Willie Williams Remembers Unsung Heroes

On February 19, William Earle Williams celebrated the opening of his exhibition Unsung Heroes: African American Soldiers in the Civil War at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC. We are celebrating as well. This is an exhibition Light Work curated two years ago. Laura Guth, who curated the exhibition for us, describes in her essay that “there is a notable absence of a comprehensive record to commemorate and honor the contribution of the more than 180,000 African American soldiers who […] ultimately shaped the outcome of a Union victory in the American Civil War. This […] is the driving force for Williams’s work. […] Just as monuments symbolize an imperative to remember, Williams’s photographs serve to restore forgotten or unmaintained sites to our national memory.”

Since the initial exhibition at Light Work, the exhibition has traveled to many venues, including the Emily Davis Gallery at the University of Akron in Akron, OH; the Cantor-Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College in Haverford, PA; the Emerson Gallery at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY; and the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY. The exhibition will remain on view at the Center for Documentary Studies through April 19. After this it will travel to the Art Gallery at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, NJ.

While the exhibition catalogue, Contact Sheet 140, is available through the Light Work store, the artist also has produced two special limited editions of the catalogue. The Special Bound Edition is set in a black metal spiral bound that allows publication to open flat unlike the soft-cover, perfect-bound edition. It is protected with clear acetate dust wrappers. This edition is limited to 50 signed copies and costs $25. The Limited Print Edition includes a signed silver gelatin print and comes in a brown cloth slipcase with 22-karat gold leaf title embossed in brown leather on spine. The print edition is limited to 30 signed copies and costs $450. Both items are available directly from the artist. Special Edition Details

Unsung Heroes: African American Soldiers in the Civil War
February 19 – April 19, 2009

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
1317 W. Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 660-3663

CNY Pride Family exhibition looking for venues

Three years ago Light Work collaborated with the Syracuse University LGBT Resource Center and local artist Ellen M. Blalock to create portraits of twenty LGBT families in the Central New York area. The project culminated in CNY Pride Family, an exhibition that challenges damaging myths and stereotypes about LGBT people and their families through first person accounts and positive images. After being on view at Syracuse University and most recently at Colgate University, it is now available as a traveling exhibition to community centers, libraries, colleges, and universities.

The exhibition including the portraits may be viewed online. For information about how to rent the exhibition, please contact Amit at the LGBT Resource Center at (315) 443-3983.

Priya Kambli, 2009 AIR, Wins Critical Mass Book Award

Priya Kambli will be visiting Syracuse as a Light Work Artist-in-Residence in December 2009. In the meantime, Priya will be hard at work on the monograph she is producing in conjunction with Photolucida as a 2008 Critical Mass Book Award Winner.

The monograph will feature work from her series Migration, a multi-year, multi-cultural, multi-generational series about a family who has strong roots both in India and America. In the series, Priya uses photography to ease the sense of disconnection that sometimes results from moving from one culture into another.

Congratulations on your win, Priya!

Light Work in premiere issue of Color Magazine

B&W Magazine has just premiered a sister publication, Color. Editor John Lavine describes color photography as “a vibrant and dynamic field, with content and concerns obviously related to but also different than that of black and white photography.” The emergence of a new publication dedicated to art photography is always exciting. We look forward to what is to come. As you are checking out the new publication, take a peek at the inside back cover, where our ad showcases the 2009 Light Work Fine Print Program with prints by Arno Minkkinen (platinum print), Marla Sweeney and Krista Steinke (pigmented inkjet prints), and Garie Waltzer (piezography print). And of course do not ignore the magazine’s content, especially Carol McCusker’s account of the history of color photography (part one of two). Carol wrote an essay on Lisa M. Robinson for The  Light Work Annual in 2007. You can view Lisa’s images and read Carol’s essay at our online collection.

Suzanne Opton Makes Headlines

The two photographic series Soldier and Citizen by Suzanne Opton are near and dear to us. We have watched the projects grow from Suzanne’s earliest images taken at Fort Drum. We were able to support Suzanne by inviting her to participate in our Artist-in-Residence in 2005. We then curated an exhibition with the Soldier series, and with the support of the Central New York Community Foundation were able to include billboards and lectures.

Years later and the work is still as timely as ever. The photographs that began as a quiet exploration of soldiers have grown into many exhibitions and have inspired many essays and news reports. The premier issue of One Hour Empire magazine features Suzanne’s photographs with an essay by Andrea Fitzpatrick. The online magazine Visura features a portfolio of Suzanne’s work. Her images can currently be seen in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in NY. Soon additional exhibitions will be featured by the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, the Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art contemporain, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Washington Project for the Arts. The Soldier Billboard Project made national news with its multiple billboards that were placed around the country during election season. It just received additional funding for three additional billboards through the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Congratulations, Suzanne. We could not be prouder.

More AIR News

Karl Baden

Every single day, for over twenty years, Karl Baden has created a self-portrait. In Spring 2000, Karl exhibited at Light Work images from this series, and now the entire body of work can be viewed on Karl’s blog, Every Day.

Karl Baden self-portrait grid

Keith Johnson

Keith’s work, Suite Niagara, is on view February 1 – 28, 2009, at the Kehler Liddell Gallery.

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave.
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 389-9555

Image from Keith Johnson's Suite Niagara

Cynthia Grieg

Cynthia’s work is on view through February 21 in Complicity: Contemporary Photography and the Matter of Sculpture at Rena Bransten Gallery.

Rena Bransten Gallery
77 Geary Street (between Kearny and Grant Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-3292

Opening of Prosthesis

A good crowd gathered at the Light Work Main Gallery on January 29 to celebrate the opening of Prosthesis. Artist Ellen Garvens attended the party, flying in from Seattle to enjoy the evening and answer questions about her photographs and photo-based sculptures. Ellen, who teaches photography at the University of Washington, Seattle, also gave a talk the night before to students at Comart.

Prosthesis will be in the Main Gallery until March 5.

Voices of Diversity Come Together

Light Work/Community Darkrooms was very pleased to supply working space and time in our labs in support of Lida Suchy’s long-term project Voices of Diversity. Lida photographed over 100 members of the Syracuse Community Choir, an organization dedicated to fostering social inclusiveness. After shooting the portraits with her 8 x 10 camera, Lida first made contact prints in our black-and-white lab. She then scanned those prints and utilized the tools in our digital lab to output the images in different formats, from large-scale grids to single portraits.

Like the choir it celebrates, Lida’s work in the labs was inclusive, attracting the participation of several Syracuse University students as well as choir and community members. Many years in the making, the exhibition is a true celebration of Syracuse and its people.

Voice of Diversity
ArtRage, The Norton Putter Gallery
505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse
January 15 – February 14, 2009
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 2-7pm, Saturday, 12-4pm

Congratulations to 2009 Artists-in-Residence

We received a record number of applications this year—close to 400. Thanks to all who submitted materials and showed patience throughout the process.

We’re very pleased to have the following artists-in-residence in 2009:

Yolando del Amo (August)
Meggan Gould (May)
Leslie Hewitt (July)
Priya Kambli (December)
Dean Kessman (July)
Doug Manchee (June)
Rachelle Mozman (May)
Demetrius Oliver (April)
Eileen Perrier (August)
Shawn Records (November)
Chad States (June)

We do have a couple of residencies still open for the year, and we will review materials again in April 2009. Click here to find out how to apply.

Image: Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time (1 of 10), 2002-2005

Light Work AIR Hank Willis Thomas at Jack Shainman Gallery

Light Work AIR Hank Willis Thomas is opening his second solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery. The exhibit, Pitch Blackness, follows the publication of his first monograph, of the same name, by the Aperture Foundation this past fall, and his significant presence in the “30 Americans” exhibition at The Rubell Family Collection in December.

Employing polished materials typical of monuments and signage used to build corporate identity Thomas presents a range of work from large-scale sculpture in painted aluminum, neon, Plexiglas, and granite, to hand painted, stenciled works on canvas, wood carvings, and manipulated photo-based works. Together the works trace black history through visual culture in an attempt to dissect, reinterpret, and re-imagine iconic moments from the “black past” and to investigate the complexity and absurdity of race in America in the 21st century.

The exhibit is on view from February 12 until March 13.

Jack Shainman Gallery
513 W. 20th St.
New York, NY