Colleen Kenyon, "Colleen and Kathleen", 1984, Polaroid, 20x24”.

Colleen Kenyon, “Colleen and Kathleen”, 1984, Polaroid, 20×24”.

Colleen Kenyon

A person who is alive is constantly getting lost. The primary thing is to realize that this is one’s own adventure, and all the field guides and oracles and gypsies. The whole caravan of people holding up mirrors can only flash you at best a glimpse of your own story, brilliant star, perhaps, but it’s yours to see. Even with its imperfections, its razor mouths and attic nymphs dressed as their sister wandering from A to Z, knocking on doors, remembering the day when the light bulbs seemed too weak to illuminate such beauty. It is a spectral palace, but real. – from The Thief of Happiness by Bonnie Friedman, 2003

I am an identical twin and have a very limited family; my blood relatives consist of my mother, brother, and sister. Both my parents were only children who barely knew their fathers, and I have never known aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, or nephews. Only as a child did I know my grandmother. Most of my knowledge of family ties has come through snapshots in family albums. Picturing the family is a search for authenticity, a social interaction, and, finally, a diary of perceptions. Photographing the same people over a period of years speaks of an obsession.

Colleen Kenyon (Saugerties, NY) was the Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock for 23 years (1980-2003). For over two decades Colleen worked with her twin sister, Kathleen, overseeing CPW’s programs and working to advance the voice of emerging image-makers. She first joined CPW as an “artist-in-residence” in 1978. Kenyon received her Master of Fine Art degree from Indiana University in 1976 and her Bachelors of Science in Fine Art from Skidmore College in 1973. She has been an artist in residence at the Nantucket School of Art and Design, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Yaddo. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including, New York Foundation for the Arts, Creative Artist Public Service Program, and Polaroid 20 x 24 Studio. Colleen’s photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House (Rochester, NY), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Polaroid Collection (Cambridge, MA), and Indiana University Art Museum (Bloomington, IN). Her work has been shown at Donskoj Gallery (Kingston, NY), Fletcher Gallery (Woodstock, NY), Friends of Photography (San Francisco, CA), and Shadai Gallery (Tokyo, Japan) and the International Center for Photography, Sarah Morthland Gallery, Robin Rice Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art, (all in New York City.)