Andrew Wertz, Centennial Belle, Shenandoah, PA, 2016
These photographs taken in the Anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania are part of a long-term body of work I’ve been making for the past 12 years. Centered around Schuylkill County, and most prominently the city of Shenandoah, it may seem at first to be a work of straight documentary photography. While it is that too, it is also a deeply charged and emotional endeavor that ties me back to my parents and grandparents, the gaping maw of progress and of life’s efforts made in the pursuit of that purpose.
It is an attempt to make sense of something that is forever just out of reach, to hold onto something which at its center, simply cannot hold. That thing is us. These are the traces, the echoes of a voice. Not calling out, not pleading, but reverberating like ripples on still water. Standing monuments of what has been and will never be again. Full of life somehow, here in the most unexpected of places.
Anna Beeke, Interior #1, Amsterdam, NY, 2009
Amsterdam, a small city in upstate New York, was once a thriving center of textile and carpet production, but like much of the surrounding region has been in a steady state of economic and physical decline for several decades. However, despite the abundance of vacant and decaying homes and businesses, the city is still full of life. This project seeks to explore the contrast between Amsterdam’s living and dead spaces, how its residents relate to the physical space of the city, and how their lives are informed by the landscape in which they carry out their daily rituals.
costa sakellariou, Rushing Girl, Harford, PA, 2017
These images are part of a larger series of photographs made during numerous wanderings across the post-Industrial landscapes of central New York state between 2015-2019. They are fashioned with real persons and places - but are they also the shadows in the cave? They are a document, but not reality. Rather, new relationships are crafted at a 1/000 second, and these intersections of geometry and light now reflect the world as perceived in the mind of the photographer.
Dave Jordano, Backyard Basketball, Goldengate St.,Detroit, Michigan, 2013
This exhibit includes some of my earliest work as a photographer while a student majoring in photography at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in the 1970’s. What I find compelling about this work is how closely it relates to the work I’m doing today, thirty-eight years later. The color photographs, made between 2010 and 2015 are my reaction to all the negative press that Detroit has had to endure over the past several years. However, not withstanding the recent press about Detroit’s efforts to rebound from its recent bankruptcy, my focus continued to rest on the current conditions that affect many of those who have fallen through the cracks, forgotten and marginalized poor people whose fate might only be worsened in the wake of the cities present targeted economic revival.
Edmund Eckstein, Cassville, Missouri, 1977
I take pictures to help prevent truth decay. Working in the humble photographic tradition of explaining man to man, the desire to understand more about human behavior and condition. Photography seems to be escaping any dependence on what is in front of the lens, but it comes at the price of its special claim on a viewers attention as evidence rooted in reality. My work attempts to capture the non fiction photographic image distilled from visual encounters with humanity and place.
Jeffrey Stockbridge, Mary, North Philadelphia, 2009
Kensington Blues is a portrait photography project of the Philadelphia residents who live along Kensington Avenue in North Philly. During the nineteenth century, Kensington was a strong working class neighborhood, a national leader of the textile industry and home to a diverse population of immigrants. Industrial restructuring of the mid 20th century lead to a sharp economic decline resulting in high unemployment and a significant population loss. Today, Kensington Avenue is infamous for poverty, drug abuse, prostitution. Women– some as young as twenty, others who’ve been on and off the Ave for twenty years– populate the neighborhood in great numbers. Drugs such as Heroin, Crack and Xanax are sold out in the open. Addicts sell clean needles (known as works) for a dollar a piece– ten needles equals a bag of dope. With the roaring El train overhead, Kensington Avenue is in a state of perpetual hustle. Working with a 4×5 camera, I deliberately chose a slow photographic process in order to slow down the rapid speed of life along the Ave. I am interested in how people survive the neighborhood and themselves. I ask residents to share their stories in the form of audio recordings or journal entries.
Lauren Davies, Cascade, Youngstown, 2018,Deconstructed woven photograph, bleached and dyed
My most recent body of photo-based work titled Industry Unraveled draws attention to both current practices of online commerce and the history of manufacturing in the Rust Belt. The work intertwines images that represent regional history, architecture and location with processes derived from the affordable immediacy of Walmart and web-based commerce.
The photographs that I’ve taken in Northeast Ohio and other Rust Belt locations, are uploaded to Walmart’s website and processed into digitally woven versions of my images. I selectively pull threads from the woven image combined with over-dying, bleaching and manual collage using a sewing machine. The combination of these hand-worked processes creates a visual impression that the image is dematerializing, fading away, and unraveling into a pile of disconnected threads cascading towards the floor.
Lauren Davies, Cascade, Youngstown, 2018,Deconstructed woven photograph, bleached and dyed
Lauren Orchowski documents and re-envisions our relationship to astrophysical environments by creating analog film based photographs with large and ultra large format view cameras as the foundation for her work. In her series “The Observable Universe, Near and Far,” she explores how our existence is paralleled by the infinitely far-reaching horizontal and vertical axes of Earth, the atmosphere, and cosmos while aware of the rapidly evolving scientific landscape that is under constant threat by our planet’s current political and environmental state. By investigating the individual and collective relationships we have with astrophysical landscapes and the macro and micro spaces that surround them, she produces images that respond to the environmental concern of light pollution and photographic terrain encompassing art and science.
Lisa Elmaleh, The Poor Taters, Clifftop, West Virginia, 2014
Since 2010, I have been creating tintypes of musicians who play traditional American old time music in and around the Appalachian Mountains. A whole day or more is usually spent with each musician - I visit the musician at their home place. I have traveled through Appalachia, through the states of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. My process of traveling and finding musicians to photograph is organic and collaborative, I find musicians through gatherings, festivals, and dances, or by suggestions of other musicians. Just as the process of the tintype, developed in the mid-1850’s, connects this work to history, the history of traditional music becomes visually evident in the historic nature of the process. Each 8x10 tintype plate is hand coated, exposed in an antiquated large format camera, and developed on-site in a small darkroom in the back of my pickup truck.
lori nix & kathleen gerber, Bar, 2009
LORI NIX & KATHLEEN GERBER
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber have collaborated on dioramas and miniatures for over sixteen years; their work has primarily been the subject matter for their fine art photography. Their images of faux landscapes and gritty urban interiors have gained wide acclaim in both the U.S. and Europe, and Nix is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in photography. Their photographic work was showcased in the April 2017 issue of National Geographic Magazine.
They have created miniature sets and props for advertising for Tic Tac, MailChimp, Oreo, Ben & Jerry’s and Greenpeace, among others. They have also provided models for a video short for BBC America’s Copper. Their snowy dioramas set the stage for the digital film installation, Little Winter. Nix + Gerber also created the sets, props, and underwater puppets for the animated short, The Sea is Blue.
Luke Wynne, WTC Path Station #2, NYC, 2018
Raymond Carver wrote, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”; Haruki Murakami wrote, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”; and in the few paragraphs below, I talk about what I talk about when I talk about photography.In her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard wrote that, “…beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”
The Dillard quote comes from her account of seeing a mockingbird hurtling toward earth when, at the final second, it opened its wings and settled lightly to the ground. Just as there is an instant when the mockingbird rights itself and gently lands, there is also an instant when a photograph comes together. The goal is to see and be in the moment. It is the photographer’s job to document that moment when “beauty and grace are performed.” It’s the least we can do.
Franklin Boro and Main Line, East Conemaugh, Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Railroad was one of the most storied institutions in American history, operating the largest railroad in the US for over a century. While the physical face of the PRR network has changed considerably since its 1968 demise, the company left behind an engineering legacy and transportation network that remains critical to the national rail network today. Though gone nearly half a century, its remains provide visual clues of how the ‘Standard Railroad of the World’ operated, and its contributions to the American way of life. The Main Line project is a contemporary exploration of the landscape the PRR shaped: It examines both the inhabited landscape developed along the railroad while celebrating the engineering marvel of the Road itself, first undertaken over 150 years ago. The story of how the PRR shaped the development of the United States is told by illustrating its transitioning landscape, uncovering its hidden layers of growth, by following the decline and rebirth of small towns, industrial areas and city terminals whose fortunes once depended solely on those of this singular, once-mighty transportation system.