Bess Bieluczyk was born and raised in the Connecticut suburbs. She received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is an active, exhibiting photographer and an arts administrator at Louisiana Tech University. Her recent work culminated in the series Subtle Hysteria. The focus of her work is women and domestic life. She lives happily in Ruston, LA.

I have created a character and environment based on stories and my own imaginings of the life of an unhappy housewife. I investigate her psychological terrain through domestic still lifes with a taste of hostility. Her quiet desperation and frustrations manifest themselves in strange displays within the confines her home. I find the evidence of her outlets in her minute obsessions, her petty violence and the aftermath of her little explosions. The home and objects that surround her are beautiful but used, worn and past their prime. I focus on a woman’s solitary rebellion against the restrictions of her domestic life.

Born and raised in a small Louisiana town, Andy Bloxham turned to his imagination for activity. This playful, creative approach to life extended to Andy's adulthood, where it took form in photography, video, and writing. Receiving an MFA in photography from Louisiana Tech University, his images have appeared throughout the world in numerous group and solo exhibitions, publications, and online media. He is an assistant professor of photography at Cecil College, in North East, Maryland, and a member of the faculty at the Maine Media Workshops.

The origin of my work stretches back to the outlying woods that surrounded my home as a child. I turned inside to my imagination for adventure. Three logs were a fortress. A hole was a trench. A puddle became a hidden water sanctuary. I went through many sets of clothes as I acted out imaginary scenes behind my parents’ house. This playful, creative approach to life extended into my adulthood, where a blending of my passion for photography, film, prose, and performance melded together to influence my perspective on image making. Pulling ideas from my short stories and isolating core moments into visuals, my work centers on fictional situations and events, told through the slight hint of a smirking camera. 

I am a fictional storyteller. I use this mindset in the “Beta” series, which is a collection of self-contained narratives. Each photograph refers to a larger story containing a buildup and conclusion, but the viewer only receives this one glimpse of the event. This isolation invites the viewer to meet my imagination halfway, producing a tale that is free to deviate in a number of directions. I dramatize various aspects of life and present them in a packaged form of entertainment. They are escapism from reality, albeit thinly veiled. This is what separates fiction from reality, but it is this separation that I feel most comfortable in. My work is my imagination. Photography allows me to play inside of it.

Muireann Brady was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1975. She studied Photography in IADT, Dublin where she earned her BA in photography in 2005. Since completing her studies Muireann has exhibited widely throughout Ireland and has begun to exhibit further afield in countries such as China, Poland, Germany and now America.

Muireann now lives and works in West Cork, Ireland.

Rituals Interrupted is a body of work which was made when I stayed with my parents for a prolonged period of time after not having lived with them for a number of years.

My parents had grown older and my relationship with them had changed – they were now an ageing couple living on their own after all their children had left the family home. I began to notice their daily rituals that my presence in their house seemed to disturb.

Our communication was frequently via 'post-it' notes which I began to collect, and later photograph, along with aspects of their daily routines to produce Rituals Interrupted.

Joy Christiansen Erb currently resides in Youngstown, Ohio, where she is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Photography Program Coordinator at Youngstown State University. She received an M.F.A. degree from Texas Woman’s University and a B.F.A. from Miami University.

Christiansen Erb is an active exhibiting photographer and installation artist. Her creative research incorporates a variety of photographic media including traditional, digital and alternative photographic processes. Her work has gained recognition through regional and national exhibitions and lectures. Christiansen Erb is a grant recipient from Miami University and received a fellowship to The Photography Institute’s National Graduate Seminar at Columbia University, New York, in 2004.

This body of work, titled Portrait of a Mother, explores the subjects of motherhood, family, illness and the struggle that exist between all three. These photographs examine the changing body and lifestyle of a new mother and the disease and altered body of a sick child through self-portraiture and personal narrative.

On December 23, 2009, I gave birth to my first child Emmet. When he was just thirteen days old he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that may require surgery. He was immediately put on several heart medications and visited a cardiologist once a week for routine tests. From that day on our lives were changed.

When Emmet was three months old, we were told that he was in congestive heart failure and must undergo open-heart surgery to repair his heart defects. He spent a total of thirteen days in the hospital over two visits and underwent two heart catheterizations and a six-hour heart surgery. I documented his time in the hospital to be a record for him when he grew older and for me to process what was going on in front of me. It was terrifying to see my child cut open, sedated, undergoing continual medical procedures and in pain. Yet behind the lens of the camera, I could be an outsider witnessing the events with a photographer’s eye. Since his surgery, I have continued to photograph his healing body.

As I was caring for my sick child, I was also adapting to being a mother and struggling with this new role. As a new mom, I was attempting to breast feed, fighting with insurance companies and trying to accept my changing body. Portrait of a Mother documents these struggles and becomes a journal of our personal narrative as a family as well as universally reflects on motherhood.

This work balances between documentary and pre-visualized photographs of still lives and portraits including images recording hospital medical procedures and self-portraits confronting the camera. Many of the images reflectively look at the body and the way both mother and son mirror one another. The images move back and forth between color and black and white as well as documentary and constructed. I use singular images, diptychs and triptychs as a way to explore and expand the ongoing narrative of Portrait of a Mother.

Jason DeMarte is an emerging artist teaching as a tenure track faculty in photography at Eastern Michigan University. He received his B.F.A. in Photography from Colorado State University and a M.F.A in Photography from the University of Oregon. DeMarte’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, both nationally and internationally. He is currently represented by Rule Gallery in Denver Colorado, and Wessel Snyman Creative in Cape Town, South Africa. DeMarte is part of the Photographers Showcase at Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe. His work has appeared in journals, textbooks and publications including Photography Now, Photo Review, the Wynwood Arts Magazine, A Short Course in Digital Photography, Fraction Magazine, the Black Warrior Review, and the Oxford American. Jason’s Utopic work recently closed a solo exhibition at Rule Gallery in Denver, and was featured in a group exhibition titled the Museum of Un-natural History at Clamp Art in NYC. His Utopic work is also scheduled to open a solo exhibition in August 2010, at Wessel Snyman Creative in Cape Town South Africa.

Utopic investigates how the artificial nature of our modern day interpretation of the natural world compares to the way we approach our immediate consumer world. I am interested in modes of representing the natural world through events and objects that have been fabricated or taken out of context. This unnatural experience of the so-called natural world is reflected in the way we, as modern consumers, ingest products. What becomes clear is that the closer we come to mimicking the natural world, the further away we separate ourselves from it.

I work digitally, combining images of fabricated and artificial flora and fauna with graphic elements and commercially produced products such as processed food, domestic goods and pharmaceutical products. I look at how these seemingly unrelated and absurd groupings and composites begin to address attitudes and understandings of the contemporary experience. I represent the natural world through completely unnatural elements to speak metaphorically and symbolically of our mental separation from what is real, and compare and contrast this with the consumer world we surround ourselves with as a consequence.

Alex Emmons grew up in rural upstate New York, near the village of Middleburgh and close to the Catskill Mountains. She received her Bachelor of Arts at Denison University in 1996 and Master of Fine Arts at Arizona State University in 2005. And it is after Alex left her first rural home and moved a gazillion times, traveled and lived abroad extensively, that she reexamines her personal experiences for her creative research. As a lens-based artist, Alex’s artwork incorporates photo-media for its various outcomes. Conceptually she surveys ideas related to domestic space, displacement, and the space “in between”. Alex is represented by Alan Klotz Gallery in New York City. Living in remote Eastern Washington, Alex is the Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital imaging at Central Washington University, where she has spent the last year documenting a small, alternative farm located ten miles from her residence.

I am influenced by my family’s migratory patterns. My mother was born in Panama, my father in Michigan; neither stayed in either location long enough to know it. This holds true for many places they lived thereafter. I grew up as a transplant in a rural, close-knit community during my parents’ 16-year renovation project; subsequently I have a different perspective on definitions of home than most. Since departing my first home, I have lived abroad and in various cities. The stories resulting from my family’s travels and my own experiences have caused me to have a fondness for transience.

This project embodies my experiences with displacement from moving and my honest approach toward the myriad of emotions encompassed by domestic space. I photograph friends’ houses with a large format camera. This tool functions differently and the manner in which it operates informs my working process. I manipulate the focal plane and angle of view for the camera to provide a myopic perspective. During my excursions, I pinpoint what is focused versus abstracted creating an almost familiar quality by how it relates to visual memory.

For each session, I photograph at another’s residence, where I introduce the project and in return I learn about their lives. I am drawn to the organization of the rooms, the emphasis of certain objects, and the interactions with their pets, which allows me to understand the resident’s view for a moment. From my surveys I find that everyone organizes differently from clutter to immaculate organization. Likewise I create my own visual dialogue within these domestic spaces. My project describes my nascent memories by the selections I make in the pictures. Finally, I hope these images will transport my viewers to their own ideas of “home”.

Ashley Feagin was pursuing a degree in Sociology when the photographic medium, rather than surveys, became her tool to document and investigate the human response to social extremities, economical constraints, sexual impulses, spiritual insight, and regional dynamics. The camera has given Feagin a social buffer for which she can observe and explore these ideas.

Feagin’s work recently was selected to be published in Vermont Photography Workplace’s book “Redefining the Self Portrait”. Feagin received her BA in Photography from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2009 and is pursuing her MFA at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana.

I used to baptize my baby dolls.

My friends and I pretended to baptize each other in the pool.

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in baptism. Risen to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.” There was a rhythm to those words, like a coronation of cleanliness. By the time I was 10 years old I had already been “officially” baptized several times myself. I received a certificate of baptism from my church in the mail. I remember staring at its ornate gold embossed design with wonder. I had reached purity.

As individuals we have both public and private personas and the chasm between these two parts varies from person to person. Our public image is polished and clean and worthy of observation. Either conscious or subconscious, we promote this image and in the severest cases eradicating the private image all together. There is something very private about our personal obsessions with how we are perceived, and is perhaps the most revealing aspect of our lives.

The tableau I have created in this series represents one character’s obsession with how they are perceived. The neurotic tendencies illustrated in the images emphasize the nature in which the character has shaped her life around pursuit of the ideal image. These narratives in conjunction with restraining the color pallet to predominantly white allows the viewer to question whose portrait is actually being taken; the character or her habits.

Carol Golemboski received an MA in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her series of black and white photographs, entitled Psychometry, addresses psychological issues concerning anxiety, loss and existential doubt. Stark compositions of old and discarded objects take on ambiguous meanings through complex photographic manipulation. By combining photography with drawing, scratching the negative, and incorporating text and photograms, she infuses her images with tension and mystery.

Golemboski has been the recipient of numerous grants including individual artist fellowships from Center in Santa Fe New Mexico, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Light Work. Images from her Psychometry series have been published in notable photographic journals and magazines such as LensWork, Contact Sheet, Photo News, Photographer’s Companion and AfterImage. Golemboski is currently an Associate Professor of Photography at the University of Colorado at Denver.

The term “psychometry” refers to the pseudo-science of “object reading,” the purported psychic ability to divine the history of objects through physical contact. Like amateur psychometrists, viewers are invited to interpret arrangements of tarnished and weathered objects, relying on the talismanic powers inherent in the vestiges of human presence. These images suggest a world in which ordinary belongings transcend their material nature to evoke the elusive presence of the past.

The objects I photograph, discovered in flea markets, auctions, estate sales, and antique shops, have their own unknowable histories. They range from ordinary items, such as doll houses, bird cages, and Christmas ornaments, to symbolically charged objects that relate to the human figure, such as dress forms, leg braces, and wigs. Once photographed, they form a visual language that hints at the lives that once surrounded them. Ironically, these metaphorical arrangements only reinforce the idea that the secrets of the past are forever lost.

The concept behind each picture dictates its darkroom manipulation, sometimes requiring research and revisions that last weeks or months. Combining photography with drawing, seamlessly incorporating photograms, integrating appropriated text, and scratching the emulsion of the negative create images where horror, history, and psychology occupy the same imaginative locale.

Pervading the work is a sense of melancholy for the past, and a mounting dread that comes with the realization that our own stories will suffer the same fate. These images are designed to create a tension between beauty and decay that expresses anxiety over the passage of time, the inevitability of death, and a fascination with the unknown.

Jay Gould is a Louisiana-based artist and assistant professor of photography at Louisiana Tech University. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gould received his B.F.A. in photography from the University of Wisconsin and his M.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia. His work, which integrates scientific topics into photographic projects, has won numerous national awards, such as the Berenice Abbott Prize for an emerging photographer, the Jeannie Pierce Award, and First Place at the Newspace Center for Photography’s International Juried Exhibition. Gould’s work is widely exhibited around the country, making solo and group exhibition appearances at the University of Notre Dame, The Julia Dean Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, just to name a few.  Gould is also a faculty member at the Maine Media Workshops, an advisory board member of the Society for Photographic Education’s South-Central region and a frequent visiting lecturer at a variety of schools and conferences.

Experimental Storytelling: This series of images keyframes a point in time in a fictional universe, seen from start to finish or rather, construction to destruction. These fictions are seen non-linearly as both macro and micro events, explored from the inside-out. Consequences are witnessed as the effect of a desire to manipulate, change, and understand. Each image is set within a consistent stage, to appear as an experiment, and reinforce the reference that this work deals with scientific concepts and controlled understanding, but is also a very deliberate fabrication that is carefully constructed by the artist. The stages are created physically and photographed with no digital compositing in order that these events remain truthful in some relative way.

Darren Harvey-Regan is a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art Photography MA programme in London, UK. He has recently exhibited at the ICA as part of the reputable Bloomberg's New Contemporaries 2010, and at Anticipation, curated by Kay Saatchi for London's Ultralounge. 

Darren has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, with shows in the Netherlands, Canada and the US. His work has also featured in publications such as Portfolio, Hotshoe International and Foam. The work from the series Sticks became his first solo show in the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon, UK.

Darren works from the Woodmill Depot, an artist run complex in South London, where he shares and collaborates with Hal Silver.

The used clothes, land into 'landscape', the early morning drives out to the moors and to the estuaries, gestures and actions becoming artworks: continual circles of appropriation, representation, interpretation.

The markers within Sticks are my own gestural interventions, impositions into a landscape disappearing (or returning?). Points of navigation, totems to a thing lost, stakes of a thing claimed (and subsequently re-lost?); they are/were a search for, or a lament for the/my loss of shared mythologies and meaning.

Christopher Jordan is a photographic artist and teacher. He currently holds a full-time faculty position at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Prior to that he taught at The Sage Colleges, in upstate New York as an Associate Professor of Photography. He earned his MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004. He also teaches workshops at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Conceptually, he practices landscape photography in the most general sense. Projects find him creating imagery of both real and imaginary places, working with traditional, digital and experimental approaches as required. He is most interested in how depictions of place serve as vehicles for reflection, memory and meditation.  Related interests include experimental music and yoga. Jordan’s work has been exhibited nationally and is held in numerous private collections.

“Suburban Sublime”: The suburbs are unlikely places for poetic mysticism. As symbols of progress and the American dream (or nightmare), these neighborhoods often lack individuality, character, and uniqueness. Yet, this banality can paradoxically serve as ground for the mysterious, wondrous, and mythological. With this project I depict mystical luminous events transpiring in and around suburban neighborhoods. The nature of these events is purposefully ambiguous. The sublime can be found within the depths of a contradiction or the fulcrum of a paradox. Using experimental techniques, this work explores the ambiguity between photographic expectation and neo-pictorialist space, signification and abstraction, and the real versus the uncanny. As the work has progressed, I have been inspired by a range of sources from yoga practice to spiritualist painters like Arthur Dove and Charles Burchfield.

The images are created using a re-photographic approach. By altering the physical form of photographic prints and creatively lighting the results, I employ a rich new visual ground to explore with the lens. I particularly respond to the dreamy obfuscation of detail and the play of light across the surfaces. The buildings and places depicted are no longer specimens of suburbia. Twice removed from the original, they gain new currency through a creative visual exchange. They stand as visual koans, directed toward the perceptual system directly, prompting a pre-verbal resonance.

Priya Kambli was born in India. She moved to the United States at age 18 carrying her entire life in one suitcase that weighed about 20 lbs. She began my artistic career in the States and her work has always been informed by her experience as a migrant.

She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and continued on to receive a Masters degree in Photography from the University of Houston. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. In 2008 Photolucida awarded her a book publication prize for her project Color Falls Down.

My photographs visually express the notion of transience and split cultural identity caused by the act of migration. I have been viewing this issue through the lens of my own personal history and cultural journey from India to the United States. This journey left me feeling disconnected - unable to anchor myself in any particular cultural framework. I have therefore formed a hybrid identity, a patching together of two cultures within one person. In my work I explore absence, loss and genealogy through the use of my own family snapshots. These personal artifacts are recontextualized alongside fragmented images and staged imagery to reveal the correlations between generations, cultures and memory.

Morgan Konn lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been exhibited at several locations nationally including San Francisco Camerawork, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and Memphis College of Art. She on the regional board of the Society of Photographic Education and has taught at several colleges and universities including Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State University and Academy of Art University.

The images in Her House, Her Clothes are created through a specific set of parameters. I gain permission from women to enter their homes and their closets while they are not home. While there, I photograph myself in their clothing. I leave no obvious traces, returning all clothing and props to their original locations. The choice of clothing and setting is mine but is limited by the owner’s context. I am not striving to be this woman, imitate or mimic their personality. I am attempting to put on their lives, trying on their possessions and inhabit their home. My performance is an attempt to transform their world into a photogenic scene of a desired life.

Nate Larson is faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Photographic Education. He received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2002.

Marni Shindelman is associate professor of art and an associate of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2002.

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s collaborative work focuses on the cultural understanding of distance as perceived in modern life and network culture. Our GEOLOCATION project was recently featured on the NPR program Marketplace Tech Report and in the Washington Post. Selections from our collaborations have been shown at the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas; Houston Center for Photography; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Baltimore Museum of Art; the 2nd Moscow International Biennale; RAIQ in Montréal; Peloton in Sydney, Australia; the Center on Contemporary Art Seattle; City Without Walls in New Jersey; and the Conflux Festival in NYC. We are in the process of completing a commission of site-specific GEOLOCATION works for the Format International Photography Festival in Derby, UK.

Anne Leighton Massoni is a Professor of Photography at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. She graduated with an MFA in Photography from Ohio University and a BA in Photography and Anthropology from Connecticut College. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including the H. F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, National Institutes of Health public art spaces in Washington, DC, the Allen Sheppard Gallery in New York City, and the East End Film Festival in London, England. She is the Chairperson for the Society for Photographic Education Mid-Atlantic Board. Her work relates to ideas of both real and fabricated memories, using a variety of film and digital techniques.

The act of remembering is what currently drives my work. To visually navigate the stories in my mind – to remember stories that may, or may not exist, to imagine stories not yet told. I utilize both created images and found imagery to present to the viewer this place between truth and fiction. The images themselves reinforce the concepts of memory and often use mnemonic elements and notions of artifact to represent an underlying story, which touches on the personal while still attempting the collective. The concept is rooted in the details presented – sometimes revealing and yet often holding secret. There is truth in the tales but not necessarily a truth of mine alone. There is a sense of shared ideas but uncertainty as to the origin of the authorship of those ideas. This place between revealing and holding secret is what I am after. I am interested in its intangibility, I am searching for that which we experience and cannot express – evidence of memory, evidence of experience, evidence of existence.

In Holding Leighton, I combine photographs I have made of empty spaces (spaces once inhabited or currently inhabited, but with no one present) with found photographs of a time that no longer exists (images that are empty of personal memory) and then ink a thin colored line to draw a literal point of connection from one image to the next, as a starting point for recollecting and story telling.

Blue Mitchell received his BFA in photography from the Oregon College of Art & Craft. He has engaged the arts in many facets including curating, publishing, jurying, facilitating exhibitions, and reviewing portfolios. In his personal work he implements many photographic techniques including toy cameras, pinhole, other film and digital cameras as well as alternative processes, scanners, aged paper, wax, installation, collage, and hand drawing. Most recently Mitchell has been specializing in Acrylic Lifts and Burnt Transparencies. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. including special invitations by Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, PONCHO art invitational, and the Oregon College of Art & Craft’s Annual ‘Art on the Vine Auction’. Mitchell recently exhibited new work at Newspace Center for Photography and has been juried into the Light Factory’s 3rd Annuale.

Mitchell currently runs a fine art photography website called Plates to Pixels Gallery and is the Founding Editor and Publisher of Diffusion: Unconventional Photography, an annual periodical.

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things, which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

My intent is to capture a world that's been subverted by intellect. As children, we are acutely aware of the moments and experiences that shape our understanding of our lives and events. That view of the world, however, becomes polluted by culture and society as we age. Those extremes blend reality and fantasy that, as adults, we tend to visit only in our dreams.

My Mythos series depicts the early moments in an experience and then illustrates the steps that allow us to see beyond the surface, where flashes of stillness, anxiety, wonder and mystery present themselves through familiar and invented allegories. Those dreamlike fabrications bestow the dichotomies of good vs. evil, fantasy vs. reality, awake vs. dreaming – and the axis that connects them all.

Rachel Girard Reisert uses traditional and digital photographic processes to create work addressing the complexities of perception and the intersection where personal experience is both unique and universal. She has exhibited nationally and internationally with a recent solo exhibition at the Ryerson Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Reisert holds a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, and an MFA in photography from Arizona State University where she was awarded a 2007 Completion Fellowship. She teaches photography at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

My photographs take shape in the backyard, a microcosm for the larger world, where on a daily basis, life in various forms begins, expands, and eventually dies. In the moments found and pictured, I consider the metaphorical possibilities of object and light, and the significance not only of what we know, but how.

As presence requires absence to be truly understood, light and shadow are interdependent necessities in bringing forth the photograph as object – mirroring the dualities in the world as in our own perceptions. By subtraction from the world, each image remains a fragment of space and time, creating something distinct, and simultaneously reflecting what has already passed. In this reductive and additive ritual, I acknowledge the continuous cycle of giving and taking, as it emulates the interchange of life and death. Beauty is affirmed within this transformation, heightening the awareness of desire and hope, as the picture becomes testament to the impermanence of all things.

Like lines of a poem, the images remain elusive in how meaning is attached and allow for multiple understandings. Resolution is permutable, never becoming fixed or definitive. Perception and interpretation are key in discovering the intersections of our circles of knowing, and ultimately reveal our most fundamental connections as human beings.

Libby Rowe holds a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from University of Northern Iowa. Her work addresses issues of identity and belonging.

Rowe has exhibited her work widely across the United States and internationally. Rowe’s piece womb worries was recently included in Take Care that was exhibited as part of Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will be on display during the Pool Art Fair in Miami in December. She exhibited and performed her piece, learning feminine: posture, as part of the 7th Feminist Research Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands in June of 2009.

Rowe is an assistant professor of art and head of photography at University of Texas at San Antonio. 

I am interested in the subtle difference between pondering, reflection, meditation, rumination and when these seemingly harmless contemplations turn to a more decidedly negative, and often detrimental, dwelling.

I am intrigued by the dual meanings of the word dwelling. How the “mental state” of dwelling is seen as definitively negative, but the “home” dwelling is at definition neutral but in reality holds the potential for both positive and negative associations.

This series of photographs use physical dwellings made from materials that, along with their environments, suggest subjects that might cause one to dwell.

Christine Shank currently resides in Rochester NY where she is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an artist working predominantly with photography to construct elaborate narratives. Her work has been shown in group and solo throughout the United States. Most recently Shank’s artwork will also be included in Robert Hirsh’s latest edition of Exploring Color Photography: From the Darkroom to the Digital Studio.

The interiors Series: I love stories – from others, from fiction, from the news, from poetry, from memories – I imagine the desperate situations of personal relationship as scenes of tragic disasters. I enjoy the way in which words placed next to one another elicit an image. The way an image can conjure up an entire story. In this series of photographs, I strive to create a narrative that delivers the viewer into a place where a story of humanness can be contemplated.

I design and construct interior room dioramas that show an aftermath of a destructive event. The domestic spaces illustrate one fragment of a larger narrative, depicting stories of frustration and loss, implying a connection to personal relationships through titling. By positioning the viewer separate from the event through doorways, hallways and adjoining rooms, the viewer becomes the voyeur, the eavesdropper the silent observer.

The disasters depicted in the images; a room overflowing with crumpled paper, bricked up passageways, oceans of sand and car headlights on an abandoned mattress allude to past events, and the potential of events awaiting us in our future. These spaces have a constructed history that is manufactured in order to tell a story of human feelings and experiences. I titled these images with a line from a story that I feel can be interpreted on different levels and directs the viewer in the image while allowing room for personal interpretation.

Erin V. Sotak received her BFA from The University of Arizona and her MFA in photography from San Jose State University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally at such institutions as the Phoenix Art Museum, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, UCSC Sesnon Gallery, Women and Their Work, and Centro de Artes a La Universidad Eafit. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant, the Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum Materials Grant and the Texas National. Erin has been an invited lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, Arizona State University, UCSC and the University of New Mexico, Gallup. She has been an artist in residence at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Grand Valley State University and the McColl Center for Visual Art. Erin’s work has been published in Phoenix 21st Century, SPE Exposure Journal, Voices of Art Magazine and Horizon television programming on PBS station KAET. Sotak has received public art commissions from the Phoenix Commission on the Arts and the Scottsdale Cultural Council.

per-for-mance /pe(r)-for’-mens/ n. 1. The act, manner or process of functioning in-stal-la’-tion /in’ste-la’-Shen/ n. 3. items, objects, persons, established in a (place)*

I create mythologies.

I am a runner. I am an image-maker. I am a photographer. I am a laborer. I am a fabricator. I am a story teller. My work is less a conversation and more a short story. I narrate using symbolic colors, iconic objects, cultural references and historical allusions. I can only hope the viewer walks away from the work reciting even the simplest elements of the story and feels the need to recount the tale. My work most often takes the form of installation and performance that is concerned with labor, endurance, absurdity, collections, consumption and aesthetics. The work ultimately and most importantly exists as a photograph.

I find inspiration in details: the tiny, the over looked, the mundane, the daily, the ordinary, the routine, the absurd quiet-full moment that pulls a cord of tightness in your throat. It is the hard knot in a soft pine plank, the pink sugar insides of the watermelon cradled by the thick green rind, an afternoon breeze of my mother’s perfume, the movement of my body through space as I push to run unnumbered miles, the tangy sweet smell of creosote after a 4:15 August rain, the lost roar of jet engines overhead as I sit on my grandmother’s front porch and watch the neighbors on a quiet Cleveland street, the physical weight of a Tolstoy novel in my lap, these, these are the things, that leave a ring around my collar. I do not make work about these details rather the details help form me in relation to everything else. My work originates from a personal experience, idea, question, confusion, conversation and I take that inside personal moment and push it to an outside shared experience.

La-bor (la’ber) n. 1. Physical or mental exertion of a practical nature, as distinguished from exertion for the sake of amusement

As an artist I am engaged in the constant process of art making and I am acutely aware of the inherent labor in my work. It is a labor that goes beyond a basic physical activity necessary to complete a specific task; it is labor, which is a complicated tool of expression. As my work has evolved from two-dimensional images to performance and installation, labor has developed as a critical element of the content as well as the end “product”. Labor is part of the unseen process as well as part of the seen performance. Labor is a metaphor:

Labor as time. Labor as body. Labor as the absurd. Labor as ritual. Labor as the futile.

Labor as time. Labor as body. Labor as the absurd. Labor as ritual. Labor as the futile

Labor as time. Labor as body. Labor as the absurd. Labor as ritual. Labor as the futile.

Labor as time. Labor as body. Labor as the absurd. Labor as ritual. Labor as the futile.

Grace Weston is a Portland, Oregon based photographer who creates narrative imagery in her studio with staged vignettes that combine humor, wit and psychological tension. Among her many awards and honors, Grace has been a finalist in PhotoEspana’s Descubrimientos PHE 09, a recipient of a 2006 Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, and one of the Whatcom Museum 2008 Photography Biennial’s “Nine to Watch”. Public collections include those of the University of Oregon, Portland Community College, King County (WA), and the City of Seattle. She has exhibited widely in the United States, as well as in Europe and Scandinavia. Her work has been exhibited and collected widely in the United States, Europe, Scandinavia and Japan, and featured in arts magazines in China, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

As a photographer, I work in my studio constructing, lighting, and photographing staged vignettes to address the questions and contradictions of life, both large and small. I enjoy balancing humor with psychological tension in themes of anxiety and fear, wonder and mystery, and the sense of isolation and alienation that paradoxically is experienced universally. The use of miniature characters, constructed sets and vivid colors allows me to play with weighty issues in a lighter way. It is through my little fictions I most enjoy taking a stab at truth.

My point of view and approach come out of a childhood spent in relative isolation. I entertained myself by making little dioramas with toys and found or constructed objects in a corner of my bedroom to view and rearrange for weeks at a time. I survived and flourished inside a private reality of my own creation that served as great consolation in a world where I had no control. Intense introspection balanced with the coping mechanism of humor developed my sensibilities. I now realize I have come back to where I started, and at the same time, to where I’ve never been.

From the actual physical components and lighting to the psychological questions raised, my work plays with issues of illusion. I attempt to question reality at every turn. With photography’s history and reputation in the service of “proof”, I appreciate the paradox of using the camera to tell tall tales.

After receiving a BFA in photography from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Ruth Zelanski began to also explore concepts through metalsmithing and studied with artists such as Maria Phillips and Iris Bodemer. Currently living and working in Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth has shown her work throughout the United States as well as in Beijing, China.

Her work has been included in 500 Enameled Objects, Lark Books, juried by Sarah Perkins; 500 Pendants and Lockets, Lark Books, juried by Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt; Color, Fourth and Fifth Editions, Shaping Space, Second and Third Editions, and The Art of Seeing, Seventh Edition, by Paul Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher; as well as the show catalog for Magic Silver 2008. She is in the private collections of Peter and Janet Good, and Robbin Zella, as well as the Maryville University Permanent Art Collection and the Brooklyn Art Library.

Currently living and working in Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth is a founding member and treasurer of COOP Gallery, a curatorial collective with an exhibition space in downtown Nashville.

We track our routines as calendar days lay ahead and behind us, seamlessly blending with the continuum of time and other people’s everyday. Yet where our timelines end, we cannot tell. The journey of our lives consists of many beginnings and endings, most without our control. Our identities are defined by what we leave behind, whether it is corporeal or emotional, material or memorial.

Photographs serve as our souvenirs of the everyday. They are memory idealized, a moment preserved. My work aims to be an unspoken narrative, surrogates for events not yet experienced, and an invented symbolism to express our desire for significance in the everyday. I see them as representing the intangible story of our sentiments, mementos and souvenirs, of memories not quite remembered, that are left behind to become part of someone else’s narrative, weaving the structure of loss and hope that connects us all. 

all images are copyrighted by the artist & all rights reserved