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Keith Johnson

Ruth Wetzel

June 27 to July 26, 2015 

Reception: Saturday, June 27 5-7pm
also: 10 Gallery Stroll BeLo3rd 

portfolio showcase
Steffen Kloster Poulsen & Peter Stern

Keith Johnson, The Chosen Place

#7 Chosen Place by Keith JohnsonUntitled #7 from Chosen Place by Keith Johnson

Ruth Wetzel, Swamp Spaces

Ruth Wetzel 4-17 from Swamp Places4-17 from Swamp Places by Ruth Wetzel 


Steffen Kloster Poulsen  Bunker

Bunker 1 by Steffen Kloster Poulsen#1 from Bunker by Steffen Kloster Poulsen

Peter Stern  Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay

Tidal Figure by Peter SternTidal Figure by Peter Stern


About the Artists

Keith Johnson, The Chosen Place

#13 from Chosen Place by Keith JohnsonFor Keith Johnson, it all started in 1980 when his Seneca Point cottage was built by Canandaigua Lake (Ontario County NY). It is a beautiful location called Kanadarqua by the Senecas meaning “The Chosen Spot.” Over the years he stood on the deck looking out on Bare Hill and Vine Valley making hundreds of pictures from five slightly different places on the deck. He photographed the sky, the water, the light and the feeling of the place. Storms, fireworks on July 4, flares on Labor Day, a bit of Spring or Fall, clouds and all, never intending to do anything with these pictures. Thus, for many years, he simply collected images. Later, he grouped them by mood, or subject or color. Finally, he was able to see relationships and juxtapositions that previously had past him by. These compositions are the result. (left: #13 from Chosen Place by Keith Johnson)

Bio: Keith Johnson’s work is in the collections of, among others, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), George Eastman House, and Center for Creative Photography. Recent solo shows include George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Griffin Museum, Winchester, MA; CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY; FotoFest, Houston, TX; Panopticon Gallery,  Boston MA; Nelson Hancock Gallery, Brooklyn NY and Wall Space Gallery in Seattle WA.

He is a recipient of two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowships and residencies at Light Work and Visual Studies Workshop, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT. He is on the summer faculty at Penland School of Crafts, Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), and Maine Media Workshop, and is a thesis mentor at SVA in NY and AIB in Boston. Johnson received his MFA from RISD studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind following a year at Visual Studies Workshop with Nathan Lyons.

Ruth Wetzel   Swamp Spaces

Bird by Ruth Wetzel
Ruth Wetzel grew up in a swamp in the hamlet of Katonah, NY, in a neighborhood of split-ranch houses that had been built during a drought. When the drought ended, every home had to be surrounded by drainage ditches. Behind her house, there were swamps everywhere, and she spent her childhood in perpetually wet sneakers, bog-hopping, building tree forts and drawing.

Wetzel’s work, in a variety of mediums, has always been a response to landscape. Five years ago she turned her attention to swamps, first through drawing and printing and now, through photography, where she explores how the phenomena of reflection, transparency and perspective collide to create visual intrigue.

“I wear waders and trudge gingerly on squishy surfaces. I am often thigh-high in the water and sometimes slowly sinking. Beavers, turtles, frogs and ducks are my companions and soundtracks, and from my lower-than-normal-height point of view, I see more from an animal’s perspective.”

Wetzel’s close-up views remove the landscape’s orientation and allow the abstract qualities and gestures to shine. Expectations of perspective are interrupted. Flora in spatially perplexing views questions familiar spatial arrangements and the delicacy of surface films, leaves, and twigs contrast against the powerful gestures of branches and swaths of sunlight.

Bio: Ruth Wetzel (Stone Ridge, NY) has spent 25 years interpreting the landscape in a variety of mediums. She has been awarded residencies at Platt Clove, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Women’s Studio Workshop and Vermont Studio Center and received grants from New York State Council on the Arts, Baltimore City, and the E.D. Foundation. Wetzel has exhibited widely throughout New York and New England. Her recent work in photography is in the permanent Collection of Orange Regional Medical Center and has been shown at Gallery Sansquoit, SUNY/Ulster; NoBo Gallery, Hudson NY; Westport Library and the offices of Alfandre Architecture.

Features and reviews of her work have appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal, Chronogram (including cover), Kingston Times and Catskill Mountain Region Guide, among others. She received an MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art, and holds a B.S. in Design from Buffalo State College.


 Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring
portfolios by Steffen Kloster Poulsen and Peter Stern

Steffen Kloster Poulsen, Bunker  

02-Bunker-Poulsen-600hThe Danish government has initiated a program to remove hundreds of bunkers from its beaches for the safety of beach goers. The Germans built these bunkers during their occupation of Denmark in the Second World War as a defense against Allied Forces. Poulsen has memories from childhood of playing with his sister in and around the bunkers during family trips to the coast. Poulsen is currently documenting these “involuntary monuments of war” to tell their story before they descend into the sea of forgotten history.

“Their removal will not only leave a hole in the history of my country but also in my childhood. The bunkers themselves have transformed into mere shapes and remain only as symbols of a bygone era in an ocean of mist. These giants’ gentle vulnerability and inevitable slow, natural eradication speak of our own fragile existence.”

Poulsen uses a pinhole lens in combination with a pushed black-and-white film to create these grainy and mysterious images and to reflect upon the intangible feeling of an unexperienced national history and the muddy warmth of distant memories.

Bio:  Steffen Kloster Poulsen is an emerging photographer from Denmark. He is equally at home using the darkroom, digital and alternative photographic processes and works to select the best method for actualizing his ideas. Poulsen has exhibited his work recently in Copenhagen at Galleri Krebsen and Gallery Monitor (solo) and Gallery Rotor 2 in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is his first exhibition in the United States.

Peter Stern  Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay

Peter Stern-Shadow Forest

Flying low and slowly, pilot and photographer Peter Stern studies the landscapes below, interpreting them with an intimacy that reflects his personal connection to the varied geographies of the Mid-Atlantic Region where he lives (Baltimore) and photographs.

In this series Stern presents the rich and diverse ecology of the lower Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay while also suggesting spiritual, animal and human symbolism he finds there. While the region has suffered from development and exploitation for centuries, these images show the strength and resilience of Coastal ecosystems, and how both the forces of nature and the efforts of environmental preservation groups have helped to preserved and improved the health and vitality of these unique areas.


 

Thomas Holton

Edie Bresler 

May 16 to June 21, 2015 

Reception: Saturday, May 16, 5-7pm 

portfolio showcase 
 Mary Beth Meehan and Eleonora Ronconi


Thomas Holton, The Lams of Ludlow Street

spring break 2014 by Thomas HoltonSpring Break 2014 by Thomas Holton

Edie Bresler, We Sold a Winner

owner and winner, herndon VA by -Edie BreslerOwner and Winner, Herndon VA by Edie Bresler 


Mary Beth Meehan, Undocumented

Mary Beth Meehan-Guinea BissauGuinea-Bissau I – Brockton, Massachusetts by Mary Beth Meehan

Eleonora RonconiSerás Mis Ojos

Eleonora Ronconi-Mi Vestido De Primera ComunionMi vestido de primera comunión by Eleonora Ronconi


About the Artists

Thomas Holton, The Lams of Ludlow Street

BathTime from Lams of Ludlow St by Thomas HoltonBath time, 2003 by Thomas Holton

Artist Statement: In The Lams of Ludlow Street, one family’s life, from 2002 to the present, unfolds in a 350 square foot apartment in New York City’s Chinatown.

Growing up in New York City and half Chinese, photographer Thomas Holton spent a considerable amount of time in Chinatown but never experienced a bond or connection to the neighborhood or the culture. While his grandparents had lived there, he always felt he was a visitor.

20002: In 2002, Holton met the Lam family (Steven, Shirley, Michael, Franklin and Cindy.) From then to 2005, he photographed the Lams, returning several times with prints. He increasingly began to participate in their everyday family rituals and to recognize the dynamics and relationships within their family.  Eventually, he began to feel like family.

2010: While he maintained contact with the Lams, he didn’t photograph them again until 2010 when he felt compelled to capture the new reality in their lives. The Lams had gone through circumstances which changed the tone and atmosphere in a heavier, lonelier direction. The family he photographed earlier now seemed broken up physically and emotionally.  The parents were no longer a married couple but technically still living together at Ludlow Street.  For the children, schoolwork became more time consuming and difficult, and playtime was over.  In addition, all three Lam children were now teenagers, which brought its own complex emotional and physical issues.

2013: The photographs made since 2013 presents another chapter in the Lams’ lives. Steven and Shirley are now divorced, and Steven has moved to New Jersey. Despite the official break, Holton, these days, spends more time with the Lams as a whole family. There seems to be a sense of peace and closure in their lives. “While it is far from perfect, whose life is?”

Bio: Photographer Thomas Holton’s work has been exhibited widely, including: The Museum of the City of New York, New York Public Library, Sasha Wolf Gallery and the China-Lishui International Photography Festival. In 2005 he was one of the twenty-four photographers chosen by the Art + Commerce Festival for Emerging Photographers, and in 2006, American Photo magazine named him one of the country’s ten best Young Photographers.

Kehrer Verlag will publish his work, The Lams of Ludlow Street, as a hardbound monograph in the fall of 2015. Additionally, the Lams work was published in Aperture (2007), featured twice by The New York Times (2008 and 2012) as well as published in numerous other magazines, newspapers and websites. 


Edie Bresler, We Sold a Winner

The Patel Family by Edie BreslerThe Patel Family:  Considered a very lucky store by neighborhood players, they have sold two $1,000,000 scratch tickets in the last ten years. by Edie Bresler

Edie Bresler’s photographs and their accompanying stories are portraits of resilience, desire, seduction and a changing American dream. She focuses on main street America through the lens of state lotteries. In towns and cities across the country, small family owned convenience and liquor stores are the largest group of retailers selling lottery tickets. Many owners are immigrants while others are the third or fourth generation to run the family business. They are hard-working small business owners looking for their piece of the American dream. If they sell a winning jackpot ticket they receive a bonus commission, ranging from $5000 to $500,000 depending on state rules. Owners who sell a winning ticket that is never claimed, do not receive their bonus commission and every year hundreds of millions of dollars in winning tickets are unclaimed.

This complex local economy is massive and often overlooked. Since 9/11, the US government has spent $536 billion on the war in Afghanistan while Americans spent $532.6 billion buying lottery tickets. In lieu of higher taxes, state-sponsored gaming sells hope through hype. Whether you are pro, con or indifferent, it is likely your community relies on its share of lottery profits. Bresler seeks greater awareness and empathy for the people and places on the front line of this hidden economy and the value they provide within our communities.

Bio: Edie Bresler has exhibited in solo shows at the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography in California; the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Boston Center for the Arts in Massachusetts; Visual Studies Workshop and CEPA in New York and in numerous group exhibitions. She is a Critical Mass 2014 finalist. Features include Slate MagazinePhoto District NewsLenscratchBusiness InsiderEsquire Russia, Feature Shoot, the PBS show Greater Boston with Emily Rooney, Virgin Airlines Voyeur Magazine, and Social Documentary. Bresler has been awarded grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Simmons College Faculty Fund for Research, and the Berkshire Taconic Artist Resource Trust. She writes regularly for Photograph Magazine and leads the photography program at Simmons College in Boston.


 Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring
portfolios by Mary Beth Meehan and Eleonora Ronconi
Newcomers: The Immigrant Experience

Mary Beth Meehan, UNDOCUMENTED

Mary Beth Meehan_Guatemala_IGuatamala I – Providence, Rhode Island by Mary Beth Meehan

Between 11- and 20-million undocumented immigrants live in the United States today, fueling a national fury over citizenship and immigration policy. Many of these people are deeply embedded in our communities, yet have been painted with one brush as “drug smugglers, human smugglers, gang members and child molesters” (Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce). Because they cannot come forward to defend themselves, their true identities as people remain in the shadows.Meehan’s photographs were made inside the homes of undocumented residents in New England. By exploring the texture of their living spaces, Meehan’s goal is to make visible the lives of these human beings who must, for legal and political reasons, remain invisible.

“I ask myself if I can enter the home of a human being who is afraid to be identified, and use photography to make him or her somehow seen? My hope is to open a window onto these almost forbidden spaces, ones that are, ironically, full of the daily ordinariness of life.”

Bio:  Mary Beth Meehan is a photographer and educator whose work engages the communities in which she lives. Her goal is to use photography to create connections among people that may be obscured by conceptions of economics, politics, or race.

Her work has been published in 6Mois Magazine and Le Monde (France), The New Statesman (U.K.), Bird Magazine (Japan), and featured on New York Times: LENS; it has been shown in solo exhibitions at Smith College and at the Griffin Museum of Photography, was exhibited at the Ring Cube Gallery, Tokyo, and the Photographic Resource Center, Boston, and was featured in two New England Photography Biennial exhibitions at the Danforth Museum of Art. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

A former staff photographer at The Providence Journal, Meehan has since contributed to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, and received the 2012 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Photography. She was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been honored by Pictures of the Year International and the National Conference for Community and Justice.

Eleonora RonconiSerás Mis Ojos

Eleonora Ronconi-El Lavadero De Mi TiaEl lavadero de mi tía by Eleonora Ranconi

Eleonora Ronconi has lived in California since 1998, but Buenos Aires remains her home. As she struggled to adapt to living in the United States, she began to lose connection to her identity and her grounding. Then, on one of her trips to Buenos Aires in 2011, she decided to revisit the place she knew so well. She photographed things that had been an important part of her life – family photographs, her friends, her first communion dress, her aunt – her only close relative – and places she visited with her father who passed away when she was a teenager. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces started coming together – reconstructing a life that had begun to feel out of focus.

Bio: Eleonora Ronconis photographs have been published by Adore Chroma, Aesthetica Magazine, the Maine Department of Labor, F-Stop Magazine, Fraction Magazine, Lenscratch and Le Journal de la Photographie among others. She is a Critical Mass Finalist for 2012. Her first solo exhibition was in her native Buenos Aires in 2009. Recent group shows include work at The Griffin Museum of Photography, Rayko Gallery, Wall Space Gallery and Triton Museum of Art.

Ronconi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She settled in California In 1998 and now lives and works in Santa Clara, CA where she specializes in conference interpreting.


 

Kay Kenny

Miska Draskoczy 

April 4 to May 10, 2015  

portfolio showcase 
Robin Michals and Mark Lyon

Kay Kenny, Into the Night in the Middle of Nowhere

Cactus With Slip by Kay KennyCactus With Slip by Kay Kenny

Miska Draskoczy, Gowanus Wild

Gowanus_Wild_Egret by Miska DraskoczyEgret from Gowanus Wild by Miska Draskoczy

Portfolio Showcase
Night Photography
From Cities to Towns to Way, Way Beyond

Robin Michals, Castles Made of Sand

Robin Michals - Boathouse Angler's Fishing ClubBackhouse Anglers Fishing Club, E. 14th Road, Broad Channel, Queens, NY, January 23, 2015
by Robin Michal 

Mark Lyon, Bay Views

Mark Lyon - Foam and Wash, PoughkeepsieFoam and Wash, Poughkeepsie by Mark Lyon


Kay Kenny, Into the Night in the Middle of Nowhere

IBlue Tarp by Kay Kennynto the Night in the Middle of Nowhere is an artist’s celebration of lonely corners of our rural landscapes. In a series of long exposures that capture the intense activity of the night sky, silhouettes of the darkened landscape are backdrops for the illuminated otherworldly events taking place below. Kenny places familiar objects and often herself – still or moving- in these nocturnal settings. With only the stars and moon for ambient light, she employs flashlights, car headlights and improvised devices to create the otherworldliness of her scenes.
(above: Blue Tarp by Kay Kenny)

Bio: Kay Kenny’s work is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, the Buhl Collection, and Southern Alleghenies Museum, among others. She has exhibited widely in solo and group shows including: Dorsky Museum of Art, Ashville Museum of Art, Trenton Museum and the Griffin Museum of Photography. Kenny received 2009 Lucie Awards’ Honorable Mention in FineArts Photography and is a three-time recipient of NJSCA fellowship award. Recent publications include Photographys Antiquarian Avant-Garde, by Lyle Rexer, Light & Lens, Photography in the Digital Age, & Photographic Possibilities by Robert Hirsch, She has taught photography for over twenty years at New York University and the International Center for Photography in New York City.

Miska Draskoczy, Gowanus Wild

Moon Dock by Miska DraskoczyMiska Draskoczy aims to turn concepts of nature photography on their head by finding the beautiful in what most consider a man-made environmental catastrophe. The Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted waterways in the country and its surrounding neighborhood haveseen continuous industrial use since the 19th century. His vision is to capture a marriage of opposites; the organic in the industrial, green within blacks and grays, stillness and peace in urban chaos.  He sees Gowanus Wild as an urban hiking manual, a continuation of generations of landscape photography, updated for our technological age. If only we adjust our perception of what is ‘nature’ and ‘wild’ around us, a fascinating wilderness can be found in the fringes of our decaying city where nature and chaos conspire to produce a new type of wild beauty.
(above: Moon Dock by Miska Draskoczy)

Bio: Miska Draskoczy’s photography has been exhibited in the US and abroad including solo shows at the Vermont Center for Photography and the Ground Floor Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and group shows including “The Fence at Photoville,” 2013. His work has been featured in the press by The New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog, Time Out, PDN, Gizmodo, Featureshoot, Hyperallergic, Brokelyn and many others. He was recently named a Photolucida Critical Mass finalist. Miska’s visual arts career also includes co-founding a conceptual arts organization, directing surreal sci-fi shorts, writing and developing a Slamdance shortlisted horror feature, and creating a documentary web series. He also works as a director, editor, and animator through his production company snow23. He is an avid rock and ice climber.


 Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring portfolios by Robin Michals and Mark Lyon

Robin Michals, Castles Made of Sand

New Dorp Beach, Staten Island, 2014 by Robin Michals

Castles Made of Sand is a series of photographs of the low-lying areas of the New York metropolitan region that are threatened by sea level rise. The unprotected built environments along the water’s edge are vulnerable. The tide will rise and wash them away: maybe sooner, maybe later. Hurricane Sandy was a harbinger of this reality and all of the locations shown in this series were damaged by that storm. Some like the South Street Seaport and the Back House Anglers fishing club have not yet been repaired. Castles Made of Sand uses the metaphor of the end of the day to signal the end of an era. The series also lives in the moment, enjoying the beauty of the color of the light as it changes each day after sunset.
(above: New Dorp Beach, Staten Island NY, April 9, 2014 by Robin Michals.)

Bio: Robin Michals is a photographer whose work focuses on the de-industrialized urban waterfront. Photographs from her Castles Made of Sand series have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Boston’s Copley Society, and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Her series Toxi City: Brooklyn’s Brownfields was exhibited at the Brooklyn Lyceum in 2009 with support from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Puffin Foundation. Michaels teaches photography at New York City College of Technology. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Mark Lyon, Bay Views

Defunct, Enfield CT by Mark Lyon

In this ongoing series, Mark Lyon of Ulster County NY, examines landscapes through empty self-service car wash bays. The landscapes appear secluded as they are captured at night around the fluctuating cycles of street lights and traffic patterns. These familiar landscapes, viewed through the stark tunnel of an empty bay and the shifting balance of interior and exterior light, are transformed from the quotidian into unfamiliar and mysterious places.
(above: Defunct, Enfield CT by Mark Lyon.)

Bio: Mark Lyon’s photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States including Pulse NY, The Aperture Foundation; Exposure, Photographic Resource Center, Boston; The Center for Photography Woodstock (CPW); and Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco. He is a recipient of the Artist Fellowship Award CPW, a runner-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize and a 2011 Top 50 in Photolucida’s Critical Mass. Lyon’s work has appeared in numerous photography and culture publication including: The New York Times’ Lens; Photo District News (PDN) blog: Photo of the Day; DART: Design Arts Daily; Popular Photography and Chronogram Magazine (cover.)