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Mine.Yours.Ours.

MINE.YOURS.OURS.

June 27-September 7, 2015

curated by Rachel Adams

featuring William Lamson, Melanie Schiff, Barry Stone, Richard T. Walker, and Letha Wilson with works by Aaron Siskind, Edward Weston, and Minor White

Press Release →

Exhibition Brochure →

“A picture of a field can be simply a picture of a field; its significance can only be materialized by human experience.”  – Tim Cresswell

Can we truly represent a place? Scores of artists, both professional and amateur, continuously attempt to answer this question. While many succeed, with our rapidly changing landscape and the overflow of natural imagery, one could argue that the significance of place has dissolved over the years. Yet landscape is closely linked to our notions of identity, history, cultural and personal memory and experience, and the artists in this exhibition capture place in new ways that reference what we once thought and still think the American landscape (truly) is.

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Artists such as Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston and Aaron Siskind helped define traditional notions of landscape photography in the mid-twentieth century, and the latter three have photographs in the exhibition, exposing the similarities and differences between artists working now and then with this theme. Continuing to prove a tantalizing subject, the magnetic pull of the environment ensnared each artists’ interests differently. They expand upon traditionalism found within the early works by Siskind, Weston, and White and create works that move fluidly between fictive and non-fictive spaces. Challenging and enhancing collective knowledge and existing articulations of landscape, each artist allows new processes, and methods of display to be in the forefront of their work without losing sight of the actual landscape.

William Lamson performs with and manipulates natural elements, while invoking the grandeur of the American landscape. His actions, on and off camera, create interventions that solicit a new sense of place while acting as catalysts for future examination. In Untitled (Mylar), Lamson follows a Mylar emergency blanket as it skims along the desert, pushed and pulled by the wind. The simple action of tracking the blanket across the desert challenges previous ideologies of how one interacts with the desert. Similarly, Melanie Schiff documents the current conditions of her personal landscape in and around her home in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles. Her haunting photographs act as both landscape and still life—experimenting with the notion of the man-made juxtaposed with natural environments. Clay Birds, documents an outdoor shooting range and the bright orange marks ingrained in the hill by the clay pigeons. Her instinctual approach captures this tension that she alternatively manipulates with double exposures, motion or cropping, alerting the viewer to unusual quotidian scenes.

Richard T. Walker’s practice contemplates the spaces of the American West through a merging of performance within the landscape. As he examines and calls into question our longstanding relationship with the sublime, Walker explores the bond between man and nature, often times placing himself as the lone figure in the scene. While music continually informs his practice, the score in Walker’s recent work the predicament of always (as it is) is more prominent, pushing the imagery past questioning the sublime and, in fact, defining human experience amidst the landscape.

Manipulation, addition, and subtraction of the landscape after the fact are common elements within Barry Stone and Letha Wilson’s respective practices. Stone reflects on our perception and how it continually shifts. By manipulating the digital code embedded in a photograph, he creates new and altered landscapes. Referring to this as ‘data-bending,’ the results ensure the viewer sees the world quite differently. Stone sometimes creates a glitch across the image or bright color shifts or slight variations that are almost imperceptible, allowing the works to depict liminal landscapes that walk the line between fiction and reality. Wilson’s manipulations are quite opposite, in both form and process. While photographing well-known landscapes such as the Grand Tetons as well as generic rocks, shrubs and trees, Wilson subjects the photograph to a physical process including pleating, cutting, bending, and dipping in cement. These sculptural works allude to the romanticism and mythology associated with the landscape while creating new constructions and interpretations of the landscape.

The artists in Mine.Yours.Ours. reinvigorate the concept of landscape as a site for appropriation and the formation of identity. While referencing Woody Guthrie’s iconic folk song This Land is Your Land in the title, the artists expand upon romantic themes often associated with landscape painting and photography and directly raise the question of photography’s ability to document a place and add to its collective history. In writing about Melanie Schiff’s work, Beth Capper observed, “Landscapes are man-made observations that operate to make nature a container for human memory.” From poetically performing in the landscape to digitally altering the code of a photographic file to marrying a print with concrete, the artists capture and illuminate these spaces, adding to the collective memory of the American landscape and, in turn, making them mine, yours, ours.

–     Rachel Adams, 2015

Rachel Adams is the Associate Curator for the University at Buffalo Art Galleries. She was most recently the fourth Curator-in-Residence at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR.

 

"Mine.Yours.Ours." curated by Rachel Adams, on view June 27 - September 7, 2015Willam Lamson

"Mine.Yours.Ours." Curated by Rachel Adams. On view June 27th - September 7th, 2015. Melanie Schiff

"Mine.Yours.Ours." curated by Rachel Adams, on view June 27 - September 7, 2015.Barry Stone

"Mine.Yours.Ours." curated by Rachel Adams, on view June 27 - September 7, 2015.Richard T. Walker

"Mine.Yours.Ours." curated by Rachel Adams, on view June 27 - September 7, 2015.Letha Wilson

 

 

PR: Mine.Yours.Ours.

PRESS RELEASE

MINE.YOURS.OURS.

on view: June 27 – September 7, 2015
opening reception: Saturday 6-8pm, June 27, 2015

The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to announce Mine.Yours.Ours. curated by Rachel Adams, Associate Curator for the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, and featuring work by artists William Lamson, Melanie Schiff, Barry Stone, Richard T. Walker, and Letha Wilson.

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Photography Now 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY NOW 2014

Juried by Julie Grahame

April 5 – June 15, 2014

Press release →

Reviewing well over 500 entries was quite a challenge, but the level of creativity, and the diversity of topics and of methods made it an enjoyable one.

Amongst the international pool of entries were explorations of personal politics; social commentary; conflicts with/love of nature; health, and healthcare issues; and a whole host of “seeking beauty within the mundane.” There was not much levity or joy. There was a lot of ice. Perhaps unsurprisingly, with the onslaught of ephemeral digital imagery, there were a lot of entries using alternative processes.

For this year’s installment of Photography Now, I sought out thoughtful series that demonstrated a different perspective to that which I regularly see. Each one of those selected is a little twisted.

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Thomas Jackson’s Emergent Behavior features hovering sculptures made from unnatural items such as non-biodegradable plastic cups and artificially processed cheeseballs, these amazing installations created for the camera evoke swarms and colonies. Teeming creatures are both fascinating and discomforting and these images echo those feelings. Jackson’s project serves as a harbinger to the growing efforts of bio-engineers who increasingly turn to nature for inspiration.

Marcus DeSieno’s Parasites combines micron technology with old photographic processes to scrutinize otherwise invisible creatures, examining the unseen world of bugs around and inside us and confronting the artist’s not-uncommon fear of these parasitic microscopic organisms in the process.

Romy Eijckmans made my heart sing with Living Light. Her camera-less images are made using the bioluminescence of fireflies in an “outdoor darkroom” resulting in twinkling, cosmic patterns. The resulting collaboration between Eijckmans and her fireflies invite us to engage the natural world in sparkling fashion.

William Miller also utilizes an object for something other than what it was originally intended. Recycling an abandoned project long since considered a failure, Miller folded, crumpled, sliced, and scanned old negatives that didn’t work as initially planned. Allowing the physical aspects of the film to manifest, Miller opened the doors for both us and himself to see photography anew.

I am wary of self-portraits-exploring-childhood-experiences, but the colorful, wistful, frank images by Jung S. Kim are not as trite as such projects can often be.Kim references various characters from Korean folk tales, projecting her experiences onto them. Though the viewer may have no familiarity with these tales per se, the images are compelling and the titles provide enticing clues.

In a self-reflective project that is less fanciful, Linda Alterwitz’ While I Am Still uses P.E.T. scans, M.R.I.’s, radiographs, and sonograms, re-captured, and layered with other imagery. Using her personal experiences of medical testing she creates these intense but fragile images that echo how one must feel undergoing such procedures, mind drifting as the body is explored.

Farideh Sakhaeifar’s series Workers Are Taking Photographs seems straightforward at first but initial viewing belies a greater dynamic. The making of these images entails the artist having to leverage her position as an Iranian woman of higher social class than the subjects of her photographs – laborers – in order to get them to comply in making a self-portrait. As environmental portraits, they are powerful on their own, yet with the cultural elements considered, they give us an insight into a side of Iranian culture we don’t see too often.

Using photography as a democratic tool in a different setting and falling under the category of “things we see everyday” I chose Natan Dvir’s Coming Soon for his humorous photographs that highlight the bizarre intrusion of advertising into the urban landscape, to which we have become so inured. These temporary hoardings are too big to really even take in. Their massive messages are ultimately subliminal. Dvir’s photographs reveal an understanding of how to make images on the street, a skill I value greatly and which not all can attain.

Simplistic or convoluted, there are successful combinations of beauty, the surreal, and multiple messages in the chosen projects and each command a closer look.

– Julie Grahame, 2014

Julie Grahame is the publisher of aCurator.com, a full-screen photography magazine, and the associated aCurator blog, named one of the ten best photo sites by the British Journal of Photography and one of Life.com’s top 20. She is also the editor for Photography&Architecture.com, and represents the Estate of Yousuf Karsh. Born in London, England, Grahame emigrated in 1992 to manage the New York office of a photo syndication agency representing 400+ photographers and collections. She is a contributing writer for Photo District News’ magazine Emerging Photographer

 

 

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Linda Alterwitz

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Marcus DeSieno

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Natan Dvir

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Romy Eijckmans

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Thomas Jackson

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Jung S. Kim

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014William Miller

"Photography Now 2014" juried by Julie Grahame, April 5 - June 15, 2014Farideh Sakhaeifar

 

 

Nick Albertson

Nick Albertson

ONE-HUNDRED COUNT

on view: April 5 – June 15, 2014

reception:  Saturday 5-7pm, April 5, 2014

The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to announce its spring 2014 exhibition One-Hundred Count featuring works by Nick Albertson and on view from April 5 – June 15, 2014.

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Selections from the Permanent Print Collection

SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT PRINT COLLECTION

 

In harmony with the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s (CPW) mission, to support artists working in photography and related media and engage audiences through opportunities in which creation, discovery, and learning are made possible, CPW maintains and builds a permanent print collection.

The focus of the collection is contemporary voices in photography and related media that CPW has supported, collaborated, and worked with. In recent years the collection has grown to include historic works spanning the late 1800s to modern times so as to increase access and understanding by audiences in our region.

Through the generous gifts of artists and individual donors the collection has grown to include work by: Shelby Lee Adams, Ruth Bernhard, Albert Chong, Fred Cray, Jed Devine, James Fee, Larry Fink, Charles Gatewood, Graciela Iturbide, Kenro Izu, Christopher James, Antonin Kratochvil, Nina Kuo, Elliott Landy, Mary Ellen Mark, Sheila Metzner, Andrea Modica, Bill Owens, Gilles Peress, Sylvia Plachy, Lilo Raymond, Eugene Richards, Stephen Shore, Lorna Simpson, Carlos Somonte, William Wegman, among others. In addition, CPW maintains a unique holding of prints by Woodstock photographers such as Manual Komroff, and the

Gaede/Stiebel Archive of images and audiotapes of the Woodstock Maverick Festivals. CPW’s collection is housed in, archived, and cared for by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, where it has been held on extended loan since 1996. Today, CPW’s collection features over 1,750 contemporary photographs. This exhibition provides a glimpse into how CPW’s collection has grown since it was established in 1980. The main avenues through which it has grown being our Artist-in-Residence program, Photography Now exhibition acquisition prize, individual donations and works donated from previous exhibitions.

 

PR: Hillerbrand + Magsamen

PRESS RELEASE:

Hillerbrand + Magsamen

FAMILY PORTRAIT

on view: October 30 – December 29, 2013

reception: November 16, 2013 from 4-6pm
CPW is proud to present Family Portrait an exhibition featuring the works of the husband and wife team of Stephen Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen.

Steeped in Fluxus practice, which calls for the blurring of boundaries between the intersection of art, life, and ritual, Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s work incorporates humor, performance, photography, video, and everyday objects. They expand their personal life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life, and American consumer excess.

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PR: Lawrence Getubig

PRESS RELEASE:

Lawrence Getubig

on view: October 30 – December 29, 2013

reception: Saturday November 16, 2013, from 4-6pm

The Center for Photography at Woodstock is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Lawrence Getubig’s project I Want to be Action Figure in our galleries from October 30 – December  29, 2013.

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Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

MARCELLUS SHALE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

Curated by Laura Domencic

June 29  – August 18, 2013

Press release →

The six photographers of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project have taken on the responsibility of telling, in the best traditions of social and environmental documentary, the complex story of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

For the best part of a year, they have traveled across the Commonwealth, meeting people and listening to and recording their stories. They have reached out to farmers, homeowners, and tenants; medical practitioners, engineers, and legal professionals; casual protesters and full-blown activists; to people who feel they have benefited from gas drilling, and to those who feel they have been victimized; to people whose lives have been forever changed, for better and for worse. Each member of the team has brought a different aesthetic, and has chosen a different angle from which to view the subject. They have identified locations that range from intensively drilled to the margins of the gas fields. Together, they offer a compelling narrative that represents, we believe, an honest appraisal of how the arrival of Marcellus Shale drilling has affected communities around the Commonwealth. Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania has proven itself a deeply divisive phenomenon. Politically and socially, lines have been drawn, between friends and neighbors—sometimes right down the middle of the kitchen table. You are, it seems, either for or against it. But, in clearing away some of the  misinformation from both sides of the debate, the project aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding Marcellus Gas drilling, and at the same time, gives notice to those who claim that this is a process that brings with it no peril.

To learn more about the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project and view more photos by the artists involved, visit the-msdp.us.

This project would not have been possible were it not for the significant financial and moral support of the following: The Sprout Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Josh Whetzel, Nancy Bernstein, and Cathy Raphael.

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Noah Addis

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Nina Berman

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Brian Cohen

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Scott Goldsmith

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Lynn Johnson

"Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" curated by Laura Domencic, June 29 - August 18, 2013Martha Rial


Surface Tension

curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt

May 5 – July 1, 2012

Press Release →
As various techniques and processes have been freed within the medium of photography from the responsibility of “depicting images” and “telling stories”, not unlike the revolution that painting experienced over a century ago, photographers are increasingly exploring the ontology of various image-making processes and mining a deeper understanding of our relationship to the medium and its nature as an object.

Though the medium of photography has long been host to pluralities as all art forms do, one can increasingly observe a recent incarnation of the form that self-reflexively engages the process and production of image-making. In the spirit of the quality of surface tension found within the natural world, this exhibition features photo-based works by 11 artists who establish new languages within the medium wherein our notions of the “photographic” are both challenged and expanded.

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Our point of contact with photography today includes news media channels, photo albums, Facebook, Flickr, Google, and advertising. We experience those images on screens of all sizes, both backlit and projected, plasma, and LED, matte, and glossy. The emotional responses that pictorial photographs trigger can include wonder, horror, sadness, joy, and so many more. Released of the medium’s afore mentioned historic obligations the works assembled in Surface Tension invite viewers to consider the tactile qualities of a photograph and the tension of the physical and/or psychological response they elicit. What happens when photography’s responsibility to tell a story or capture a moment at an event is given up and one instead considers a photograph for its formal and aesthetic values? Often, we may be frustrated by the featured works’ reluctance to share information. Why do they insist on remaining elusive and avoid the appearance of a narrative even when embarking on one, preferring instead that we embrace their own coded language?


Objecthood
We expect from photographs the communication of a particular event, person, or moment in time and yet none of the images on view here appear to do that. Marisa Baumgartner, Klea McKenna, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Matthew Brandt, Joseph Heidecker, Aspen Mays, Alison Rossiter, and Christopher Colville, evince an interest in the photograph as an object. In these artists’ hands, the photographic print becomes conflated with its subject and can be seen as a fetishized object made dear by the original circumstances of its creation.

These artists move away from the onus of narrative and revert to the handmade, unique, spontaneous image which photography initially seemed so poised against. Through the reorganization of prints, the use of Photoshop, sunlight, lakewater, bodily fluids, a hole puncher, photographic developer, gunpowder, beads, string, and pins, they confront the notion of the supposed “lasting image”, instead leaving records of their own removal or manipulation in surprising and unpredictable ways.

Baumgartner’s vinyl wall piece, along with McKenna’s folded airplanes and Sepuya’s transplanted studio space, each in their own way, lets the photographic quality of the print be subsumed within the installation itself and enhanced by its site-specific nature, forcing the viewer to engage in unexpected ways with the imagery on view.

McKenna folded paper airplanes from chromogenic paper and exposed them to the sun at former WWII anti-aircraft lookout posts over the period of one day, from dawn until dusk. As camera-less photographs exposed directly by the sunlight, the specific conditions of these images can never be replicated, contesting our expectations of a machine-generated replica from a cameras digital sensor of a film negative. 

By using the studio as the site of creation for his current work, Sepuya’s process involves constant printing, editing, re-appropriation and recreation. He will move a referent from one piece and incorporates it into another, and as a result this shifting subject-object dynamic points to his interest in using photography as a tool to collect photographs and to explore the relationship to and among art objects. 

So too does Brandt fold the physicality of his subjects in with the final product – whether by utilizing the salt from a person’s bodily fluids to instigate a chemical reaction for the photograph to emerge or by allowing the lake water depicted in his images to physically degrade the print.

Akin to the seemingly perverse action of intentionally destroying a photograph are Heidecker’s piercings of found portraits with needle and thread. Sourcing found images and commonly discarded materials, he creates masks for these strangers, the faces and identities of whom will remain unknown.

For Mays who nearly obliterates the entire photograph with a hole puncher, the photographic print represents a complex terrain of knowledge and questions. In her approach making sense of the image supersedes knowing what is in the image. Subsequently her gestures connect the invisible space between information and understanding.


Creation Myth

At its birth, photography was an explosive unstable medium. Like a star going super nova, the photograph in its earliest days was momentarily here and then it was gone. With William Henry Fox Talbot’s efforts, the process of “fixing” a photograph was made possible and its role as a document of record, a record of fact, was confirmed. Today some 170 years later, through the employment of chance, instability, and visual tension, we find in the works of Christopher Colville, Alison Rossiter, Matthew Brandt, and Klea McKenna, a reinvigoration of photography’s earliest and now obsolete processes and its defining element – the light sensitive emulsive surface.

Colville’s phosphoric illuminations on gelatin silver paper and Rossiter’s elegiac pools and pours on expired gelatin silver papers often decades old, bringing forth opposing sensibilities of the light sensitive plane; an opposing pairing of slippery (Rossiter) and abrasive textures (Colville). As with Action Painting so exemplified by the likes of Jackson Pollock and Helen Frankenthaler, each work resides as a minute experiment and an unveiled universe all at once.

The subjectification of the subject of their photographs is mined by both Brandt and McKenna who obliterate any trace of their respective pictorial setting while simultaneously embedding it into the photographic surface. For Brandt it is a biological intersection while McKenna’s exploration uses the contextualization of place in her photographic process.

In looking inward at the originating gestures of their process, they blend scientific method with artistic practice and evoke an enthusiasm that has long been dormant.


There Is Nothing Here To Look At: Flatness, Illusionary Depth, and Deceptive Descriptions

In encountering the works of Brea Souders, Megan Flaherty, Mark Lyon, and Marisa Baumgartner one experiences a psychological and visual tension rather than a tactile or physical reaction directly evoked by other artists in the exhibition. As collapsed documents that reveal neither depth nor context, they refuse to allow themselves to dwell within the realm of pictorial narrative.

Flaherty trains her eye and camera on the flatness of work surfaces used by art students. The resulting images simultaneously highlight the success and the failure of the documentary photograph. Through the process of re-photographing photographs, Lyon creates seemingly straight forward images of the photographic wallpaper used in clinical environments which emphasize the two-dimensional nature of their subjects and echo the seductive illusion that the wallpaper is meant to simulate.

Using fabric, mirrors, magazine cutouts, and fragmented representations of her own body, Souders composes surreal and dreamlike scenes which oscillate between flatness and illusionary depth. In her efforts to establish a legitimate connection with her personal ancestry, she both utilizes and contradicts the photographs traditional role in preserving memory and connecting lineage. The result is a seductive, yet unyielding surface.

Similarly unyielding in its structure, Baumgartner’s vinyl wall piece interrupts a view onto a courtyard (raising the question of what is the photographer’s vantage point – are we seeing from the inside or the outside?) with wide bands of deleted content, forcing our mind to fill in the blanks. As wall and image fuse, the resulting liminal space serves as a mirror, a window, and a void.

Conclusion(s)
By subverting conventional (cultural) expectations of the photographic medium via gestures of abstraction, deconstruction, and manipulation by the artists’ hand, the print as a three dimensional object is as much at play as the artists’ methodology in embracing photography’s transmutable nature. Through the artists’ explorations featured in Surface Tension, we are witness to the establishment of an increasingly flexible visual language that would not have been possible prior to the advent of Digital Photography. In that their work has allowed for a renewed investigation of aesthetic diction throughout the medium, can this work be seen as an invitation to embrace a wider understanding of visual literacy? If the artists in Surface Tension are any indication of the direction that the medium is heading in, can we imagine what new images will be taken, but also conceptualized, erased, constructed, altered, soaked, combusted, lit, pierced, or layered? And if so, what does that say about what our expectations of a photograph could and should become?

– Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 2012

Ariel Shanberg has served as the Executive Director of CPW since 2003. Akemi Hiatt worked as the Center’s Program Associate from 2009 to 2013.

 

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Marisa Baumgartner

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Matthew Brandt

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Christopher Colville

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Megan Flaherty

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Joseph Heidecker

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Mark Lyon

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Aspen Mays

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Klea McKenna

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Alison Rossiter

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Paul Mpagi Sepuya

"Surface Tension", curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt, May 5 - July 1, 2012Brea Souders