Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) is committed to expanding the potential of the media arts, and their impact on contemporary culture, through innovative programs in education, exhibition, publication, research, practice, and community service. In 1969, photographer, writer, curator, and educator Nathan Lyons founded VSW as an artist-run, educational and support center for photography and other media arts. We are an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since 1977, we have resided in two historic buildings located in the Neighborhood of the Arts in Rochester, NY, including other notable institutions such as The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery. Over the past 40 years, VSW has produced hundreds of exhibitions, over 450 artists’ books and resource titles, maintained the publication Afterimage, a valued, bi-monthly journal, housed collections with over a million images, and offered residencies to hundreds of artists. Our wide range of programs and facilities support media artists, students, other arts organizations, and the general population interested in the visual arts and its education. The interrelated program areas that implement and extend our mission are in Education, the Research Center, Afterimage, VSW Press, Artists-in-Residence, and Exhibitions. For more information, click here.
Archive for MUST SEE
June 19th: Opening Reception and Artist Talk for Jonathan Torgovnik’s Intended Consequences exhibition at Fovea in Beacon, NY
From the Fovea website:
“I cannot really tell you how many men came to rape me, but four months later, I was pregnant. I felt so bad, I tried committing suicide twice. I now live with HIV, which is a legacy of genocide.” —Sylvina
Opening Reception and Artist Talk June 19th from 5pm-9pm
Photographs by Jonathan Torgovnik
Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape
Exhibition Dates: June 19th- August 8th, 2010
Fovea is 100% Volunteer run.
143 Main Street in the town of Beacon, New York.”
May 21 – June 28, 2010
From the Galerie BMG website:
“Artist’s Reception: Friday, June 18, 7-8 pm
“My photographs are really about me. I think all art, to some extent, is about the maker…. When I make pictures, it’s my Autobiography….it’s like writing in a journal”
By Twilight is a rarely exhibited and intensely personal and intimate series of photographs by internationally recognized photographer and educator, Keith Carter. The subject of the photographs is Keith’s mother Jane, a children’s portrait photographer, taken in 2006 during the last year of her life as she descended into Alzheimer’s disease. Pat Carter, Keith’s wife, provides a profound insight into this series in her afterword to the recent publication of his book A Certain Alchemy: “Photography was the thing they had shared, and it was a way to animate her . . . Her beauty was never lost to him. But in the end, the process he had loved to watch from atop a stool in her old darkroom reversed itself and her image began to dissolve before his eyes until, finally, she was lost to memory.”
Called “a poet of the ordinary” by the Los Angeles Times, Keith Carter is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and in 1997 was the subject of an arts profile on the national network television show, CBS Sunday Morning. He holds the endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and received the University’s highest honor in being named Distinguished Lecturer in 1998. His haunting, enigmatic photographs have been widely exhibited in Europe, The U.S., and Latin America and are included in many prestigious private and public collections, as well as eleven published books and monographs.
The exhibition will be on display from May 21 though June 28, with an artist’s talk and reception scheduled for Friday, June 18 from 7 – 8 pm. The same week-end, Keith will be presenting his workshop, “Re-inventing the World”, at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) on June 19 & 20. A lecture, open to the public, is also scheduled at CPW for Saturday, June 19 at 8 pm. Gallery hours are Friday through Monday, 11 am to 6 pm, or other times by appointment. For more information, please call 845-679-0027 or click here.”
Exhibition May 19-July 31: Bound for Success: Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Exhibition in NYC
The opening of Bound for Success: Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Exhibition at New York’s Grolier Club was on a windy, rainy night, the rain slashing sideways vehemently, so that umbrellas were of little use. The rain was most appropriate for this exhibition, which was a contest organized by Designer Bookbinders in conjunction with Oxford’s Bodleian Library around the theme of water. Several of the speakers at the exhibit’s opening on the evening of May 18 could not resist remarking upon this fact, trying, it seemed, to make something positive out of what in all respects was simply a lousy, wet evening. Despite the weather, the club’s ground floor exhibition room was pretty much packed with people eager to see 117 bindings that were chosen among the 240 entries from 21 countries. Alain Taral of France won first prize. Second went to Jenni Grey of Great Britain.
The contestants were given a specially commissioned book, Water, an anthology of poems in several European languages along with illustrations, and told to bind it. To wander by the glass-encased entries was to experience several disparate reactions. The first is: none of the entries are remotely the same. They are all interestingly, creatively different. Yes, of course, many use leather, and they all must conform—more or less—to a certain shape, but within those rather simple categories lies great variety. Some, like the Czech Republic’s Eliska Cabalová-Hlavácová’s entry, are both ingenious and beautiful. Her binding is made of vellum with sea shell-shaped boards that extend beyond the book’s boundaries. Some, like Estonia’s Rene Haljasmäe’s entry, with its plethora of old metal spinners (lures used for fishing) attached to the covers, seem more clever than beautiful. Mary Norwood’s entry, with its covers festooned with domestic water pipes, falls under this category as well.
A second reaction is one that anyone will have in an exhibition based on a contest: you don’t necessarily agree with the judges’ decisions. So, there are personal favorites, like American Scott Kellar’s entry, with its avatar-like abstract figures swimming across the covers, like light shimmers in a pool. Or Dominique Dumont’s binding of glazed goatskin with its very real-looking raindrops made of resin dotting the covers. Or John Burton’s lovely winter scene of dark trees and a brook cutting through snow.
Which is to say, it all comes back to the old saying: there’s something here for everyone, and the judges’ decisions are really of importance only to the winners. Those who don’t appreciate abstract renditions of water or wetness—and there are many of these abstractions—can turn to the likes of Spain’s Miguel Perez Fernandez, with his covers of rocks being dramatically sprayed by uplifting surf. Or they can turn to America’s Marvel Maring and his austere blue aquarium covers, with coral and staring fish. Those who like to figure out puzzles can look to the United Kingdom’s Christopher Shaw and his entry of wavy gold lines on a dark background and wonder what this has to do with water. Wit is provided by an entry like that of George Kirkpatrick of the United Kingdom, whose front cover is a rendition of dried mud cracks, indicating the absence of water.
The winner, Alain Taral, who received a prize of £7,500 (about $10,000) for his binding made of pear wood covered by Karelian birch veneer, was there. He spoke briefly, in French, expressing his gratitude and pride and his pleasure at being at the Grolier Club. Taral lives in a small village above Hyères, which is about halfway between Marseille and Nice. He had worked originally in management for the French navy but then retired and began working with veneer. A bookbinder came to him at one point and asked him to produce a cover for a book he was binding. This intrigued Taral, and he decided to learn how to do it himself. He went to school to learn, and now, he does, in fact, make his living as a bookbinder.
The exhibition, curated by Lester Capon, is on its third and last American leg. It opened at the Boston Public Library last fall, then journeyed to the auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco before it migrated back east to the Grolier Club, where it will remain until July 31. An appealing, hardbound catalog featuring marbling by the late Ann Muir is available.
From the New York Foundations for the Arts website:
“2010 ArtBridge Exhibition Call for Entries
(New York NY)
OPEN TO: All New York City-based emerging artists without exclusive gallery representation.
Beginning June 1st at 12:01am, ArtBridge, a non-profit arts organization that transforms overhead construction scaffolding (sidewalk bridges) into temporary exhibition space for the work of emerging artists, will open its month-long call for entries for its 2010-2011 Exhibition Year. ArtBridge intends to curate up to eight (8) exhibitions this year for which no more than 25 artists per installation will be chosen.
After a successful 480-foot inaugural installation on West Chelsea’s historic London Terrace Gardens, ArtBridge intends to bring its first-of-its kind projects to communities throughout the five boroughs, beautifying neighborhoods while giving emerging artists unprecedented exposure: all chosen work will be enlarged to billboard size, printed on eco-friendly, fade resistant material, and hung prominently outdoors from three months to one year.
Please visit www.art-bridge.org for more about the organization, to download the Submission Guidelines and upload entries directly through the website. Each applicant may submit up to three pieces for consideration and will be required to pay an entry fee of $25 for one submission, $40 for two, and $55 for three entries. If accepted there will be a participation fee of $195 (from which already-paid entry fees will be deducted).
Entries will be accepted until July 1st at 11:59PM
We look forward to seeing your innovative work and to the prospect of welcoming you to the ever-growing community of ArtBridge artists.”
Thursday 17th, 5:30 pm at the CCP in Tucson: Guest Curator Kate Palmer Albers on “Locating Landscape” exhibition; Joe Deal’s WEST AND WEST also on view through August 1
From the Center for Creative Photography website:
Thursday, June 17, 5:30 p.m.
Join exhibition curator, Dr. Kate Palmer Albers, for a walking discussion of Locating Landscape: New Strategies, New Technologies on Thursday, June 17th, at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition continues through August 1st.
Inspired by the recent revival of the influential New Topographics exhibition from 1975, Locating Landscape: New Strategies, New Technologies traces the effect of newly available technologies such as GPS and Google mapping on today’s landscape photography.” Guest-curated by University of Arizona photography historian Kate Palmer Albers, this exhibition includes work by Christiana Caro, Andrew Freeman, Frank Gohlke, Margo Ann Kelley, Mark Klett, Paho Mann, Adam Thorman and Byron Wolfe.”
Also continuing through August 1st:
West and West: Joe Deal
Drawing on the remarkable history of 19th-century survey photography of the Great Plains, West and West was also inspired by the landscapes Joe Deal saw as a child while driving west from his home in Topeka, Kansas, to visit relatives in Great Bend. Deal presents the Western landscape in a consistent format, dividing each scene with a horizon line and using the square-format negative. His depiction presents an endlessly fascinating and changing expanse as grasslands and sky unfold in equal share. The 21 images on view capture the full drama of the Great Plains, spanning the area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, and from the Canadian provinces to the Mexican border.
The Center for American Places has published a book in conjunction with this show, WEST and WEST: Reimagining the Great Plains (112 pages, 51 duotones, 3 maps 10×11, October 2009).
From the University of Chicago Press’ website:
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 officially opened the Great Plains to westward settlement, and the public survey of 1855 by Charles A. Manners and Joseph Ledlie along the Sixth Principal Meridian established the grid by which the uncharted expanse of the Great Plains was brought into scale. The mechanical act performed by land surveyors is believed by photographer Joe Deal to be powerfully similar to the artistic act of making a photograph.To Deal, both acts are about establishing a frame around a vast scene that suggests no definite boundaries of its own. Thus, when approaching his own photographs of the Great Plains, Deal viewed his photography as a form of reenactment, a method of understanding how it felt to contain the Great Plains in smaller, more measurable units.
In West and West, Deal, who was born and raised in Kansas, revisited the Kansas-Nebraska territory and applied his photographic understanding of the landscape grid and horizon line to illuminate the sense of infinite space that transcends the reality of the survey. As Deal writes in his concluding essay: “If the square, as employed in the surveys of public lands, could function like a telescope, framing smaller and smaller sections of the plains down to a transect, it can also be used as a window, equilaterally divided by the horizon, that begins with a finite section of the earth and sky and restores them in the imagination to the vastness that now exists as an idea: the landscape that is contained within the perfect symmetry of the square implies infinity.”
The stunning photographs in West and West present the Great Plains from a rare perspective. From this vantage point, Deal is able to distill and contemplate its expanse.” You can read the press release here.
This exhibition marks the Center’s first opportunity to display a monographic Joe Deal show since acquiring his archive in 2009.
From The Center for Photography Woodstock website:
“DAVID HILLIARD creates multi-paneled color photographs, often based on his life or the lives of people around him. His panoramas allow the artist to direct the viewer’s gaze across the image surface letting narrative and time unfold. David received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1992 and his MFA from Yale University in 1994. He worked for many years as an assistant professor at Yale University where he alsos directed the undergraduate photography department. Additionally, he has taught at Harvard University, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and was the director of the photography department at Cranbrook Art Academy in Michigan during the 2007/2008 academic year. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Hilliard exhibits his photographs both nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards including a Fulbright Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is represented by Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta and the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica. In 2005 a collection of his photographs was published in a monograph by Aperture. For more information please visit www.davidhilliard.com
Public Lecture will take place on June 12th at 8 pm at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.