Multiple Exposures Exhibition at Bridgeport Art Center

"The privilege of a life time is becoming more of who you are."
                                                                                         Joseph Campbell

This quote guides the focus of a photographic critique group that  I began 5 years ago....
I envisioned the group  as a way of providing a forum for sharing work with the goal of helping each photographer further refine their personal vision... Once the work is  fully realized, suggestions are offered up on how to send it out into the world. 

I am happy to announce that the group will be have an exhibition on May 17th at the Bridgeport Art Center. The artists included in the show are  Ilze Arajs, Nelson Armour, Susan Annable, Art Fox, Alan Leder, Janet Mesic - Mackie, Yvette Meltzer,  Mary Rafferty, Neil Spinner and Jessica Tampas and yours truly.

The exhibit is going to be very exciting. The show focuses on nature and humanity. The work spans psychological renderings of complete strangers, roller derby life, discarded dolls, in addition to abstractions from nature and architecture.  This compelling exhibition  will be shown in the beautiful exhibition space at the Bridgeport Art Center.
Here is a sampling...

Alan Leder ~ Architectural Elements
Ilze Arajs ~ Holding fast in ebb and flow
Janet Mesic-Mackie ~ Horses
Jane Fulton Alt ~ The Burn
Nelson Armour ~ Park Avenue Beach

Jessica Tampas ~ Unbroken

Yvette Meltzer ~ Revolutions

Mary Rafferty ~ Derby Life
Neil Spinner ~ I Am The Other

Susan Annable ~ Memento Mori
Art Fox ~ Facing the Homeless

There will also be a presentation on Thursday,  May 30th from  7-9pm on the life and work of Vivian Maier, presented by Author Rich Cahan and master printer Ron Gordon. 

I have personally been working on two books that will be released in late September on the burn. The "trade" book will be published by Kehrer Verlag in Germany.

I have also collaborated with Chicago book artist, Teresa Pankratz, on a limited edition artist made book titled


fire /smoke

I am thrilled that the artist book will be available for viewing at the Bridgeport Art Center show. We have been working all winter on the structure and design and are currently going into full production. The "book" (more like an object) will be available in a limited edition of 18. All pre-orders will include a signed copy of the trade book.

Hope to see you at the Bridgeport Art Center on Friday, May 17th from 7 - 10pm....
Refreshments and live music by Raman Hen. Come celebrate the arts with us!

1200 W. 35th Street
Dan Ryan to 35th Street, west about a mile 
(free parking on north side of building)


I am very pleased to be included in this international photography festival, Noorderlicht, which takes place annually in the Netherlands. 115 photographers from 36 countries will be shown at "Terra Cognita, an exhibition about the relation between man and nature. How do we experience nature, and what is its value for us? Our romantic longing for pure nature is diametrically opposed to the practical desire to control the world and cultivate it. "

This is a mock up design display for the work which will be presented outdoors. 
My Burn pieces will be blown up to 30" x 30" and printed for outdoors. 
I am leaving shortly for the Netherlands to attend the opening festivities.
So fun!
© Toni Hafkenscheid
Father and Son at Grand Canyon 2007

Nature, Toni Hafkenscheid tells us, almost always comes across as artificial. It is as if it has been transplanted directly from the model railway he has as a child. Hafkenscheid associates the North American landscape with the trees of cotton wool and cardboard mountains through which his trains used to run. In CONFABULATION he tries to give the real the appearance of artificiality. For that he uses  tilt-shift lenses, which, because he uses them the ‘wrong way around’, offer him the possibility of having only a small slice of the landscape in sharp focus, leaving the rest of the image fuzzy.

More information on the festival can be found HERE.

The Art of Human Rights

Charles Gniech, Chief curator of The Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and fellow artist, is at it again. He has organized an alternative exhibition at the Zia Gallery in Winnetka to support the amazing Heartland Alliance of Chicago. His energy and curatorial abilities are impressive. The show will only be up for a few short days, so if you are interested in supporting both artists and a wonderful social service organization, be sure to stop by.

Zia Gallery, 548 Chestnut Street;  Winnetka, Illinois
Monday, August 27 – Exhibition opens
Thursday, August 30 – Main event: 5-8:30 
Saturday, September 1 – Exhibition Closes

31 Women in Art Photography / Humble Arts Foundation

31 Women In Art Photography 2012 

 presented by
Humble Arts Foundation and Hasted Kraeutler 

Burn No. 26

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 6PM - 8 PM

Hasted Kraeutler
537 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

Gallery hours: Mon - Fri, 10AM - 5PM
July 12, 2012 -  August 17, 2012
in association with Hasted Kraeutler, is pleased to announce its third, biennial edition of 31 Women in Art Photography opening at Hasted Kraeutler, located at 537 West 24th Street, on Thursday, July 26, 2012 from 6PM - 8PM. 31, curated by Natalia Sacasa and Jon Feinstein, celebrates thirty-one of the most innovative women in new art photography. The exhibition continues through August 17, 2012.
The exhibition presents an eclectic mix of new talent culled from open submissions, and similar to Humble Art Foundation's past projects, the work included defies fixed genres in contemporary art photography and features an international pool of images that range from documentary to still life, and in some cases incorporates multiple approaches.

Exhibiting Artists: Alma Leiva, Aneta Bartos, Camino Laguillo, Caroline Burghardt, Catrin Andersson, Erin O'Keefe, Gabriela Herman, Giulia Ranchetti, Haley Bueschlen, Jan Meissner, Jane Fulton Alt, Jennifer Greenburg, Karine Laval, Katarzyna Majak, Katherine di Turi, Laura Bell, Lauren Marsolier, Lois Conner, Lourdes Jeannette, Lydia Anne McCarthy, Mara Bodis-Wolner, Marget Long, Melissa Steckbauer, Miriam Romais, Monika Sziladi, Rachel Stern, Robyn Cumming, Susan Barnett, Susan Morelock, Tricia Lawless Murray, Wendy Given

"Reviewing the submissions for the 31 Women in Art Photography exhibition was an enlightening experience," says curator Natalia Sacasa. "I have come away with a deeper understanding of the influences and motivations that drive the current generation of practicing female art photographers. This group of women that we have selected are truly furthering the limits of the medium and are simultaneously involved in the discourse of conceptual art."

Curator Jon Feinstein adds, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to exhibit this innovative new work. The artists in this exhibition are taking a refreshing approach to photography and continue to push it forward in new and exciting ways."

Founded in 2005 by amani olu and Jon Feinstein, Humble Arts Foundation is committed to promoting the work of new photo-based artists. The New York-based nonprofit serves the international art community by way of exhibition and publishing opportunities, limited-edition print sales, twice-annual artists grants, and various special projects.

Cynthia Greig ~ Nature Morte and Representations

Another Fotofest find! I am so happy to share the work of Cynthia Greig, expanding our notion of what, exactly, is a photograph!

In Cynthia's words...

"To what degree are our beliefs and realities based on appearances and misconceptions? Nature Morte and Representations consider the malleability of identity, and the potential for reconfiguring the physical and imagined boundaries we impose upon the world."

"I’m fascinated by the persuasive power of the photograph, and its unique role in negotiating what we believe to be real or true. I make images that embrace both the limitations and possibilities of photography as a way to challenge our expectations and create a shift in our perceptual experience. Exploiting the camera’s monocular point of view, I examine the deceptive nature of appearances by confusing two distinct methods of representation—photography and drawing—encouraging the viewer to look beyond the surface and the presumed transparency of the photographic image. Drawing directly onto the surfaces of whitewashed objects with charcoal I create and photograph the resulting hybrids of three-dimensional drawings. Whether focusing on the fading familiarity of manmade objects made obsolete through time, technology or taste, or the temporal nature of the organic substance of fruit, the images meditate on the intersection of identity and representation, and the physical and perceptual process of transformation. The accompanying videos further explore time’s capacity to unfold and reveal the illusory nature of appearances."

Nature Morte is opening at dnj gallery this coming Saturday, in Santa Monica. Details follow:
April 21st - June 2, 2012
Artist Reception: Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 6-8pm
*The Artist will be in attendance*
2525 michigan avenue, Suite J1
santa monica, california 90404

The Art of Human Rights

What do these 24 people have common?

They are among the established artists, selected by curator Chuck Gniech, to be exhibited at
The Art of Human Rights - March 10, 2012. All commissions from the exhibition benefit
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights.

to benefit Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights

Coalition Gallery - Chicago Artists' Coalition
217 N Carpenter Street (West Loop)
Chicago, IL 60607
$125 in advance or $150 at the door.
Purchase tickets now

For More Information:
Call (312) 660-1339

Interested in purchasing art now?

Check out the Art Catalog and Price List for details.

Critical Mass 2011 Traveling Exhibition

If you happen to live in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco, please consider checking out this exhibit. It will be wonderful. I will be attending the opening in San Francisco on May 10th. Also, Jennifer Hudson's portfolio, MEDIC, was chosen for the Critical Mass 2011 book award. I can't wait for it to be published. There is a post on her work HERE.

Happy Friday!

Pushing the Boundaries of Photography ~ Greg Halvorsen Schreck on The Art of Fixing a Shadow

If you are interested in what is new in photography, be sure to check out the work of Greg Halvorsen Schreck. His work is nothing short of amazing. It is just a matter of time before this goes mainstream. Greg is a Chicago treasure.

in Greg's words....

"Lambertian photographs are digital photographs made out of wood. There is no pigment, ink, or emulsion that define them, nor are they projected images. Rather, the photographs are formed by light and shadow as it rakes across the surface contours. The science of the images is based on Lambert’s Law, from 1760. The equation calculates the diffuse reflection intensity of a surface based upon the angle of illumination and the angle of observation. Programmers have used Lambert’s Law to render objects realistically in 3-d computer programs. Mark Woodworth, a friend, an industrial physicist, coded Lambert’s equation into a software program that translates grayscale pixel densities into angular surface changes that can be milled on to a wood surface. Each photograph combines around 96 separately machined pieces of wood viewed from the side. In normal room light, the images can barely be perceived. They look like a peculiar chunk of wood; maybe something is carved into the surface. Illuminated properly with a single light source, the wood magically transforms into a black and white photograph."

"The poetry of each portrait comes from their concave quality. The photograph is hollowed out of the wood, a subtractive process. So the sitter leaves a space behind, an absence. That absence is reminiscent of the shadow that symbolizes the origins of art, when the Corinthian maid traced the shadow of her beloved the night before he left for war, so she could remember him. As a result of this myth, both art and photography have been described as “fixing a shadow.” John Berger speculates something similar as he reflects on one of his drawings, “What is a likeness? When a person dies, they leave behind, for those who knew them, an emptiness, a space: the space has contours and is different for each person mourned. This space with its contours is the person’s likeness and is what the artist searches for when making a living portrait. A likeness is something left behind invisibly.”

Greg teaches photography at Wheaton College and has his work up at the Schneider Gallery in Chicago until December 31st. His work is extraordinary and must be seen in real life to fully appreciate it.

Return from Ragdale

I am back from another amazing two weeks at Ragdale. It has expanded my work in ways that I did not imagine but in looking back I think...of course! It makes perfect sense!

Before I went, Susan Burnstine, an amazing photographer who captures dreams scapes like no other, asked me if I would be interested in being interviewed for her blog titled, Underexposed. I said that would be fine but it would need to wait until after I got back from my residency.

I happily received the interview questions while I was in the midst of the two weeks. I say happily because when I wrote my first draft, the words just flowed out, a direct consequence of being in a highly creative mode. However, when I read it over, I was shocked at how clumsy the writing was. I edited it many times over.

There were 8 amazing residents at Ragdale while I was there, 4 visual artists and 4 writers. At dinner one night I mentioned how many times I had to edit and re-edit the interview. The writers said, " Yes, that is how it is!" I chuckled to myself because I thought if you were a writer, it was supposed to be easy! I guess there are no short cuts to really good art!

my studio at Ragdale

Anyway, I thought I would share the interview with you that is posted on her blog, which can be found along with many more images HERE. The images I have posted in this blog are newly created from the residency where I explored encaustics.

"Jane Fulton Alt’s The Burn was one of the bodies of work I viewed in Photolucida’s Critical Mass that resonated on a profound level for me. After viewing the work, I contacted Jane who graciously agreed to an interview.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?

JANE FULTON ALT: I started photography after my youngest child began first grade, having dabbled in the arts much of my life. Prior to taking classes at a local art center, I was a proficient quilter but frustrated by the limitation of the materials. I was fortunate to have had a really gifted photography teacher whose vision and curiosity allowed me to consider the potential for poetry with the medium.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: Congratulations on all of your recent successes most recently with your exceptional series, The Burn. Can you discuss the personal impetus behind this body of work?

JANE FULTON ALT: The work found me, as have most of my projects. In 2007 I was awarded the first of several artist residencies at Ragdale which is located in the former Howard Van Doren Shaw’s estate overlooking a beautiful prairie in Lake Forest, Illinois. There is something very magical and compelling about the setting. During my first residency restoration ecologists from a local organization, the Lake Forest Open Lands, were conducting a small burn on the property. Being in a mind state of openness and wonder, I watched the fires and took a few photographs. I inquired about the possibility of following them the following season. In mid April I picked up the phone realizing that I could have very well missed it, as I forgot to call earlier. Well, as fate would have it, they were going out that very morning for the first time that season. It was a monumental day in my mind because my sister was simultaneously undergoing her first chemotherapy treatment after having been recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Photographing the burn that day was a very emotional experience. As I looked thru the view finder I kept thinking about what was occuring in my sister’s body and the parallels were stunning. I could imagine the burn that was happening in her body at the very moment the prairie was burning to make way for the new spring growth. The insight of that first day has influenced how I have photographed, edited and printed the work. It has been a very hopeful and inspiring project and an anchor for me during these past four years. Through this project I have tried to look deeply into the essence of life cycles. If we listen closely, nature has so much to teach us.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: How did you gain access and how did you know about the controlled burns you photographed?

JANE FULTON ALT: After the first spring shoot I developed a trusting and respectful working relationship with the restoration ecologists. I am now familiar with the particular weather conditions that must exist to carry out a controlled burn and am contacted by the team during these times to photograph.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: Can you tell me a bit about the areas where these images photographed? Are they personal properties or publicly owned?

JANE FULTON ALT: All of the properties are part of a land trust located in Lake Forest, Illinois and run by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association whose mission is to conserve the natural environment through land acquisition, habitat restoration, environmental education and conservation advocacy. They have acquired over 800 acres of local native landscapes, including prairies, savannas, woodlands and wetlands.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: You have been photographing this series for four years. Is the series ongoing or complete? If ongoing, do you foresee any new directions for this project?

JANE FULTON ALT: Interesting question. I am in the midst of another artist residency and my goal was to think more deeply about the work. My ideas have been in a state of fluidity, which has been really exciting. I have always felt that the images were fine as photographs but that the series was not fully realized. I love the depth and mystery of the images but wanted more surface to the work. After much grappling with aesthetics and technical issues, I am very pleased to have returned to working with encaustics, which I utilized in two other bodies of work, Mourning Light and Chiapas.

I have also been fascinated by the ash remains and have spent many hours thinking about how to incorporate the found ash and seeds into the new work. Happily, the creative muses paid me a visit and both elements will be incorporated into each piece. I have been working on several small pieces to identify and master the technical challenges. Once I have a handle of the full range of issues that need to be worked out, I plan on creating larger pieces.

The best part of being on an artist residency is the time and space to daydream about one’s work. It is an incredible gift to be able to focus without interruption and has been an amazingly productive time for me. I have also thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the camaraderie and critiques from the other residents.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: Is there one image in this body of work that speaks to you more so than others? If so, can you discuss why?

JANE FULTON ALT: My favorites keep changing, especially now that I am working with beeswax. I am attracted to images with warm tonalities, quiet compositions and an air of mystery. I am thinking more about the abstracted images and will be culling thru all my files to reconsider or “audition” new images.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: Are there plans for The Burn series to become a book?

JANE FULTON ALT: I would love to make a book of The Burn. I am hoping / waiting for the right time and publisher. Creating a book is a tremendous amount of work and everything needs to line up to start the process. When the work was shown in New York for the Photo District News Curators Choice, I was speaking with one of the judges. His insights and ability to articulate his thoughts about the photographs were thrilling. He did offer to write an essay about the work. Now I just need a publisher. When the work does get published, I plan to dedicate the book to my sister.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: When looking at your career as a whole. You have created varied, but truly fascinating and poignant bodies of work. Is there one element amongst the subject matter or perhaps within your psyche that connects all of these series?

JANE FULTON ALT: I would say that my training and practice as a clinical social worker, my extensive travels and raising my family have greatly influenced my thinking and seeking to understand what is universal to all people. My inquiring mind sought to understand humanity and the meaning of our existence. I have used the camera to explore issues around birth, death, and everything in between. The human condition is what interests me most.

SUSAN BURNSTINE: What are you working on now?

JANE FULTON ALT: I am continuing my work with The Burn but in using the new materials, it feels like a different body of work. The use of encaustics, my interest in ash and the infinite qualities of the subject matter will keep me occupied for many lifetimes!

I am also working on a project from this past summer’s Frontera Grill/Topolobampo staff trip to Mexico. I have been traveling with the award winning Chef, Rick Bayless and 35 members of his staff for 15 years now, creating new work for the entryway to the restaurant. I am collaborating with a writer whose book influenced the current butterfly installation that is in the entryway of the restaurant. I just finished transferring images onto a gold leaf surface, which will then be mounted onto copper…a loose reference to retablos. But that is another story!

SUSAN BURNSTINE: Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?

JANE FULTON ALT: Burn No 49 is currently on exhibit at the Corden Potts Gallery in San Francisco. Images from my Crude Awakening portfolio are currently in a satellite show at the Hereford Photography Festival in England and will also be in a group show at Wall Space Gallery in Canada this spring.

I will be included in the Critical Mass traveling group show and will have a solo show at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in my home town next fall. Finally, I always have work up at the Frontera Grill and Xoco restaurants in Chicago.

Critical Mass 2011

I am so pleased to announce that I made the final list of the top 50 in the Critical Mass competition. This is the 3rd time, and the second year for the Burn series. It was thru my Critical Mass 2009 participation that the Corden Potts Gallery picked me up for representation. It just so happens that Corden Potts is opening a new show this Thursday featuring selected gallery artists and the work of Sharon Beals.

If you haven't seen Sharon Beals work, it is amazing. I am a sucker for life's beginning moments and her work zeros in on it.

From the Gallery show announcement, Sharon is quoted...

"Bird nests, even without knowing which birds constructed them, seem hardly possible," Sharon says. "Creations of spider's web, caterpillar cocoon, plant down, mud, found modern objects, human and animal hair, mosses, lichen, feathers and down, sticks and twigs--all are woven with beak and claw into a bird's best effort to protect their next generation."

Sharon goes on to say, "But survival for so many birds is tenuous in a modern world where habitat loss is as common as the next housing development, and even subtle changes in climate can affect food supply. It is my hope that capturing the detailed art form of the nests in these photographs will gain appreciation for their builders, and inspire their protection."

Sharon photographed nest and egg specimens, collected over the last two centuries, at The California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. While few nests are collected today, these nests and eggs are used for research, providing important information about their builder's habitats, DNA, diseases and other survival issues.

I will be showing my Burn No. 49 at the Corden Potts show.

A newer Burn image from the 2011 Critical Mass entry will be traveling in a group show in 2012, curated by Darius Himes, Assistant Director at Fraenkel Gallery to the following locations:
PhotoCenter NW, in Seattle, WA
Newspace Center for Photography, in Portland, OR
RayKo Photo Center, in San Francisco, CA

Other photographers included in the Top 50 are...
Evgenia Arbugaeva
Jessica Auer
Mary Ellen Bartley
Daniel Beltra
Nadine Boughton
Colette Campbell-Jones
Christopher Capozziello/AEVUM
Kirk Crippens
John Cyr
Katrina d'Autremont
Scott Dalton
Christopher Dawson
Nigel Gordon Dickinson
Mitch Dobrowner
Carolyn Drake
Jeremy Dyer
Mark Fernandes
Michelle Frankfurter
Misha Friedman
Lucia Ganieva
Meggan Gould
Gabriela Herman
Sarah Hobbs
Jeroen Hofman
Jennifer Hudson
Yaakov Israel
Heidi Kirkpatrick
Alejandra Laviada
Fritz Liedtke
Sebastian Liste
Gloriann Liu
Larry Louie
Mark Lyon
Michael Marten
Rizwan Mirza
Viviane Moos
Kenneth O Halloran
Susana Raab
Jesse Rieser
Alejandro Rivas
Kent Rogowski
Philipp Scholz Rittermann
Geoffrey H. Short
Youngsuk Suh
Daro Sulakauri
Stephen Vaughan
Toshiya Watanabe
David Welch
Sarah Wilson
Susan Worsham

Be sure to check out the Critical Mass website. Lots of interesting portfolios to browse thru.

Pae White at the Art Institute of Chicago

I feel like I should be working for the tourism board of the City of Chicago. There are so many cool goings on in the city.
Last night I attended an event at the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. I had never been to the restaurant, Terzo Piano, and the setting took my breath away. The terrace, with spectacular views of Millennium Park and Michigan Avenue, is encased with a site specific work by artist Pae White titled Restless Rainbow. She has wrapped the space with an abstracted rainbow. While planning for the installation, White wondered... what would happen if a rainbow fell from the sky?

You could go see for yourself.

While we are on the subject of rainbows, here is a stitched iphone photograph of a double rainbow.

© Alden Griffith

Who even knew they occurred in nature?

Waste Landscape ~ Elise Morin and Clemence Eliard

WASTE LANDSCAPE - Centquatre 104 - 21-07 // 11-09-2011 from elise morin on Vimeo.

A project by Elise Morin and Clémence Eliard

"WasteLandscape" is a 500 square meters artificial undulating landscape covered by an armor of 65 000 unsold or collected CDs, which have been sorted and hand-sewn. It is well known that CDs are condemned to gradually disappear from our daily life, and to later participate in the construction of immense open-air, floating or buried toxic waste reception centers.Made of petroleum, this reflecting slick of CDs forms a still sea of metallic dunes: the art work's monumental scale reveals the precious aspect of a small daily object. The project joins a global, innovative and committed approach, from its means of production until the end of its "life"."WasteLandscape" will be displayed in locations coherent with the stakes of the project: art role in society, raising consciousness to environmental problems through culture, alternative mode of production and valuation of district associative work and professional rehabilitation. Over the course of multiple exhibitions, "WasteLandscape" will go through quite a few transformations before being entirely recycled into polycarbonate. The roaming will allow both artists to pursue new awareness-raising activities.

"The installation has been developped by Elise Morin and Clémence Eliard in collaboration with the 104"
"The building has been refurbished by atelier Novembre: Marc Iseppi & Jacques pajot"

In Memory of 9/11 ~ Quelling the Violence

It was unintentional but on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I went to see the movie The Interrupters. I had been trying to seeing it for some time but it took a while to open in Chicago and then I was out of town for all the sold out record breaking performances at the Gene Siskel Film Center. I was pleased to see they had another short run in a theater near me. I have been tracking this movie for some time because I had at one time considered working on a photographic project on gun violence. At the time of doing the research, I learned of this film in the making. I was so pleased that the extraordinary filmmakers, Kartemquin, of Hoop Dreams, were tackling the issue. The film focuses on universal themes of hope, compassion and love while following people in a south side Chicago neighborhood as they interrupt the cycle of violence. The model of intervention that the program Cease Fire uses could be applied world wide. The film has won multiple awards and should not be missed. Please, please, please go see it. You won't be disappointed.

Another person tackling the subject of epidemic gun violence is photographer extraordinaire, Carlos Javier Ortiz. He is giving a lecture about his work at the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago on Wednesday, October 12th at 7pm. Make your reservation HERE.

© Carlos Javier Ortiz

© Carlos Javier Ortiz

On Blogging

I have been thinking about my blog as of late, and have decided to post only "when the spirit moves me". I am thus abandoning my photo of the day project which I enjoyed for the first several months but has recently felt more burdensome. I continue to think of this blog as a place where I can share information that will inspire and support the creative life (with some self promotion on the side).

I have been reflecting on the state of photography in relationship to the internet and to my life. It has been amazing to me how much networking is done thru the internet and how much time we all spend trying to "connect" and be seen. Having been away from it for several weeks was truly refreshing. I wish I could say I have a definite answer for how to navigate all the social networking and informational sites but I don't and am stuggling to find the fine balance myself.

What I do know is that being in the state of creating is where it is at. The is what I value most.

On another note, there are several things happening in the Chicago area you should know about. The first is that this weekend is the fall opening of many exhibitions. It is a great time to see art and be inspired. There will be free trolleys running tonight in Chicago to get people to the various gallery districts. Should be a fun time. For more information, click HERE.

Tomorrow night is the opening for Christopher Schneberger and Anthony Iacussi at the Perspective Gallery in Evanston. Another great venue of a cooperative artist run gallery. Click HERE for more information.

The Filter Photo Festival is fast approaching and is offering a wealth of information and networking opportunities for photographers. Again, I will be teaching a workshop on Developing your Personal Vision on Wednesday, October 12th. Be sure to check out the wonderful lectures portfolio reviewers who are coming into our windy city.

And finally, if you love to read and have some extra cash and would like to support the place where so many wonderful books are written, the Ragdale Foundation is having their annual Novel Affair fundraiser at the end of the month. You can read more about it HERE. The 2 night affair includes having a dinner with a best-selling and award-winning authors including Lisa Genova (Still Alice), Ron Hansen (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand), Meg Wolitzer (The Position), Suzzy Roche (singer and new author), Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell from the Sky), Sue Miller (The Good Mother), and Malachy McCourt (author and actor).

Square@Birmingham Exhibition

An exhibition of square goodness will take place at fotofilia gallery, Regent Parade, Birmingham B1 3NS, UK, from 6th Sept to 1st Oct. Private view on the 6th Sept, 7 till 9 featuring works from: Mark Voce, Elodie Fougere, Patricia van de Camp, Alain Greloud, Jane Fulton Alt, Sylvestre Anasse, Olivier Despicht, Benjamin Juhel et Phil Bebbington.

It promises to be a very interesting exhibition. Wish I could be there!

Chicago's Filter Photo Festival 2011

Chicago's very own Filter Photo Festival is the creation of photographer Sarah Hadley. It its third year, it promises to offer something for everyone. There are wonderful lectures, workshops (one of which I will be teaching titled Developing your Personal Vision), portfolio reviews and exhibitions. If you haven't considered attending a portfolio review before, this might be the time! There is a great line up of reviewers and it provides invaluable feedback on your work.

August 9 ~ Morning Light

There will also be a juried exhibition called "Beginnings." The jurors are
Barbara DeGenevieve, Photography Professor, School of the Art Institute and
Christy Karpinski, Editor of F-Stop Magazine.

Surely you have something you can submit!

Pier 24 in San Francisco

Another highlight I had while in San Francisco was visiting Pier 24. It was highly recommended by Emily, who had spent some time working there last year. The space is owned by collector Andy Pilara and located at the foot of Bay Bridge. I had no idea what it was about, I only knew that one had to do a lot of advance planning as admission is free but limited to 20 people every 2 hours with appointments made a full month in advance. Talk about anticipation!

July 21

The goal of the space is "to provide an environment to experience and quietly contemplate photography." Mission accomplished. Descriptives from my experience there include...elegant, quiet, somber, contemplative, expansive, reflective and introspective.

Stepping into the gallery, I walked up to a huge photograph. I was caught off guard because there were NO identifying labels on the wall , neither the title or the author of the work. I found myself perplexed and confused, trying to identify, label or add any context to the work. This shifted into feeling slightly panicked. I went to the front desk to find out about the piece and was politely given a brochure with identifying information. It was created by Richard Misrach and titled 2.21.00; 4:38pm 2000 (from the series, Richard Misrach:Golden Gate).

However, I then quickly abandoned the brochure and settled into JUST LOOKING. I felt an incredible freedom to JUST BE with the work. I found myself engaged with the work in a new, fresh way.

The experience has led me to reconsider the use of text with my work.

The exhibiton, titled HERE, was really strong. It will be up until December 16th and I highly recommend it. It is about the San Francisco Bay area and features many heavy weight photographers. I especially enjoyed the pairing of Eadweard Maybridge and Mark Kletts panoramas, John Chiara's camera obscura images, and the works of Todd Hido,Larry Sultan, Jim Goldberg, and Henry Wessel.

PDN Curator's Choice Exhibit at Milk Gallery, NYC

If you haven't seen this months' Photo District News Magazine, it is devoted to Fine Art Photography. My Burn Portfolio is happily included in The Curator section. Brian Paul Clam, Cravelle Pierre, Julie Grahame, Ariel Shanberg , Jeff Dunas and Michael Zide were this years judges. My work was selected for the Nature/Street Photography category.

The work will be exhibited at Milk Gallery ( 450 West 15th Street) in New York City with an opening reception on Thursday, July 14th from 7-11pm. They are expecting 500- 800 guests and should be a blast.

I will be there and would love to see you there too!

The Art of Green

This exhibition will featureChicago-area artists and designers who are creating works in a sustainable way and/or raising awareness of environmental issues through their work. I will have 6 images from my Burn portfolio in this exhibition. The exhibition is part of the Green Design series of public programs at Ryerson Woods (located in Deerfield, Illinois).

The Darkroom Gallery Exhibit in New Orleans

I so wish I were going to the opening...however, at $500 a pop for airlines tickets I decided to pass. I am sure it will be great fun. I really miss the place!

I came across Joli Livaudais Grisham's work because I am in the show with her . I checked out her website and was impressed by her artist statement...thought I would share it.

Project Statement: Meditations

"I once read that everything in the universe is made from the same kinds of particles, and the only difference between material and spirit is how swiftly those basic components are vibrating. Quantum physicists have demonstrated that particles near each other synchronize, and so paired will move as one even when separated. Isolation and stillness are an illusion. All things are intrinsically linked together in ways mysterious and strange, and seeming differences are really just variations on a theme.

© Joli Livaudais Grisham

When I was young, my mother taught me that God is love and that violence and destruction are constructs of man. Yet when I look around me at the marvelously balanced creation of the universe, I see a system founded in the deaths of the weak and unfortunate. The wheel of creation, maintenance and destruction grinds endlessly, a ravening machine, terrifyingly pure in its lack of concern or gentleness. Yet, it is also beautiful, orderly, a profoundly synchronized web of vibrating particles. Meditations are my conceptual explorations on the mysteries of the machine--the deeper spiritual truth that connects us on the wheel of life and unifies reality.

Byzantine painters used a set of visual symbols to reveal the divine in the mundane. One of the most important of these was the use of gold. Gold gave the work a feeling of material preciousness, while also creating a source of otherworldly luminosity and warmth. They also used ultramarine blue, a rare and expensive pigment, to signify spiritual purity. I print my images in tones of blue and suspend them over 23K gold leaf using resin. By applying these symbolic spiritual elements to a photograph, a process intrinsically rooted in reality, both are interpreted in a new way. The work is experienced as concept and as a physical object, mirroring the duality of spirit and earth."