Grant winner begins installation

Ithaca-based artist Karen Brummund is installing her latest work on the front of the Menschel Media Center, where Light Work is located, this morning. Brummund won a Light Work Grant in Photography this year for her series of time-based drawings of architecture. She first sketches the surface of the building and then digitally enlarges the sketch to actual size. The drawing is then printed in sections on small sheets of paper and attached to the front of the structure. Brummund’s work uses everyday surfaces to play with the line between real and represented.

If you’re in the area, stop by and see the installation progress throughout the day. Brummund (at right) is assisted this morning by her husband Peter Brummund and by Light Work intern Gabi Lewton-Leopold. Below is a view of the installation from inside the building.

Pending sale of Polaroid Collection images

If you haven’t yet heard, 1,300 images from the famous Polaroid Collection, with a pre-sale value estimated at between 7 and 11 million, are slated for auction by Sotheby’s this spring. Although this story has been developing for a while now, many photographers who have work in the 16,000-piece collection remain unaware of the upcoming sale and the events that led up to it. Take a look here and here to read a couple good summaries of what’s going on and how the sale came about.

Although a Minnesota judge has approved the sale, artists who have work in the collection may have some recourse, as explained on A.D. Coleman’s blog, Photocritic International. Coleman posts helpful information for photographers who may wish to establish standing in the case.

It’s safe to assume that the artists who gave or loaned work to the collection never thought the images would be put on the auction block to potentially compete with other work in the market. Beyond those who are personally impacted by the piecemeal sale of collection, the auction poses many important questions about the ownership and intellectual property rights of artists and the responsibilities, both legal and moral, of institutions to maintain collections and notify artists when the status of the collections changes.

Community Darkrooms reopens

Light Work/Community Darkrooms reopened September 8 new and better than ever. We renovated our digital labs, complete with super fast Epson printers, and added a fantastic lounge to our facility over the summer.

Also in Community Darkrooms, our new Tech Heads are on duty Sunday through Thursday, from 1-6pm, to help you with your image-making. The Tech Heads can get you started with scanning, working in Photoshop, and using our Epson 4880 printers. They can also help you out in the black-and-white lab. Just come in during Tech Head hours and get the answers to the questions you need help on most.

To celebrate our renovated facility and new services, we’re holding a special opening event on September 20. The event is free and open to the public and will start at 12pm with free Apple laptop cleanings by Maccentrix (first come first served), tours, portfolio reviews, and more. At 1pm, we will host a free digital color and workflow seminar by expert Clark Omholt of Spectraflow. Attendees will also be able to pick up a coupon good for 25% off an order from our digital services lab. There will be a raffle to win a free 30 x 40″ print from Community Darkrooms digital services.

Registration for Fall workshops is also open now. Visit our website to see our current offerings and to register.

Light Work and P.E.A.C.E. Inc.: Photography at the Little White House of Hope

Photography at the Little White House of Hope:
Collaborations between Light Work and P.E.A.C.E. Inc. Westside Family Resource Center

In August 2009, artist Stephen Mahan worked with Light Work and P.E.A.C.E. Incorporated Westside Family Resource Center (WFRC), also known as the Little White House of Hope, to conduct a workshop for teens about photography, identity and community. When he arrived with 20 digital cameras, he found a unique and vibrant community center run by Mary Alice Smothers and her colleagues. The WFRC is located on Wyoming Street and offers a variety of services and programs to families that live in and around the Near Westside, including employment support, youth activities, advocacy and resource development and education life skills. Their mission is to help people in the community realize their potential for becoming self-sufficient.

Smothers and Mahan made a great team with their combined passion and belief in the strength of the human spirit, as well as their understanding of how creating images of community and identity can foster self esteem, and build awareness and pride in the southwest side’s unique and richly diverse community. At the end of the workshop, large-scale digital photographs were installed across the street from the Little White House of Hope on West Street by local business Media Finishings. The exhibition will be up indefinitely, and the hope is that it will continue to grow over time.

The partnership between Mahan and WFRC is also deeply in line with the goals and efforts of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a nonprofit corporation housed at Syracuse University and partnering with the greater Near Westside community. The NWSI, owners of the Case Supply Warehouse, were thrilled to showcase the artwork as public art on the side of the building. “This project has been great on so many levels. It has educated youth, it has encouraged and fostered the arts, and it has beautified a widely visible building in Syracuse, bringing great attention to the Near Westside community, and the residents that live there” says Maarten Jacobs, director of the Near Westside Initiative.

Mahan is an artist, photographer, educator and community activist. He has worked with Light Work/Community Darkrooms on numerous occasions. His innovative curriculum was inspired by a national movement to promote literacy through the arts and is proving to be a great success in promoting communication skills and self esteem.

Light Work is a nonprofit, artist-run, photo and imaging center in Syracuse, N.Y. Our mission is to support emerging and under-recognized artists working in photo and photo-based media. We do this through exhibitions, publications and an internationally renowned Artist-in-Residence Program. We also seek to foster an appreciation and understanding of contemporary photography in Central New York through classes, workshops, lectures and community programming.

For more information contact, Mary Lee Hodgens, program manager, 315-443-5785.