Best of Show: Grandma by Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldo
Honorable Mentions: Connor Martin, Devi Penny, and Kendra Ward
Light Work is pleased to announce the 2017 Transmedia Photography Annual exhibition, featuring photographs by seniors from the Art Photography program in the Department of Transmedia within College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.
The exhibition will be on view in the Light Work Hallway Gallery from January 17 through March 3, 2017. A reception on occasion of the 2017 Transmedia Photography Annual and Kristine Potter: The Gray Line—on view in Light Work’s Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery—will take place on Wednesday, January 27 from 5-7pm. Refreshments will be served; the event is free and open to the public.
Exhibiting students include: Michael Ellsenburg, Nicolle Glover, Lauren Harper, Lindsay Jones, Melanie Rose Judson, Connor Martin, Danny Peña, Devi Penny, Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldo, Kyra Lucas Semien, Jessica Sheldon, Victoria Valentine, and Leah Vallario.
Heather Snider, Executive Director of San Francisco Camerawork, served as juror to select images for “Best of Show” and “Honorable Mention.” “Best of Show” went to Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldo, and “Honorable Mentions” went to Devi Penny, Kendra Ward, and Connor Martin. According to Snider:
It was my pleasure to jury this varied selection of works and a have a window into a new era of creative young photographers. But it was a body of work about an older generation that really stood out for me: Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldo’s series titled Grandma. All three of these images are arresting for their beauty, intimacy, and mystery. Their decidedly subdued black and white palette is reminiscent of Roy DeCarava’s luscious darkness, and perhaps carries the same formally imbedded reference to the shadowy places that marginalized peoples occupy in the mainstream visual dialogue of our culture. While all three of Rinaldo’s photographs use controlled light to great effect, the exquisite details in the photograph of “Grandma” smoking her cigarette by the window make that image exceptionally evocative, with many subtle details that prolong the viewer’s engagement.
Evocative is also the word I would use to describe Devi Penny’s photographs. Penny makes poetic use of shadow and obfuscation. Her subjects seem to be hiding from the light — and what it might reveal — while at the same time playing with it, acknowledging their relationship to the light and controlling their own image within it. Penny uses elements in the environment to place his subjects in simplified frames of line and form, drawing the viewer back to the central mystery and ultimately to confront the eyes of her mysterious subjects.
Kendra Ward’s photographs, especially the photograph Untitled 3, employ a cinematic tradition in American visual art that can be traced though the works of such classic 20th century artists as Edward Hopper and Alfred Hitchcock. I love the use of careful framing and planes of subtle color to delineate boundaries, both physical and psychological, with controlled lines of the architecture literally directing the eye to the barriers between two figures, while the gentle brush of yellow coming from the tree above implicates the presence of nature in this drama as well.
Finally, Connor Martin’s surprising Self-Portrait exemplifies a spirit of experimentation that I love. Photography lends itself to awkward combinations of both flatness and pictorial depth, and how these two ideas of picture making can work together and against each other at the same time. Martin’s Self-Portrait reads as both a nod to the 20th century modernists who knew the picture space had reached its logical demise, while also incorporating subtle stylistic, fingerprints of digital photography, resulting in a dynamic rendering of the human form.
Light Work’s close partnership with the Department of Transmedia provides Art Photography students with full access to our production facilities, lectures, and workshops. Many students have worked with Light Work throughout their undergraduate careers, and have become an integral source of the energy, passion, and excitement that defines our organization. The Light Work staff and community congratulate all of the seniors on their accomplishments, and wish them the best in their bright futures within the field of Photography.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Photography emphasizes creativity, intellectual development, and the acquisition of skills to build professional, technical, and visual abilities within the broad and varied field of Photography. Art Photography students exhibit their work nationally; and establish careers working with museums, magazines, fashion, advertising, photo studios, art galleries, educational institutions, and other visual industries.
Heather Snider is the Executive Director of San Francisco Camerawork, a non-profit arts organization and publication dedicated to the photographic arts. She has over twenty years of experience in the fine art photography field, having worked at several commercial photography galleries in San Francisco (Vision Gallery, Scott Nichols Gallery) and as an independent curator and arts writer for international photography publications.