices and policing within American society.
bio Joe Librandi-Cowan is a recent graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, where he studied fine art photography and was the recent recipient of an Imagining America Engagement Fellowship. His artistic practice is heavily community-based, dealing with the deep and complex issues of the prison industrial complex, its role within society, and its impact on his hometown’s community, Auburn NY.
In the past year, Joe has received a Finger Lakes Community Arts Grant and has had solo shows of, The Auburn System” at The Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, NY and The Gallery at SUNY Onondaga in Syracuse, NY. He has also shown widely online, including a feature on the BBC World Update, Lensculture, and an interview with Pete Brook of the Prison Photography Project. He is also the Recipient of a 2017 Light Work grant.
Jason Koxvold, Knives
KNIVES is a project made over several years by Jason Koxvold, using documentary photography to trace the shifting relationships between masculinity, memory, and violence in a rural Hudson Valley town whose economic base remains eviscerated by globalisation.
The cutlery industry formed the economic backbone of New York’s Hudson Valley for over 150 years, when the Schrade knife factory abruptly moved production to China in 2004, leaving 500 men and women out of work. The town’s maximum security prison, Eastern Correctional Facility, became the largest employer in the area, shielded from the wider community by layers of secrecy. As businesses continued to close during the decade that followed, drug abuse, mental disorders, and rare cancers have become more widespread. What remains for the young men of Wawarsing?
KNIVES operates as two intertwined stories: one, a typological study of knives crafted in the region since the rise of the cutlery industry, provides connective tissue to the other, which deals in the realities of the local community, both within the prison and without. The project serves as a microcosm of the larger issues facing the United States, grappling with the effects of automation and outsourcing, cuts in services, and the rise of identity politics.
bio Jason Koxvold of Ulster County NY works as a fine art photographer typically in large format documentary and constructed stories. His work has been recognised by the Magnum Photo Awards and the World Photo Awards, and been published in places like WIRED, Wallpaper*, Newsweek Japan, Slate, Aint-Bad, The Great Leap Sideways, and Landscape Stories.
Koxvold’s work focuses on economic forces – his first long-term project, Everything and Nothing, examined the way neoliberal policy shaped the global landscape. BLACK – WATER (work in progress) focuses on the cultural reverberations of fifteen years of constant war, photographed on military bases across the Middle East.
Born in Belgium, Koxvold studied Psychology and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dana Ullman, Another Kind of Prison: Women and Reentry
Worldwide, as the number of women in prison rises and incarceration increasingly defines our society and economy, Dana Ullman asks – What is the purpose of imprisonment?Women disproportionately serve time for nonviolent crimes stemming from mental illness, poverty and abuse. The ripple effects of their incarceration reveal a system perpetuating abuse, racism, poverty, recidivism and broken families. The circumstances leading to each woman’s arrest often go unaddressed, yet are imperative in designing policies that serve lives rather than hinder them.
Another Kind of Prison is a long-term project that humanize statistics through the experiences of formerly incarcerated women, often left out of the conversation, and the barriers they face readjusting to life after incarceration while also illuminating programs started by formerly incarcerated women such as A New Way of Life, California Coalition for Women Prisoners and A.K.A Angels that address gender-specific reentry support in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.
bio Dana Ullman is a Brooklyn-based freelance photojournalist and writer whose work focuses on hummanizing statistics and social issues through storytelling.
Dana’s stories have been published by the New York Times, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, TIME, CNN, The Atlantic and the Associated Press, among others. She has been a reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation (2016) and the International Center for Journalists (2015), as well as received a Puffin Foundation Grant (2014) for “Another Kind of Prison”, which documents life after prison for women in the USA.
Four Thursday Evening Programs at the Gallery: 6-7:30 pm
JUNE 29, Illustrated Talk: Hudson’s Prison History: 1887 to the Present.
Peter Tenerowicz, of Hudson, PPMP advisory board, former NY State correctional officer, much of time at Hudson Correctional Facility
JULY 6, Film Yes, In My Backyard, (1999) a documentary by Tracy Huling.
Q&A after screening with Tracy Huling, Founder/Director of Prison Public Memory Project.
JULY 13, Panel Discussion – Community Justice Advocacy Panel Discussion led by members of SBK Social Justice Center, Hudson NY.
JULY 20, Film, Slides and Presentation: Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents and issues of Reentry Program Leader: Joan E. Hunt, Director, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood.
About the Prison Public Memory Project
The Prison Public Memory Project engages people from all walks of life in conversation, reflection and learning about the complex role of prisons in communities and society. The Project works with individuals and organizations in communities with prisons to recover, preserve, interpret, present, and honor the memories of what took place in those institutions. We use public history, social practice art and new media technologies to integrate community knowledge with more traditional forms of historic preservation. Since 2012, we’ve been working with the community in Hudson, NY, our pilot site, and in 2017 we began work in Pontiac, IL. For more information, visit our website at prisonpublicmemory.org.
Street Photography and the Urban Scene
Exhibition Dates: May 20 to June 18, 2017
Street Photography and the Urban Scene
From Classic to Contemporary
Susan Bowen and Peter Donahoe
Richard Sandler, The Eyes of the City (more – Sandler flat files)
Hasid and Hipster, NYC 2001, silver gelatin print by Richard Sandler
William Hellermann, Lights at the End of the Tunnel (more – Hellermann flat files)
Portfolio Showcase: Portfolios by Susan Bowen & Peter Donahoe
Susan Bowen, New York Walking (more – Bowen flat files)
Peter Donahoe, The Nightline: A Memoir of Work (more – Donahoe flat files)
About the Artists
Richard Sandler, The Eyes of the City
Subway Kiss NYC, 1987, Silver Gelatin Print by Richard Sandler
The photographs in this show were made in New York City between 1977-2001, just before the proliferation of computers, cell phones, digital cameras and the internet. They depict a complicated time in the recent past that lives in limbo: too young to be historical and too old to resemble contemporary culture.
NYC was a mess; there was no way to filter the realities of the broken city, and there was no refuge in virtual space. Underground, graffiti tags and spray painting exploded onto every surface and whole subway cars were “bombed,” windows and all. Above and below ground, crime and crack were on the rise, rents were cheap, many souls were homeless, and tourists avoided the city.
To some, the New York City of the recent past was a hell on Earth, yet to others it was one of New York’s most fertile artistic periods. The streets of Times Square and the East Village, though dangerous, were also a haven for an edgy art scene with dozens of galleries and music clubs. In mid-town and on Wall Street the rich wore gaudy furs in unprecedented numbers, and like now, the extremes of wealth and destitution were on parade.
Sandler shot 4 – 5 rolls of film everyday, with one eye out for the lyric and critical juxtaposition, and the other looking to record civic history, itself.
bio Richard Sandler, Catskill NY, is an award winning street photographer and documentary filmmaker. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Historical Society, and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. His monograph, The Eyes of the City was published in 2016 by PowerHouse Books with a forward by Dave Isay and afterword by Jonathan Ames.
Sandler has directed and shot eight non-fiction videos and films including, “The Gods of Times Square,” “Brave New York” and “Radioactive City.” He was awarded two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships for still photography, a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship for filmmaking and a New York State Council on the Arts grant for filmmaking.
William Hellermann, The Eyes of the City (1980’s)
In the 1980’s, experimental musician and performer William Hellermann did a lot of walking around New York City, especially Hell’s Kitchen, especially at night, shooting 35mm Kodachrome slides. There was something about the small buildings, the sole-proprietor stores and Irish bars that fascinated him. He was drawn to the buildings that had been let go, hanging on with failed dignity; that is, hopeless enterprises.
He became fascinated by the differences between them, not because they were that different, but because they weren’t. They all looked a lot alike, lights at the end of the tunnel. Many seemed to share a great concern with appearance combined with a great indifference to maintenance. They were so much about people, the people who owned them and the people who patronize them.
And he liked to see them head on, looking them in the eyes, so to speak. It seems that in the age of the automobile, we see the world in three-quarters view, coming or going and only for a split second see something straight on. To look at them that way has a fresh impact we would never suspect, even though they were familiar – in other words –photographs wanting to be taken.
bio William Hellermann (1939-2017)
In the 1980’s, as he walked the streets of New York City at night, the experimental composer and performer, William Hellermann, began a remarkable series of color slide of bars and ma & pa stores he encountered – especially in Hell’s Kitchen.
Hellermann was the recipient of numerous awards for his compositions and performances from the 1960s to the 1990’s including: the Pri de Rome Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, National Endowment for the Arts Composers Fellowship, the NEA Opera Music Theatre New American Works Grant and six grants and awards from the New York State Council on the Arts. As a curator at PS 1, the Clock Tower, and the Alternative Museum, he launched some of the first exhibitions of sound sculpture and audio art, and in the process brought into usage the term “Soundart.”
Moving from Brooklyn to the Columbia County in the 1990’s Hellermann returned to his love of photography – both making new work of the urban landscape and revisiting his images from those nights in New York City. For the new work, as he walked around Hudson NY, he found his subject in the alleys of the city where the “garages have an accidental beauty.” In February 2017 his photographs were featured in a three person show at the Hudson Opera House, No Parking: The Alleys and Garages of Hudson NY. From his archive of slides from the 80’s, he produced the series of evocative pigment prints of New York City we are pleased to present at the Davis Orton Gallery.
Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work, the gallery is also featuring portfolios by
Susan Bowen & Peter Donahoe
Susan Bowen, New York Walking
New York Walking is an ongoing series of people in motion. The intense pace and vitality of the urban setting excites me; I like to shoot fast and furiously, to be totally immersed and to be swept up in, and along with, the tide of the moment.
This group of images were shot at busy street corners in New York City, Bowen likes to to record the swirl of activity around her. Her vantage point is low; she sits on the ground with a small tripod and rapidly capturing people as they walk by.
Bowen likes to be very spontaneous in her shooting and see what surprises that brings.
bio Susan Bowen lives in New York City and is known for her walking photographs and her overlapping multiple exposures, which she shoots with a plastic camera. Susan’s eighteen solo shows have been in New York, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Reno, Dayton, San Marino, Lubbock, and Tennessee. In 2008 Susan completed a 48′ public art mural for a school in New Haven, CT and created four murals for the D.O.T. in Minnesota. In 2007 she was profiled in Photo Techniques and Light Leaks magazines and received a Pilsner Urquell Lucie award. Susan has four images published in Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity, a book by Michelle Bates.
Peter Donahoe, The Nightline: A Memoir of Work
The photographs in this series are from Peter Donahoe’s monograph, The Night Line, a Memoir of Work. It portrays Donahoe’s years driving a taxi cab in New York City [1981-83]. These were the last years of the Checker fleets and the onset of Reagan’s recession. It became impossible for Donohoe to find work as a photographer’s assistant that had been his livelihood. Anyone who had a driver’s license was getting a hack license to make a living. “We were the surplus labor population that got New Yorkers where they wanted to go.”
Driving a cab gave him the opportunity to meet the unexpected –sometimes dangerously so – never knowing where the next fare would take him. The streets of New York were his workplace and this gave him the opportunity to see the city thru every hour of the night and in all conditions.
bio Photographer Peter Donahoe has exhibited widely and has been published in the US and France. Starting in social documentary photography he later turned to large format landscape work and now works exclusively with pinhole cameras This work has been included in the anthology ‘Le Stenope’ in the Photo Poche series published by Actes Sud, Paris. He has received numerous grants, has taught extensively and is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
Donahoe’s book, The Night Line, was published by New Amsterdam Books in 1990 and, of the 90 images in the book, 25 were selected by the Museum of the City of New York for their permanent collection. It was seen as a unique description of working class life from the physical and social perspective of a cab driver. Some of these images have also been collected in ‘Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver’ by Prof. Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Johns Hopkins Press.
He studied photography at Pratt Institute, worked as a freelance photographer in New York City and the Hudson Valley. He was also a New York City Police department photographer.
Exhibition Dates: April 8 to May 14, 2017
Emily Hamilton Laux & Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh
*To add to the Flora experience
the gallery is also exhibiting Birch Tree Lamps by George Pollack
Carla Shapiro, To Capture a Shadow (more – flat file)
Carol March, Bloom (more – flat file)
Portfolio Showcase Theme: Flora
Emily Hamilton Laux, Invasives: Beauty vs Beauty (more – flat file)
Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh, Meditations: Flora (more – flat file)
About the Artists
Carla Shapiro, To Capture a Shadow
Carla Shapiro initiated this body of work in response to personal loss. In silence and solitude, she began photographing the trees around her, their beauty, a balm for her sorrow. In the studio, out of frustration and intermittent waves of grief, she started scratching her negatives and platinum/palladium prints with sandpaper, rubbing the surfaces as both an act of destruction and an attempt to expunge her deepest emotions. Ironically, the damage she inflicted went beyond catharsis. It transformed her images into magical illuminations.
Shapiro prints her images in platinum/palladium, a 19th century technique where the emulsion is absorbed into the fiber of the paper. Platinum/palladium prints are known for their rich tones, archival stability and unique impressions.
Bio: Carla Shapiro of upstate New York has been a visual artist working in photography for over twenty-five years. Her portfolios include photographic, mixed media and multi-media explorations about woman, aging, longing, beauty and decay.
Carla’s work has been shown nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards including The Center for Photography at Woodstock, The Golden Light Awards at Maine Photographic Workshops, New Jersey Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, (2 times), and The O’Conner Foundation. She has attended many artists’ residencies including The MacDowell Colony (6 times) and Yaddo.
Carol March, Bloom
Spring blooming is a sudden, violent affair. Things push out and grow with great speed. They crowd and form tangled, beautiful environments. Carol March is drawn to the great variety of shapes, patterns and colors of botanical subject matter, to the way plants always seem to gesture and dance.
To share her life-long love of plants, March’s approach is constructive. She takes many photographs and combines elements of them into bloom tableaus. Her working method is derived from painting, which used to be her primary artistic medium.
Bio: Carol March, of Willow NY is a photographer and painter who has exhibited widely in New York City, The Hudson Valley and Northeast region. For almost 30 years, March worked as a graphic designer at New York, Time and Fortune Magazines. She also taught color theory at Parsons School of Design.
March is a recipient of a NYFA grant in painting. After several residencies at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony in Woodstock, she joined the Exhibition Committee of the Kleinert/James Gallery and has curated eight shows. She earned a BFA from Cornell University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.
Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring
portfolios by Linda Hamilton Laux & Michael Bogdanffy Kriegh
Emily Hamilton Laux, Invasives: Beauty vs Beauty
Invasives is Emily Hamilton Laux’s entry-point into today’s conversation about biodiversity. Here she addresses questions about the earth’s changing ecosystems. The project represents her personal exploration of the plants that grow in our backyards, along the edges of fields and parking lots, as well flora that are cultivated for their beauty. All of these plants have complex roles and relationships in the ecosystems where they grow. In Invasives: Beauty Versus Beauty (part 1), selected plant species are portrayed in isolation or with one or two other species.
Laux invites the viewer to question his/her own concepts of beauty and function in the landscape, and explore ideas about biodiversity through her observation of native, invasive, naturalized and cultivated species of plants. “The conversation is enormous, exciting, and changing rapidly.”
Bio: Visual artist Emily Hamilton Laux’s primary medium is photography. A member of the Westport Artists’ Collective and Ridgefield Guild of Artists, she opened her own studio at Firing Circuits in 2016. Laux has exhibited in a group in Connecticut including Ridgefield Guild of Artists Camera Works, ArtWorks, Westport Artists’ Collective Group Show and at Simon Pearce, Westport in a solo exhibit. Previously, Laux worked as a writer, editor, and photojournalist; she also worked as a gallery manager and publicist in the visual arts.
Born in Saigon, and raised in Cambodia, Paris and Washington, D.C., Laux has an MA in International Economics from American University and she earned her BA at Tulane University in New Orleans, where maintains close ties. Laux believes her art work is informed by her cultural experiences in Asia and the Deep South.
Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh, Meditations: Flora
Charles Ives’ Unanswered Question is an organizational metaphor for Michael Bogdannfy-Kriegh’s work. The music has three parts; a continuous hum or “music of the spheres;” a poser of the question; a chorus trying, unsuccessfully, to answer the question. His photographic practice is a meditative dipping into the hum, a stream of observations. From this stream he makes images and assemblages, which are not definitive questions or answerers, just meditations on the hum.
Bio: Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh’s work has been shaped through a daily meditative walk and writing practice during which he photographs whatever compels him. His work has appeared in several exhibitions, including Welcome: Page by Page, an exhibit of artist books curated by Hannah Frieser at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, and the 21st Annual Juried Show: Peter Urban Legacy Exhibition, juried by Jim Casper, at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA. His photographs have been published in Shots Magazine issue #129 and issue #130, the annual portfolio edition. He is a self trained photographer living and working in Beacon, NY. Formally trained as an architect, he made the decision to focus exclusively on his photography work in 2013.
George Pollack, Birch Tree Lamps
George Pollock has been a carpenter, builder and cabinetmaker for 45 years. He has worked in Philadelphia, Pa., Key West, Fl., and Woodstock, NY. Twenty years ago, he started camping in the Adirondacks and fell in love with the rustic furniture of the area. Pollock responded to this by creating furniture from natural materials. He now constructs tables, lamps, and various functional objects out of found wood, bark, grape vines, concrete and Oriental Bittersweet.