Sonya A. Lawyer returns to Syracuse

Photographs by Sonya A. Lawyer will be featured in the exhibition Three Sisters: The Art of Robin Holder, Sonya A. Lawyer and Tamara Natalie Madden at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) in Syracuse. The exhibition includes paintings, collages, photographs, and prints that “explore issues of ethnicity, identity, history and culture.” Sonya completed a residency at Light Work in 2007, during which she worked on some of the series that will be featured at the CFAC exhibition. The exhibition runs from March 28 to May 2, 2009 and will open with the Swing into Spring Annual Fundraising Gala.

Community Folk Art Center
805 E. Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 443-2230

Pitch Blackness at Jack Shainman Gallery

Pitch Blackness, featuring the work of Hank Willis Thomas, runs at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City through March 14. In addition to large-scale sculpture and hand-painted, stenciled works on wood, the show contains images such as Day of Discovery, seen here. The print of Day of Discovery was made for the exhibition by our digital lab manager, John Mannion.

Hank was a Light Work Artist-in-Residence in October 2005. His work explores the historical as well as current implications of race in America. You can read more about Hank Willis Thomas and purchase a signed copy of the book Pitch Blackness in our online store.

Jack Shainman Gallery
513 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 645-1701

Blake Fitch at Clamp Art

Blake Fitch photo of two adolescent girls
Former Light Work Artist in Residence (December 2006) and exhibiting artist (2008) Blake Fitch will open Expectations of Adolescence on March 19 at Clamp Art in New York City.

Expectations of Adolescence is a ten-year project documenting the lives of Fitch’s cousin and half-sister, as they’ve grown from adolescent girls into young women.

In Contact Sheet 146, Light Work Director Hannah Frieser said about Expectations of Adolescence:

While the photographs capture the intense friendship between the two girls, who are cousins, the images also suggest a high level of trust toward the photographer, who is Katie’s older sister. When the girls look up in the picture, they see someone very close to them, not the mechanics of the camera.

Clamp Art
521-531 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001
(646) 230-0020

Light Work Revisited: Scott Conarroe

2008 Artist-in-Residence Scott Conarroe has been working in the labs for the past week scanning and proofing images for two upcoming exhibitions in 2009. Dates have yet to be finalized (we’ll keep you posted on those), but we do know that By Rail will open at the Art Gallery of Windsor in Ontario this summer with a pared-down version of the show to open at Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto the same week.

By Rail explores the cultural and physical impression that the railroad creates in the landscape it inhabits. Above is the view Along Bow River, Southern Alberta, 2008, one of the images that Scott has been working on this week.

Xaviera Simmons in Derry with We the People

Xaviera Simmons, who was a Light Work Artist-in-Residence in March 2008, will soon board a jet plane to head off to Derry. There she will attend the opening at Context Gallery of We the People, which features her work as well as images by fellow emerging artists Carolyn Monastra and Jose Ruiz.

Curator Gregory McCartney brought these three artists together to investigate the nuances of what it means to be an American as well as an American artist. About the exhibition, the third in a series, he explains, “We tend to only hear a monolithic pro-or-anti position in regard to the contemporary USA. This project allows for a more considered approach.”

The show opens on March 7th and runs through the 25th at Context Gallery.

Lucas Foglia moves "Way Off the Grid"

Photographs by Lucas Foglia (AIR 2007) are featured in the article “Way Off the Grid” (Utne Reader, March/April 2009) with an article by Joseph Hart. Lucas has made waves with his photographs of communities that live away from the common comforts of urban life. These communities practice a sustainable lifestyle without the benefit of electricity. They grow their own food and build their own houses.  “I don’t want to make the lifestyle seem easy. But I do want to make it seem accessible.” Lucas is quoted in the article. “At exhibits, people respond with a real desire or nostalgia for wilderness.”

During his residency at Light Work, Lucas edited a number of the images that are featured in the article. Photographs from the series Re-Wilding are featured in the Light Work Annual (CS147) with an article by Ariel Shanberg. Additional images are available for viewing in the Light Work Collection.

PRC exhibition includes Light Work artists

The exhibition Syntax at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston includes Light Work artists Matthew Swarts (LW AIR 2004), Patti Ambrogi (LW AIR 1979, 1991), and Meggan Gould (LW AIR 2009). The exhibition, which is scheduled to open March 27, examines the meaning and aesthetics of work by artists who have made the new possibilities of digital information a central theme in their work. The exhibition is described at length in the newest issue of PRC’s journal “In the Loupe” (vol. 33, no. 2). An image by Matthew Swarts is featured on the cover.

Swarts and Ambrogi participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in previous years. Meggan Gould is scheduled to come to Syracuse in May 2009.

March 27 – May 10, 2009

Photographic Resource Center at Boston University
832 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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!