inspiration from my dad...

My brother, his girlfriend and I all chipped in and bought my dad a film scanner for the holidays. I know he had a collection of really beautiful slides, but I did not realize how amazing they were. I have included a few in this post because I am so in love with them. These are just the tip of the iceberg and I cannot wait to see what else he has.

These are all pictures taken of my mom, Rosalie. They were all taken in the beginning of their marriage (a few possible before they were married). The ones of her by the beach are on their honeymoon in 1971.

I think they are so elegant and well composed. Aside from my mom being drop dead gorgeous, my dad has a loving & intimate gaze- which makes these so incredible to me.

I hope you like them too.


my top 5 photo moments of 2008

image by Edward Burtynsky

I am feeling a bit sentimental as this year comes to a close, and decided that I wanted to share some of what I consider to be the most significant photographic moments of 2008. These are simply photo-related experiences that I have had personally and not a survey of everything that has happened this year. I would love to hear what your memorable moments were in the art world too. Please leave comments.

(These are in no particular order)

1. The incredibly huge Lee Friedlander retrospective at SF MOMA was pretty awesome. It was great to see all the work separated in categories and laid out with so much thoughtfulness. The museum is beautifully designed and more affordable and accessible than its east coast cousin.

2. The lecture by Edward Burtynsky at the SPE conference in Denver, Colorado has made it to my list. He was full of information and creative input on art and the state of our society. A very important photographer who is addressing concerns that will be present for many generations to come.

3. The announcement that Polaroid is closing its film division. Devastating news to many of us who are not purchasing digital backs for our medium & large format cameras (I just do not have a spare 30 grand laying around) and are now left with a forceful push into an unknown world.

The list of artists who have made work inspired by this historic instant film is endless, and now they will represent a completely extinct art form.

This also means no more polaroid transfers. Which to some might be a waste of time, but I think they are awesome and will be missed.

Like the "save the whales" campaign, the dedicated polaroid people have started their own fight: Savepolaroid.com.

On the bright side, thanks to Fuji, instant film will still live on. I tried it this summer- it is not half bad at all. they are not capable of complete transfers...yet.

A good article written in the NY Times is here.

4. The photo blog community is growing larger and more interesting. I have been reading more of them in 2008 than ever before (you can see my side bar for a list of the blogs I keep up with). Though some are obviously better than others, I think blogging overall is an excellent platform for immediate commentary & discussion. For some, it is an alternative to publishing. For others, it is a place for self-promotion. I personally like it all.
The bottom line is that we all have a voice, opinion and unique perspective....blogging is just another way to share that. For me, I live in a slightly isolated community so reading blogs helps me to feel in touch and connected with the outside world.

5. Barack Obama's Flickr page. even i do not have a flickr page. but after seeing that Obama has one, well, it might be my new years resolution to start one up. Sites like Flickr are completely changing the way we view images by making them more accessable than ever in our history. what will this lead to and how will it alter our visual language?


the great christmas memories...

These images are from a new book, which I first heard about on Leslie Brown's blog- and then got to look at it and developed even more appreciation for this collection of photographs demonstrating the spectacle of visiting Santa's lap. It is Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland by Denise Joyce and Nancy Watkins. You can check it out on amazon here.

I have always been a little afraid of the Santa I saw at the mall as a kid...I thought he was creepy and weird (and drunk). But I thought I felt this way because I am Jewish and never considered Santa as anything special. But, now that I see these images I realize there is a little bit of fear of the man in red & white in all of us.

Happy Holidays!


and then there was snow...

when i got home i had to take this picture.

finally...Woodstock's first real snow storm of the season. i am psyched to see the snow everywhere. it brings Woodstock to life.

There is something so poetic about walking on a fresh bed of snow and watching as you leave behind your own distinct markings. Next thing you know, your footprints are gone. The trace of your walk is covered by more snow- and you are erased from the landscape. It is a beautiful thing.

I have to say, I am a bit spoiled and therefore able to romanticize the snow. For one, I walk to work. That eliminates the stress of having to drive in a storm. Secondly, I have a carport (yes, like the Floridians). So I do not have to dig my car out the day after. Though, I still have a little bit of shoveling to do, of course.


my literary ramble...

image by Elinor Carucci from the series Crisis.

As an attempt to learn more about poetry, I will start a weekly (or almost weekly) post featuring a poem or two and an image picked out or created that I think relates to it. I shall call it "my literary ramble"...

Today's poems are by Emily Dickinson...someone who's work I have been able to relate to since I was a teenager.

I ENVY seas whereon he rides,
I envy spokes of wheels
Of chariots that him convey,
I envy speechless hills

That gaze upon his journey; 5
How easy all can see
What is forbidden utterly
As heaven, unto me!

I envy nests of sparrows
That dot his distant eaves, 10
The wealthy fly upon his pane,
The happy, happy leaves

That just abroad his window
Have summer’s leave to be,
The earrings of Pizarro 15
Could not obtain for me.

I envy light that wakes him,
And bells that boldly ring
To tell him it is noon abroad,—
Myself his noon could bring, 20

Yet interdict my blossom
And abrogate my bee,
Lest noon in everlasting night
Drop Gabriel and me.


HE touched me, so I live to know
That such a day, permitted so,
I groped upon his breast.
It was a boundless place to me,
And silenced, as the awful sea 5
Puts minor streams to rest.

And now, I’m different from before,
As if I breathed superior air,
Or brushed a royal gown;
My feet, too, that had wandered so, 10
My gypsy face transfigured now
To tenderer renown.



how do I look? screening this Thursday

Kathleen Sweeney and I have curated a film screening that I am very excited about and would like to invite you all (all 3 of you) to attend. It is this Thursday, December 18th, at 7pm at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, 59 Tinker Street. Click here for more info or directions.

We put out a call to the young female film makers of our region (ages 13-18) and asked them to interpret the question How do I look? We got a wonderful response and chose 7 films to screen on Thursday. The talent in our area of New York is overwhelming. These girls are incredible!

Thanks to great programs like Indie Media Programs and Children's Media Project the girls have a place to learn and grow as artists.

I hope to see you on Thursday.


Photogravure blog

photogravure by Lothar Osterburg

Have you been wanting to keep up on photogravure artists but did not know how? Check out this blog: The Art of the Photogravure. It is a serious guide to the history and technique of photogravure as well as extensive coverage of artists (historic and contempoary) using this process in their work.

The artist I featured above is teaching a photogravure workshop with CPW in the summer 2009. He is incredible! You can check out what The Art of Photogravure has to say about him by going here. Or you can check out his personal website here.


feeling like i am in a daze...

It's pouring rain outside + the sky is gray + i have not been getting enough sleep = i feel like I am in a trance today.


blogger-in-residence at art:21

I imagine that most people who are reading art blogs already know about the amazing PBS series art: 21, which celebrates & examines contemporary art. What you may not know is that art: 21 has a fabulous blog too. Check it out here.

The topics discussed here are not limited to the artists who have appeared on the series but expand to many other corners of the art world. They even have a blogger-in-residence! It is currently Merrily Kerr who is an avid art critic and founder of New York Art Tours. As the resident blogger she is writing about her experiences in the NYC art scene. Read the blogs here.

Does anyone know what ever happened to that other great series called The Egg?


great art - 5x7 inches - support org - have fun

The Annual 5x7 show at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is opening tomorrow during Woodstock's Open House.  It is a lot of fun to see how everyone constructed their little 5x7" pieces of art.  They remain anonymous until purchased and they are all priced at $100 (all $ goes to support the Guild).  

I have a piece in the show...let me know if you can guess which one is mine and I will give you a prize.

CPW will be open as well with hot apple cider and an awesome photo book sale.  Actually, all of town is open and the shops have special events, food and sales.  Totally worth the trip.

Stop by and say hi.


I cannot stop thinking about this work...

Alain Paiement's work is haunting me...in a good way. I think these images are incredible and I have not been able to get it out of my head since I saw it in the Canadian photo mag called Prefix.

I have always dreamed of being able to float in the sky and look down at the world...observe the patterns of life from a new perspective.

Here is the statement from his gallery's website:
Alain Paiement was born in Montreal in 1960 and received his MA from the University of Quebec at Montreal in 1987. He constructs photographs that depict multiple spaces simultaneously - conventional building-scapes that are deconstructed and sewn back together again into a seamless quilt.

You can see more here.


an ode that reminds me to pay attention

image from collection at MOMA NY

ode to tomatoes
by pablo neruda

The street
filled with tomatoes,
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.


CPW staff on Halloween

I have been meaning to post this picture.  Now that Halloween is almost one month behind us, we can remember it by looking at this great group photo of the staff at CPW.  I am in the bottom row on the left with the nifty red outfit.  Aren't we cute & fun?


local artist ramble is back...

Devorah Sperber, Transporter: Kirk and Spock Beaming-In, 2007-08, 2 beaded figures hanging in front of mirror panels installed in a corner to create the illusion of 6 figures beaming in, 100,000+ loose beads on mixed medium platform (104 x 72 x 72 inches)

It has been a long hiatus since I posted a local artist ramble. For those who are new to my blog- once a week i will post about an artist affiliated with the upstate new york region. Named after the infamous "midnight rambles" at Levon Helm's house- the blog entry i will include a bit about the artist and my response to the work. I look forward to your feedback and comments.

This week I am highlighting an artist that I wanted to write about for a while. I first saw her work at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe-Guild's gallery where she had an amazing solo exhibition. Looking at her resume I realize she has been around the block and may be familiar to many of you.

Devorah Sperber is based in NYC but has a studio in Woodstock, NY as well. She is part of that awesome school of pop-artists who can change the way we respond to familiar and iconic objects by altering the material used to make them and the context for which we view them.
She uses everyday materials to recreate selected cultural signifiers and transforms them into/ patterns / colors / graphics that are beautiful and mysterious.

Studio View: "After Picasso," 2006, by Devorah Sperber, 5,024 spools of thread, stainless steel ball chain and hanging apparatus, clear acrylic viewing sphere, metal stand (104"-122" h x 100” w x 60”- 72"d)

American culture is nothing less than fantastical and Sperber uses nothing less to examine it.

Devorah has bunch of exhibitions planned. Check out her website here for more images and information.


more halloween portraits

more portraits that I took at Jeanine & Dave's Halloween party...

it is weird for me to keep posting my own work, since I tend to focus this blog on discussions about other artists.  but i figure that it is good for me to be a little selfish now and then.  

let me know what you think.  keep in mind that these are very rough scans and need to be worked on more.  


halloween portraits

These are two works-in-progress from my portrait sessions on halloween. I am having a blast being back in the darkroom to process 4x5 film. at the very least, these will make nice gifts for all my friends once they are cleaned up and printed.

Just thought I would share what I have been working on. will post more soon...


calling upstate NY female video artists ages 13-18



How Do I Look? invites you to aim your lens, click your shutter, and press play! Zoom beyond "How Do I Look [in the Mirror]?" to "How Do I Look [at the World]"! What does your camera spy? What does your story tell? What is your frame of reference? How do you pan across the landscape? Show us your universe of strobes, cuts and dissolves! Give us your unique edit sequence!

This call for work is open to all types of girl-produced video and film including animation, diary, experimental,
documentary, memoir and narrative.

The screening of selected work on Thursday, December 18th at the Center for Photography at Woodstock
will be in conjunction with In-the-Works Film & Video Festival, a monthly event organized by Burrill Crohn where filmmakers show their works in progress to an audience of other filmmakers, film lovers, film producers and anyone interested in the creative process.


Kathleen Sweeney: Author of Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age (2008), she has been a visiting artist to many youth media projects including DIA: Beacon & Reel Grrls. She currently teaches Media Studies at The New School. Her award-winning video art has screened internationally.
Liz Unterman: Education Coordinator at the Center for Photography at Woodstock and multi-media artist, she has exhibited her video and photography work in New York and Boston. She has been a visiting artist for the Massachusetts-based youth programs Girls Eye View, Get Up Get Out and the Video Vanguards and currently teaches photography at SUNY Ulster.


Must be female, age 13-18 and live in New York State.
One entry per person.
Attendance at the film screening in Woodstock on December 18th is recommended.
Send a mini-DV tape or DVD with 10 minutes or less of video/film, entry form & return postage to:
Attention: How do I look?
59 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498
Submissions must arrive no later than Friday, November 28th.
Winners will be notified by December 3rd.

contact me for more information or an entry form. Liz Unterman, liz@cpw.org, 845.679.9957


upcoming exhibitions & events

above: from my series Revisit, which will be featured in the faculty show at SUNY Ulster (see below: Nov. 20)

NOVEMBER 8, 5-8pm:

Opening Reception for new exhibitions at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.
6pm: talk with solo exhibition artist Toni Pepe
7pm: panel discussion about group exhibition Converging Margins with artists and curator Leah Oates.

Free food!
59 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498
learn more here.

NOVEMBER 20, 5-7pm:

art by SUNY Ulster's fine art faculty (I am included!)
Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery

Marcie Paper on 20x200

My friend Marcie Paper is featured on Jen Bekman's 20x200 this week. She is an awesome painter who I got to know a bit while we were both in grad school at UMass.
Get her print while they are still available here.

Speaking of Jen Bekman- she will be here in Woodstock next week to review work for CPW's Photography Now competition. Everyone here is psyched to meet her. She is so fabulous and so is her blog.


Local artist alert

image by Dave Hebb.
WASTE WATER RUNOFF PIPE: WINTER, Mill Stream, Woodstock, NY, 2007, digital photograph

A nice mention of Carbon Copy on H E B Blog. Thank you for that.
You can view it here.

Dave Hebb is a local Woodstockian who seems to be involved in a lot of really cool art making from photography to video to installation. His website covers a lot and I will need to spend some time looking through it before I comment. Though it seems compassionate and insightful and I look forward to learning more about him. His artist statement says:

My work evolves around themes of natural and man-made cycles, symbolic cosmological structures and the relationship between self and environment.


last chance: Banksy Pet Shop

If you have a chance head to: 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City to see Banksy's pet shop creation. My co-worker saw it yesterday and said it is awesome. just from the images posted on the Wooster Collective blog- I am intrigued.

I cannot make it into nyc in time (it closes this week)- but i will be there in spirit. You can read all about Banksy's Pet Shop here on the wonderful Wooster Collective blog.


artist highlight

Matt Siber's work is amazing. These images help us to understand how the landscape is used to express power & control. By removing the often overwhelming amount of text, Siber has forced us to recognize how much of an impact it has on the way we see and interpret the world.

In addition, these logos- which are floating in space like a religious icon- have been transformed and appear alien-like.

You can bid on one of his photographs at the Photographic Resource Center Auction. Check it out here.

light breaks...

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glowworms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter's robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics die,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

-Dylan Thomas


finally time to breathe.

headed here for the next few days. I am very excited. Will update when I get back. have a great weekend.


happy 8th harley

october 13th was my god-daughter Harley's 8th birthday. she lives in vermont, so I could not spend the day with her...which makes me sad. i wanted to share this picture of her from 2003? with a few of her friends. she is most definitely a child beyond her years. she is such a special young girl and i am lucky to know her. i have been compiling a photo album of images I have taken of her over the years- I imagine it will make a nice 16th b-day gift.

she is the first baby born to one of my close friends (who was 19 yo at the time) and the experience was life changing for everyone. First I watched my party-buddy/rock star friend transform into a responsible mother goddess - and then I witnessed a magical little baby grow into a incredible and wildly smart young person. It all blows my mind. Within the reflection of their growth and transformation i have had the chance to see myself in a different way and learn so many things i could not imagine learning otherwise. No doubt- it was a rocky road in between all of the rainbows and fairies- but also a wonderful journey that we are all better for. I am so proud of both Harley and her mom.
lets hear it for all those amazing single moms who never seize to amaze me.


the auction is over...

image by Richard Misrach

thanks to everyone who came to CPW's 30th annual auction. it was a blast.
and many thanks to the rockin' group of volunteers who helped make the day such a success.


bye justine...woodstock will miss you.

image by Justine Reyes

For the last month Justine Reyes has been at CPW as our last artist-in-residence of 2008. She has been a blast to have around and everyone here will miss her! She spent her time here making these extraordinary still-life images, which I have fallen in love with. She has such a poetic sense of space and is beginning to express an important dialogue between herself and her family history through these objects. I look forward to seeing this project progress and grow.

To learn more about Justine you can visit her awesome blog here.


my last 2008 workshop ramble

above images by David Hilliard

cpw's 2008 summer workshops are over! i cannot believe how fast it flew by. what a wild ride it has been. every weekend for the last 4 1/2 months we have been hosting different photography-related workshops in every topic imaginable instructed by a slew of amazing and talented artists. i am very lucky to have helped organize the 2008 schedule and to have managed it as well. often times i am in awe of my own job. on my blog i have had a fun time posting these "rambles" about many of the workshops to share with you a bit of my experiences.

David Hilliard was in town this past weekend to teach "The Environmental Portrait". I was so excited to meet David and to observe him teach. I have been a fan of his work for a while and was interested in hearing him discuss it and curious how he would encourage his students to create their own expressive environmental portraits. And I have to say that everything about the workshop exceeded my expectations. Aside from David being one of the more generous and giving instructors I have ever worked with, the students in the class were so insightful, intelligent and had beautiful work to share.

image by David Hilliard

So the first day we started off with portfolio reviews. great discussions about portraiture emerged through this. We got through about half the class and then went on to a location to photograph models. We went to a converted mill from the late 1600's and got to work with 5 models (ages 8-22). David spent some time scoping out the location and then set up his camera in a corner in the basement. There he demonstrated how his image making process works. Students looked on as he produced a beautiful and surprising image. Students went on to work with the models and make their own work. I have included two below, though there were many more.

image made during workshop by participant Gene Fischer

image made during workshop by participant Karen Andrews

David gave a lecture that evening- which gave an nice overview of how this work emerged for him in grad school and where it is now. He gave us a nice mix of his personal story, how he sees his work in relation to other photography and a technical overview. I enjoyed it.

Sunday we continued with portfolio reviews and looked at work made on Saturday at the mill. He closed the class with a discussion about other photographers using environmental portraiture. Some great artists included in that talk, who I will highlight at another time.

It was mostly exciting to watch David draw out so much creative energy from his students and for them to run with it. This weekend was the perfect example of why we work so hard at CPW to make these workshops happen- to give people an opportunity to explore, to be challenged and to find their unique voice through photography.

For more David Hilliard check out here. For CPW go here.
Keep an eye out for the 2009 workshop schedule.


checking in about books

cast from the movie Freaks.

I have been the worst about blogging this past week. Been feeling so overwhelmed by life. the transition from summer into fall is always a hard one for me. trying to stay balanced and healthy- which is taking all of my free time and energy! but it is so important for me right now.

despite my seasonal blues I did not want to neglect the blog any longer so I posted this image of the cast of the movie Freaks which I watched for the first time this year when I was on my circus-fiction binge. I highly recommend it- very interesting film. many of the cast members were pulled from actual side shows and circuses.

A few of the books I read during that streak (which did not just include the circus but also any sub culture that related): Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. all worth reading.

A great site that I have been having fun with is called Goodreads. It is like a myspace for readers. You post the books you have read and are reading and leave comments, suggestions etc. I got some good recommendations off this website. You can check it out here. If you sign us please request me as a friend.

I guess the moral of this blog is to keep reading- it is good for you.

Currently I am on the reading theme of self-discovery books. I am in the middle of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is really helpful and I am taking it very seriously. Never thought of myself as a new age person but all I have to say is that if that type of philosophy can help me be a better and happier person- than I am all for it.


Renee Byer exhibition at SUNY Ulster

images by Renee Byer

Exhibition of Photographs by Photojournalist Renée Byer
at the
Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery on the SUNY Ulster campus.

A 1978 graduate of SUNY Ulster, and inducted into the College's Alumni Hall of Fame, Byer, a photojournalist with 25 years of experience, won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.

This photo-essay documents the life of a single mother and her 10 year old son who has a rare and deadly cancer. It is a beautiful and emotional body of work that is a must see. Every image is intimate, moving and compassionate. There seems to have been no boundaries between Renee and this family- which leaves us with powerful images that will resonate long after we have seen them.

The exhibition will be on display from September 6 - 26, 2008.

Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 11:00 am through 3:00 pm.
For more information, call 845-687-5113.