Local exhibit alert

Nancy Donskoj, Wicklow Castle - Ireland (No.1), 2006, Gelatin Silver, 16" X 16"

Nancy Donskoj at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson until April 13th.


Vintage in Print

Newsies, 1906-1918, Lewis Hine for National Child Labor Committee.

The Smithsonian Images website has a great collection of photographs. You can order duplicated prints from their collection, use their image files for lectures, or just look through different images they have posted on this website.

There are several categories of images you can choose from. The photography section has an assortment of nice work but also includes a huge amount of
Muybridge's cyanotypes which are working proofs. The contact prints he made from more than 20,000 negatives he took at the University of Pennsylvania between 1884 and 1886 while photographing human and animal subjects in motion from lateral (parallel), front and rear positions. Since the original negatives no longer exist, the cyanotypes provide us with the opportunity to see the pictures Muybridge achieved before he edited and cropped them for publication.

"Putting the Shot." Series Neg. No. 1533, An. Loc. Serial No. 310



feeling disconnected from my art lately. having a hard time balancing work-teaching-personal life and art-making. hoping that spring will bring new inspiration. knowing that i need more time to be in my studio. do not know where to find it. could withhold sleep to make art but would be cranky and tired at work. realizing more and more how precious my time in graduate school was. sometimes i miss it.

have to start digging to find the art buried deep within me.


my sunday local artist/exhibition ramble

Daniel Mather, Locked, Acrylic on canvas, 26" x 34" from the exhibit Juxtapositions

greetings from the hudson valley...where spring is almost in effect. it was a really beautiful weekend here in woodstock. we have been dog sitting so we thought it was a good excuse to go hiking! went a few new places and had a stellar time. lovin life!

Today is sunday and in the shadow of the levon helms saturday night rambles comes my own version...the sunday local artist ramble. this week i am highlighting the work of David Cahill, artist from Utica, NY (not too far from here) and a local group exhibition that he is in called Juxtapositions which will be in April at Limner Gallery in Hudson.

David Cahill, The Vision of St Kirsten, Oil on Panel, 60" x 42"

David Cahill, check out his blog here or website here, and I went to graduate school together at UMass. He is extremely talented and worth checking out! This exhibition looks really interesting and includes lots of exciting artists. I will definitely be at the opening to support David. Hope to see you there!

David Cahill, The Calling of Saint Norm, 2003 oil on canvas, 40 x 40 in.


encaustic madness

Patricia DeLeon Alfonso, The Journey, 24" x 24" , Encaustic

We see a lot of encaustic & photography work at CPW. For one, we offer a class with R&F Paints in Kingston which is all about combining the two mediums. Students make photographic prints here at CPW (cyanotypes, polaroid transfers, alternative digital prints etc.) for two days and then spend the final two days at R&F learning techniques to use with the encaustic. We get such an incredible response from that workshop. People from all over the world venture here to take it. The teachers are fabulous and the students are always awesome. Registration begins April 16 (April 14 for members)! In addition this year, the two instructors Fawn Potash and Danielle Correia are curating a show of student work which will be on exhibit in June-July at R&F's beautiful gallery. I will post more about this int he summer.

In any case, this workshop cannot be the single reason we see so much encaustics. It sometimes seems like everyone is experimenting with it in some way. While I was in school i was not aware of anyone working with the medium, but now find that many people are using it as their primary form of expression. In my opinion, more and more people are wanting to incorporate hands on processes into their work and they want to add dimension & texture. Maybe this seems accessible?

One of the students this past summer pointed out that one of the earliest uses of encaustics was to coat large ships for protection from water and to make it visually attractive. I would like to look more into this. Besides use in art, does anyone know what encaustics has been used for?

FYI: encaustic is a mixture of wax and resin. If it is colored it will also include a pigment.


Vintage in Print / Local Exhibition Highlight

Allen Ginsberg
W.S. Burroughs (W.S.B. in Egyptian Museum Exhibition)
1953; reprinted 1997
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Howard Greenberg

Two photography exhibitions are opening next week at The Samuel Dorsky Museum New at SUNY Paltz that have me really excited. Beat and Beyond: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg & A Discerning Vision: Photographs from the Collection of Howard Greenberg will be on view from March 28-June 22. Since I was a teenager I have been reading great works by the beat generation talents. Burroughs and Kerouac changed the way I looked at the world. On the Road & Dharma Bums helped encourage me to travel the country with only a backpack, a few dollars and the desire to exist in the present moment, be up for anything, and not worry about my future. It amounted to some of the best times of my life. Ginsberg's portrayal of this generation through his photographs and text is hypnotizing. Who better to document this culture than the man that helped to conceive it.

The other exhibition at Dorsky celebrates 25 years of the Howard Greenberg Gallery. I cannot help but be very affectionate toward this because Howard Greenberg founded the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 1977. It is because of his vision that we exist. Every day we work very hard to maintain our mission in which he helped to create. Thank you Howard and Happy 25!

Saul Leiter
Untitled, New York, c.1950
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1950
Signed in ink on print verso
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg

The opening reception will take place on Saturday March 29.


I am back.

this is when i was waiting in my hotel lobby at 4am for my airport shuttle.

Back from Denver. I was hoping to blog everyday that I was at the conference but that did not work out. Too much to do and way too little time. You know I was having a really good time because:
I did not write in the blog
b) I barely slept
c) I could not find the time to leave the hotel

Seriously, there were so many great things it is hard to name them all. below is a picture from the public portfolio walk that took place on Friday night. This was a really great event. People laid out their work and waited for curators, critics, other artists & faculty, and the public to walk around and talk with them about it. It was nice because it was very casual and you were not limited on time. Seemed like a lot of people were enjoying it. Like always, i was trying to lead a schizophrenic existence by walking around and viewing work that might be good for CPW and trying to show my own work when appropriate. I had a really fun time.

will share more about artists I met tomorrow....


Denver Update, Day 1

I made it to the mile-high city safe and sound. I am delirious and exhausted but also very inspired and stimulated after my first day of programming at the Society for Photographic Educators National Conference (see website here). Lots to share on the blog but I need rest- so I will choose one artist to post (for now, but definitely more to come).

Lauren Greenfield is an artist I have admired for a while. Today she gave a talk about her work which i was lucky enough to go to. It was a completely packed room and was so energetic to see that many people interested in someone's work.
Some of the sub-cultures that Lauren has documented and that she spoke about today include California kids and young teens from very well-off families, girl culture from around the country, exotic dancers and females with devistating eating disorders. In addition to books & websites regarding these topics, HBO commissioned the film Thin which follows a group of girls through their treatment for various eating disorders.

Lauren's unique approach to this work involves lengthy interviews with the people being photographed- which adds an incredible depth to the projects. There is no indication in her work that her subjects are uncomfortable by her presence. It is actually quite the opposite. Lauren provides the viewer with a rare closeness as if we are thumbing through a family album.


Denver, here I come.

I am getting ready to go to Denver, Colorado for the National Society for Photographic Education Conference. I will be conducting portfolio reviews on Saturday but will have all the other days to hear the different speakers and participate in activities (so many good things going on there- check out their website for a complete schedule!). I am wondering who I might see there...maybe some blast from the past. hmmm.... It will also be a great place for me to meet new people and get some advice on my Photo 1 digital class. I will try to blog while I am there- if the hotel has wireless.


my sunday local artist ramble

I have not posted anything in a few days. partly because i have been so busy, but also because I felt like I wanted to rethink some of the ways I approach this blog. I mostly see it as a tool to get to know artists in the Hudson Valley (like i have stated so many times) but I find a lot of fulfillment out of journaling about myself and my experiences. I think over all I will continue on in the format I have been blogging but will try to have more text (critique/analysis) of the state of art that I experience (in the valley or outside of it).

The valley saw a lot of rain over the last few days. It was incredible to see so much snow melt in under 24 hours. A sure sign that spring is on the way once again. I spent the rainy day at my friends Dave & Jeanine's house in New Paltz photographing some of Dave's wood projects. He is a very talented artist and I was just happy to see some of the variety of work he has done over the years. (see how I am transitioning into my sunday local artist ramble!) He started as a design artist at F.I.T in New York City and shortly after that moved to the valley (where he is originally from). Like so many talented people I meet in this area, Dave is able to create in a multitude of mediums. Wood has been his prominent artform for the past several years but his skills as a graphic artist/designer are equally developed. I think what I like most about him is that he tends to create functional art that people can enjoy in their homes with (mainly) recycled wood. The box that is featured below was all wood that he found which would otherwise have be dumped. That kind of foresight into a material is invaluable today, especially when we are almost trained to dispose of things (what i like to call the wal-mart effect). That in its self is making a strong statement as an artist/designer, which is what I respect so much about Dave.
I have only posted three of the hundreds of wood projects that Dave has taken on. I highly suggest contacting him if you would like to find out what else he makes or would like to commission a project from him. You can email him at ffttwood@gmail.com.

TOP: Dave made the table, cutting board, & knives. BOTTOM: bathroom cabinet


Inspiration of the day

I recently discovered the work of artist Takashi Iwasaki. The embroidery series is breathtaking. I cannot help but be attracted to this kind of work. I think it all started with my great grandmother, who was an incredible embroidery artist. She would create reenactments of the world around her in these elaborate and very large pieces. There were many she made from her memory of her home in Czechoslovakia, but would sometimes make pieces of my family home. Those are especially important to me. I will try to get a hold of an image to share.


It is time for the biennial

William Cordova, The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, 2006 (installation view, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, 2006).

Congrats to William Cordova. His presence in the 2008 Whitney Biennial is well deserved. He came to CPW this past summer as an artist-in-residence and was a pleasure to have around. I really love his work and can't wait to see this.

I have to say, I am excited about a lot of the work featured this year. I was a bit skeptical after my experience in 2006- I did not dislike the show but I left it feeling confused about a lot of things. I consider myself well versed in contemporary art (and of course, have a lot to learn) but I felt uninspired and kind of stupified in 06. Though, here I am, still talking about this experience I had 2 years ago. what does that say? well, for one thing...it might not have been breathtaking but it was clearly not forgetable. maybe it will become one of those things i figure out long after it has passed. ahead of its time perhaps.

The 2008 Biennial opens at the Whitney tomorrow and features some favorites like Spike Lee and Sherrie Levine. Will let you know what I think when i check it out.

Vintage in Print

It is Wednesday and is Vintage in Print day. Since i am feeling kind of sleepy, i wanted to share some images from The Book of Sleep on the website Square America. This is an awesome site dedicated to vintage snapshots & vernacular photography. This collection covers a wide range of social topics...and it totally worth looking through. enjoy.


a great blog to know

Leslie Brown is a curator at the Photographic Resource Center (PRC) in Boston, MA. Her blog is a great resource for contemporary photography. I found it a few months ago & really appreciate her writings & updates about PRC. Check her out.

Below is an image from the upcoming exhibition at the PRC called "New England Survey" which opens March 27th. The show is inspired by the following poem by Robert Francis:

New England Mind

My mind matches this understated land.

Outdoors the pencilled tree, the wind-carved drift,

Indoors the constant fire, the careful thrift

Are facts that I accept and understand.

I have brought in red berries and green boughs—

Berries of black alder, boughs of pine.

They and the sunlight on them, both are mine.

I need no florist flowers in my house.

Having lived here the years that are my best,

I call it home. I am content to stay.

I have no bird's desire to fly away.

I envy neither north, east, south, nor west.

My outer world and inner make a pair.

But would the two be always of a kind?

Another latitude, another mind?

Or would I be New England anywhere?

Robert Francis

photo by Tanja Alexia Hollander


love for the winter

Here are a few images from our adventures cross country skiing in the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY yesterday. Jeanine, Megan, Iris and myself had a great time. I fell a lot more than I would like to admit...but I have to say, I did not do too bad for my first time ever on a pair of skis. Lots of laughs & great times. I am realizing more & more that for me, art, people & nature are all one in the same. They equally challenge me in ways I cannot always describe...but am overwhelmingly grateful for.


my sunday local artist ramble

Every inch of my body is sore from cross-country sking. I am laying in bed with my laptop trying to keep my mind off the aching bones & muscles. I had a stellar time- and clearly need to get used to it. seriously though, i had such a good time that i plan on doing this to myself again next week. that says something.

Regardless of my physical pain, I still would like to ramble for a moment about this weeks' sunday local artist. Myra Mimlitsch-Gray is faculty in the metals department at SUNY New Paltz. When I was an undergrad there, she was notorious for being an amazing teacher & artist. I never worked with her but many close friends did and always grew as artists from the experience. I was able to see her work in faculty shows and loved it. My understanding of metals was very limited. I could understand it as a tool to make functional items but was oblivious to its many other non-functional functions (he he). Myra guides her metal to act in a way I had never seen before. It is caught in a moment- constructed to alter our perception and infultrate our senses. what am i looking at? how did this happen? did scotti beam me someone and i did not realize?
Whatever the answers might be...hats off to another awesome local artist. The hudson valley rocks!

studio day

Had a great day at R&F Paints yesterday. Their studio is amazing. I worked on a large piece (about 24" x 24") which was challenging but exciting. Encaustics is such an interesting tool to work with. I especially like being in a studio with other people. Since I graduated i have not had that available to me and definitly miss it! It is very motivating to constantly share your work and to see what your studio-mates are doing. It is a huge transition from that to working alone. Luckily I got to spend the day with two great local artists.
The image above is a piece Stephanie started working on yesterday. And below, her and Patti are posing at the end of the day. I can't wait to go back soon!