Last fall I was interviewed forthis little article by UND's alumni association. The articled talks about the generosity of Jackie McElroy-Edwards,a former printmaking faculty and department chair at UND. She has set up a scholarship specifically for printmaking. Those who are printmakers certainly know the costs of being a printmaker...cans of ink, paper, and all the other little things that add up so quickly...not to mention if one has to buy blankets, a press, rollers, etc that quickly add up to thousands of dollars. So a scholarship along the way is most helpful.
I am thankful to Jackie and her husbands generosity for making my journey through grad school a little less expensive.
Along with the new work I posted the other day, there are a few related pieces that I have been working on as well. These two pieces seem to connect the earlier Archival Turn kind of work by using the pine boards for framing and the actual photographs. However they make that step away from archive kinds of objects toward works of art like the large hanging pieces. The prints are small pieces that have been torn down from those sorts of ones in the books, layered and waxed to create a multi-layered piece. The string is meant to suggest the severing of the narrative or contextual ties these images have undergone.
Last week was a great week in spite of the all the different things going on. Thursday I drove out to Minot and Minot State University for my opening of Concrete Abstractions (a collection of 24 photos of regional architecture). During the opening I gave a short artist talk about the work and my interests in photography. The next morning, I gave a lecture on the art historical influences of the body of work that ranged from Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler to Ed Ruscha, and of course, the New Topographics. It was a great to visit and mingle with students, meet faculty and generally see the work hanging. Much of the work has never been shown before so it is nice to have it see the light of day.
Saturday was unexpected. A friend offered us free to tickets to see Sir Elton John. While I am not a huge fan, I wasn’t gonna pass up the opportunity to see a legend…especially for free. He put on a great show that we followed up with a trip to Rhombus with friends.
And now its back to getting ready for my show at the Empire Art Center here in Grand Forks. Another solo show. Sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself. Sure it looks great on the CV, it doesn’t feel the best amidst the craziness. The Empire show goes up next Monday and will be a series of 21 small prints from the Visual Analogues series. This collection of prints is largely all new (2011-2012) and has yet to be shown anywhere. We are still contemplating an opening or closing reception…details to follow.
This week also marks a busy month of MFA grad shows at the Hughes Fine Art Center. This week is Patrick Awotwe from Ghana. His metals and tapestries are remarkable. If you are in the Grand Forks area, please get over to UND to see the show.
Last week was spring break here at UND which coincides with midterm. Even though I am no longer a degree seeking student, I still measure time according to the university calendar. It has been a busy and productive first half of the semester with the production of a significant body of work.
Since graduating last May, I've been thinking about this series...perhaps even earlier as it actually utilizes aspects of other projects. I wanted to take the idea and execution of the prints that I did for the books in the MFA exhibition and put them into a format similar to the large translucent cyanotype landscapes that hung out from the wall without a frame. I reworked the hanging process to a more suitable and minimal method.
Overall, I am fairly happy with these pieces. Doing the work, the process of hanging it, and simply the look of it on the wall suggests new directions and possibilities that I hope to work on perhaps yet this semester.
Yesterday I posted a link to a great site dedicated to mourning photography. I dont think that this is a mourning photograph. But what strikes me about this wonderful little cased Ambrotype is the lace pinned in the verso cover. It is stained and stiff with age. It is pinned in with very sturdy pins. I wonder, and there is not way to know, if this little piece of lace is from the dress of the child in the photo. It would make sense given the practice of often pinning or sewing some form of memento into the the verso that is connected to the person in the image. Often a lock of hair was sewn into the cover. This practice is just fascinating to me. Why is the photograph insufficient as a reminder that there needs to be an addition of something more physical? Is it precisely that...physical?
I've had a few posts recently on some of the photographic oddities that I have collected over the past few years. There are a number of really nice sites out there that cater to these peculiar corners of photo history.
Mourningphotography.com is one such place. For those who are a bit squeamish, this might not be the site for you. But then again there is something quite stunning in the images and in the phenomena of mourning photos. As you look through the photos there you will begin to see certain motifs arise. In the photo offered here, a reduplication of a photo is made. The young girl holds a photo of the deceased person...the photo becomes a surrogate for the once living. It is a tangible reminder of that person. Here is a similar tin-type from my own collection.
Tomorrow I will post another from my own collection with an interesting variable.
For the most part, I have held my tongue on issues related to the University of North Dakota's nickname (at least on here). But recently I have become increasingly agitated by the continued arguments about the Fighting Sioux nickname. When we moved here 4 years ago from Sioux Falls, SD I knew that it was a controversial issue, but I had no idea how divisive it really was...and has been for some time. Recently, the state legislature overturned a November law that erased the nickname. So with the nickname now in effect once again, the NCAA has come with sanctions, UND risks not being fully accepted by their new conference, and has taken a further kick in the teeth by my home state's university. University of Iowa has uninvited UND to its April track meet. I applaud their decision. I hope to see more of the same from other schools siding with the NCAA as pressure mounts risking UND's precious hockey teams perhaps public opinion will shift as well. I do lament the cost this takes upon the student athlete. As a former athlete I know the amount of hours and commitment one puts into a sport and to have that taken away seems unfair. But until this issue of the nickname is settled, with the nickname being done away with, expect more sanctions and more invitations revoked. I for one am thankful for U of Iowa and their determined stance. It's not hard to do, but it makes me proud to be an Iowan.
Back in 2011, my fellow student at the time decided to put together a small suite of image from many of North Dakota's printmakers. For the past year, that collection has been traveling around the state at a variety of locations and venues through the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. The show actually has made its second stop in Minot this month with a visit to the Taube. Minot Daily News covered this visit as well as the one to Minot State back in November.
Traveling sites include:
James Memorial Art Center, Williston, ND;
Bismarck State College Gallery, Bismarck, ND;
University of Mary, Bismarck, ND,
Northwest Art Center, Minot, ND;
The Art Center, Jamestown, ND
Cando Art Center, Cando, ND;
Taube Museum of Art, Minot, ND;
Northern Lights Art Gallery, Mayville, ND;
Bismarck Art Gallery, Bismarck, ND