Passionate Attitudes


curated by Elizabeth Line

November 11 – December 23, 2006

At the time I began conceiving ideas for Passionate Attitudes, I was reading The Invention of Hysteria, by Georges Didi-Huberman. I was horrified, moved, and fascinated by the photographs of “hysterical” women in French asylums in the 19th century. Who were these women?  What did they think and feel?

While it is obvious from Didi-Huberman’s arguments they were coerced and manipulated by the men behind the cameras, did this bizarre relationship also serve as an outlet for creativity? Passionate Attitudes evolved as a counterargument and instead of the hideous acts that provoked the “attitudes passionelles” of 19th century France, the contemporary women artists in this show use a self directed gaze and self generated content to create their own performance and expressions in the presence of the camera and audience. As a whole, Passionate Attitudes investigates the creative lives of emerging and mid-career women artists who are exploring their personal environments, histories, and imaginations with photographs, video, and writing, and reveals a new conversation about the role of the creative woman working in contemporary society.

Continue Reading...

Artists Jen Davis, Kanako Sasaki, and Susanne Neunhoeffer work with personal documentary in domestic settings and the physical landscape, examining the role of the self within culture and society. Jen Davis’ rich, painterly color photographs explore issues of personal body image through self-portraits taken in familiar settings in and around her home. By contrast, Kanako Sasaki’s self-portraits portray the feelings of a displaced “wanderer”, attempting to find balance in the “floating” world. Susanne Neunhoeffer is interested in a representation of the self over time. Her installation of 135 8×10” gelatin silver prints represents subtle changes in her image over a period of five years. In seeking a deeper self-knowledge, these artists simultaneously speak to the situations of many women in our culture.

Other work such as that by artist Jane Hammond and Rebecca Horne,create environments and histories commingled with memory, personal experience, and fictional characters. Jane Hammond and Rebecca Horne are both interested in the manipulation of facts, but in surprisingly different ways. Each of Jane Hammond’s gelatin silver prints are created from carefully created composite negative. This negative contains found vernacular photographs and photographs from Hammond’s own family albums. Rebecca Horne documents constructed domestic settings with altered household objects. Working in a documentary style, similar to Hammond and Horne, Rachel Mackow chooses to remain behind the camera, intent on leaving as little trace as possible in her landscape-based work.

Xaviera Simmons, Graciela Fuentes, and Cornelia Hediger investigate the psychology of gender through the use of portraiture that ranges from humorous and theatrical, to the mysterious. Xaviera Simmons’ work is influenced by performance, film, and popular culture; while Cornelia Hediger’s work, also performance-based, more closely resembles a carefully staged play, with Hediger playing multiple characters within one image. Graciela Fuentes captures a young girl performing for her camera at an Egyptian wedding, illustrating the complexities of performance, documentation, and self. Her work brings together concerns explored by all of the artists in Passionate Attitudes.

In addition to the photographs and video, writing by poets Laura EJ Moran and Nöel Jones included in the gallery contribute an integral component to the exhibition. Their work enhances the themes presented in the visual artwork and speaks to the vulnerability and strength of the human spirit.

The artists in Passionate Attitudes open a fresh dialogue about the complex issues facing creative women today and confront individual and shared curiosity, sensitivity, desire, and fear. I hope the dialogue between these works investigate and challenge convention, and create accessible and meaningful conversation between the artists and the public. I am inspired by the strength, courage, and vulnerability of the artists whose work is included in this exhibition. Each one of them has touched my life.

– Elizabeth Line, 2006

Elizabeth Line is an independent curator, artist, and writer based in the New York metropolitan area. Her project, The Very Rich Hours, a brief, performative exhibition organized in an alternative space in lower Manhattan, was reviewed in issue #65 of Contemporary magazine in 2004. She works full time with the physically disabled at the Matheny Arts Access Program in Peapack, New Jersey.


[one_third first]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Jen Davis[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Graciela Fuentes[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Jane Hammond[/one_third] [one_third first]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Cornelia Hediger[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Rebecca Horne[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Rachel Mackow[/one_third] [one_third first]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Susanne Neunhoffer[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Kanako Sasaki[/one_third] [one_third]"Passionate Attitudes", curated by Elizabeth Line, November 11 - December 23, 2006Xaviera Simmons[/one_third]

Germán Herrera

Germán Herrera


September 2 – October 29, 2006

Most of these images were felt, not thought.

The reason for their creation is because they can be created.

Creative Principle at work, playing.

I point in a certain direction for the viewer to complete the equation;

she/he may recognize some aspect of the self in the piece,

if so, two parts of the whole have communicated.

They are glimpses into The Vastness where everything comes from.

Germán Herrera
, born in Mexico City and currently based in San Rafael, CA, has exhibited his work at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA; Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR; Centro de la Imagen in México City, México; Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, CA; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; in addition to venues in Korea, Germany, and Columbia. Herrera studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, City College of San Francisco, and has participated in Community Healing and Leadership Training in Berkeley, CA. His work is included in collections at Centro Cultural Santo Domingo, Green Library at Stanford University, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Germán is the recipient of a 2006 artist residency at the de Young Museum and two Marin Arts Council Photography grants.

Sage Sohier

Sage Sohier


September 2 – October 29, 2006

Perfectible Worlds is a group of 65 color photographs of people with obsessions. Begun soon after 9/11, the series portrays people transported into worlds and activities over which they have near-total control.

The photographs – made from medium-format negatives – are all environmental portraits, that range from people who make extravagant miniature worlds, to those who have extraordinary collections, to still others who immerse themselves in unusual pursuits. Each photograph is the discovery of a particular world an individual has found or created for himself – a private world that few are privileged to see.

The series began with a picture I took of a friend working on his model railroad. Expanding over the twenty years he has owned his house, his railroad has taken over the entire basement. When he goes down to work on it, he leaves behind both his professional and family life. He need satisfy only himself, and exercises total control over his miniature world. This kind of absorption – what we do in an imperfect world to console ourselves – struck me as a subject worthy of exploration.

We’re all fascinated with other people’s passions – what they do in their spare time to satisfy an inner need. These creations, collections, or activities are quirky, often beautiful, and almost always ends-in-themselves. My ambition has been to reveal the particularity and intensity of their acts and creations, and also to capture their engagement in the midst. Their world — for that fleeting instant, and through their generosity — becomes mine, and now, perhaps, yours.

Sage Sohier has been photographing people in their environments since she graduated from Harvard University in 1976. She has been awarded many grants for her work, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowship, and two Massachusetts Artist Foundation Photography Fellowships. She has had one-person shows at the Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston, the Addison Gallery of American Art in Cambridge, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and Gallery Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City. Important group shows include The Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, How Human: Life in the Post-Genome Era at the International Center of Photography in NYC, American Stories, a three person show at the Art Institute of Chicago, and, most recently, Self-Evidence: Identity in Contemporary Art at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in NY and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others, and has been published in New York Times Magazine, LIFE, Newsweek, O, and Discover. She teaches photography in Boston at Massachusetts College of Art and for 12 years at Harvard University. Her work is represented by Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston.

Relationships: A Ten Year Bond

Relationships: A Ten Year Bond

curated by SUNY New Paltz Students
September 2 – October 29, 2006

In 1995 a partnership was created between the Center For Photography at Woodstock (CPW) and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (SDMA), formally known as the College Art Gallery, resulting in the long-term loan of CPW’s permanent print collection to SDMA.

In 1996 CPW’s collection was officially transferred and continues to be cared for, exhibited, and researched, in the Museum’s state-of-the-art storage facility. To celebrate this 10 year milestone, the Center For Photography at Woodstock, in collaboration with the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, presents Relationships: a Ten Year Bond, selections from CPW’s permanent print collection, organized by SUNY New Paltz museum studies students.

This exhibit evolved from an annual class project. Each semester, SDMA Director, Neil C. Trager, assigns his museum studies students the task of designing a virtual exhibition from the collections at SDMA. This year, Trager’s students created exhibitions from CPW’s permanent collection of over 1,500 photographs and CPW agreed to showcase the best student exhibition project as CPW’s fall exhibition! Three teams of students produced exhibitions that were juried by Trager along with CPW’s Ariel Shanberg and Kate Menconeri. While all three proposals were very impressive, SDMA and CPW selected an exhibition that focuses on the theme of relationships, inspired by CPW and SDMA’s partnership.

Our goal in organizing the exhibit, Relationships: A Ten Year Bond, is to celebrate the affiliation between two art institutions, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, who for the last ten years, have collaboratively utilized and cared for CPW’s permanent print collection of over 1,500 photographs.

To reflect the importance of the bond between these two institutions, we curated an exhibit of photographs from CPW’s collection that demonstrates the concept of both building and maintaining relationships. As we examined each image in the collection’s database, a number of photographs revealed the many meanings and concepts that relationships can hold in daily life.

The first group of photographs, Humans and Nature, examines the diverse relationships people share with their environment. Featured artist, Ofer Wolberger captures a remarkable image of trash, strategically placed in a circle, surrounding a man-made trail. The manufactured product, displayed in an undomesticated wilderness, opening into a domesticated human pathway, speaks to the complex bonds between humans and nature.

The second theme in Relationships, One with Self: The Internal Bond, invites the viewer to consider the relationship one has with the self. The subject matter within each of the photographs is open for interpretation, but we felt that all of them evoke powerful visual messages and demonstrate specific internal bonds. Perhaps the people in the photographs are experiencing internal struggles, or the photographer is conveying their personal vision. One powerful image in this section is a self-portrait by Judith Black, Dad and Self, April 20, 1990. In selecting this piece we were interested in the mirror, placed in the background of the photograph, as it is a provocative demonstration of our internal bonds, for a mirror never tells a lie.

The third group in our selections, Humanity, presents the connection between individuals and community. These photographs summarize the idea behind the exhibit by stressing the significance of inter-personal relationships. Angela Cappetta displays the interconnection of people in the image Unbraiding, New York City, 1996. Each woman is connected literally by a strand of braids, a look, a smile, and even in the placement of the subjects, there is a circle. The links between the women in this photo are present from every engaging angle.

The fourth gathering of photographs, Our Link with the Past, illustrates the relationships between our past, present, and future. Whether it is through family, religious practice, or the possession of an artifact, each individual has a relationship with his or her past. One of our favorite photographs in this group, an image of a city street by Leland Bobbe, shows the contrast between past and present: an old invention is thrown into the chaotic, fast-paced world that exists today. Another stand out image is by photographer, Larry Fink, titled Family Thanksgiving, 1972. The print links the tradition of large families gathering for a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner, while inviting a curious smile into the present. The interesting stare of the elderly woman sits in the center at eye level, as if directly in front of the visitor. This angle invites the viewer into the image and creates an alliance between the past of the picture and the present of the smile.

The fifth and final set of images, Bridging Culture: Our Global Community, directs our attention to the relationships between countries and cultures in our modern global world. These photographs are meant to represent the overlapping of cultures and comment on both the differences and the commonalities. As each culture comes into contact with another, it will leave something behind and take something new. While reviewing the images, we came across many photographs that expose the consequences of globalization and international cultural relationships. One image that we are attracted to, Young Boys With Mickey Mouse Ears, Yunnan Province, China, 1990s, by the extraordinary photographer, Mary Ellen Mark, presents a perfect picture of the intersection between overlapping cultures. Incorporating both East and West, this image displays a compassionate look at a bridge between two diverse cultures.

Our main goal in the creation of this exhibit is to invite the visitor to contemplate existing relationships and to think about the complex bonds that unite us in a new provocative way.

– Anna Bierkamper & Hallie Chase

Relationships: A Ten Year Bond was curated by Courtney Booth, Anna Bierkamper, Hallie Chase, and Lauren Alpert, with assistance from museum intern Rikki Lerman

CPW extends its thanks to all the students who participated in this project and to the students who created this exhibit. A special thank you to everyone at SDMA who helped make it possible; Neil C. Trager, Bob Wagner, Wayne Lempka, & Judi Esmond.

Preston Wadley

Preston Wadley


June 24 – August 20, 2006

Pentimento – the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

My work uses the book as a purely visual iconographic artifact, in which it is the image, structure, and materials are that are the content. Although their pages may not turn or act like the traditional books we are accustomed to, they are about the very essence of what books mean to us. They have escaped their expected function.

The simple physical presence of a book speaks to knowledge preserved and communicated. Despite the absence of written text, my work is an attempt to provide a close, warm, and unique conversation with an individual. My books are evidence of change, a type of historical revision – a “Pentimento”, reflecting on the connection to what has already been, and an ever-evolving present.

Preston Wadley is an artist and educator working in Washington State. He received his MFA from the University of Washington and is currently a professor at the Cornish College of Art in Seattle, WA. His work has been shown extensively in galleries across Washington, including G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, and debuted on the east coast at En Foco in NYC this spring. In addition to his exhibit at CPW this year, Wadley’s work will be exhibited at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR in November. Preston is the recipient of a NEA Goodwill Games Arts Festival grant, a Seattle Arts Commission grant, and Teacher of the Year award from Cornish College. His work has been published in Nueva Luz Photographic Journal, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Seattle Times, and Artweek. He completed a residency here at CPW in the summer of 2005.

Family Album

Family Album

curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW

June 24 – August 20, 2006

Family Album presents nine artists from around the world who seek meaning and connection through family imagery. Going beyond impulses in which family is traditionally represented in photographs, these image-makers approach the subject as both distant observers and emotional participants, with an unflinching gaze. Rather than offer a documentary survey representing family today, they focus on the inter-personal relationships and connections revealed through photography and video. With grace and humor, they mine the complex sub-relations found within the nuclear family dynamic and bring our attention to the in-between spaces that exist below the surface and beyond the gloss of birthdays, celebrations, and gatherings found in a typical family album.  

Continue Reading...

Creating a dialogue between generations, Rafael Goldchain, Gerardo Repetto, and Yolanda Del Amo find meaning and identity in their cultural, historic, and genetic inheritance. Inspired by the need to pass on his familial history and traditions to his newborn son, Rafael Goldchain began unearthing old family photographs and researched the history of his relatives. Goldchain’s journey in revisiting his past propelled him to bring his ancestors into the present by embodying their likeness in reconstructions of actual found portraits. Through the visual surface tension of his own face combined with that of his ancestors, Goldchain reminds us that who we are is the result of the culmination of countless relations. Gerardo Repetto distills the complex aspects of family connections down to its biological material – blood.  While blood may be the most scientific and literal definer of family, Family Portrait functions as a metaphorical conundrum. Repetto’s “family” of mosquitoes allow us to think about how families are created whether by shared interests, circumstances, or bloodlines. In her series, My Little One Comes First, Yolanda Del Amo celebrates the relationship between her grandmother and herself. By gathering snippets of advice imparted by her grandmother and combining them with photographs that both mark her grandmother’s past and their shared present, Del Amo’s work offers an intimate portrait of family that reveals far more than the moments captured at a family gathering or event.

Struggling with the need to maintain a connection to one’s familial origins while staking out a place for oneself, Ben Gest, Brooke Berger, Spencer Murphy, Carla Williams, and Sebastian Friedman explore the inherited interpersonal relationships that exist within family. Ben Gest’s work describes a struggle for independence between people whose lives are deeply entwined. By combining multiple images of family who were not originally photographed together into a composite portrait, the tension and meaning of their interaction is described by the space between subjects. Brooke Berger’s series Dermis unites the individual emotional experiences of her family members following a shared crisis. By photographing each of them isolated with their grief, Berger creates a place where each can connect and understand their shared grief. Like many individuals today Spencer Murphy holds links to multiple families. There is the one from which he was born and the reshaped families born following his parents divorce. Feeling disconnected, Murphy re-staged snapshots from his own memories and family albums. In the process of making new photographs he discovered a path towards acceptance and forged new connections with his family and within himself. Comparatively, Carla Williams challenges her familial heritage in efforts to define her individuality in contrast to her matrilineal heritage. While William’s and her mother share a close bond, their differing perspectives reflect a gap. Mother & Daughter speaks to the delicate balance of both needing to assert one’s own individual identity and needing unconditional acceptance from those we most love. Raised within the embrace of both parents and a live-in nanny, Sebastian Friedman, is sensitive to the fragile links that bind a family together. Familia Y Domestica presents the dual role of domestic help, as both a member of their employer’s family while simultaneously maintaining one of their own. In presenting each domestic’s two families, Friedman honors their contribution to their work family while bringing to light the unspoken tension that these women face in being a vital part of two families. Additionally his work suggests that our work colleagues with whom we spend much of our waking hours are constitute a type of family of which we are a part of in their own right.

How would you read your own family album and what would it say? Adopted shortly after her birth, Susan E. Evans has long been intrigued by the constructed nature of photography and experience. With her site-specific installation Saga, Evans critiques the modern surface notions of family as represented in family portraits and snapshots. Saga is a visual metaphor of an idealized family which forces the viewer to “read” the images – photographic trophies – and challenges us to confront our own perceptions of what family is, could, and should be.

Traditional family albums are vital repositories from which we are able to reap our familial inheritance. Filled with images which allow us to (re)experience moments of our immediate past as well as those of our ancestors, they offer a constructed visage of whom we are, where we come from, and influence our perceptions of who we ought to become. Through shifting our focus to the everyday settings, domestic lives, memory, and interpersonal relationships of (in most cases) their own families, the artists in Family Album play with the familiar modes of family representation in photography and create their own interpretive albums through which they provide us the opportunity to consider the complexity of belonging and how we both choose to represent and interpret either our inherited or adopted familial identities.

– Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, 2006

Kate Menconeri was the Program Director at the Center for Photography at Woodstock from 2000-2007. Ariel Shanberg is the Executive Director at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.

[one_third first]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Yolanda Del Amo[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Brooke Berger[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Susan E. Evans[/one_third]

[one_third first]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Sebastian Friedman[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Ben Gest[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Rafael Goldchain[/one_third]

[one_third first]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Spencer Murphy[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Gerardo Repetto[/one_third]

[one_third]"Family Album", curated by Kate Menconeri & Ariel Shanberg, CPW, June 24 - August 20, 2006Carla Williams[/one_third][hr]

Photography Now 2006


curated by Natasha Lunn

April 8 – June 11, 2006

Having grown up in the Woodstock area, it is a particular privilege to be invited to juror the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s annual Photography Now exhibition.

It was a challenge to edit down the 2,000 extraordinary and compelling images that were submitted from around the globe. In the end I found some of the strongest entries were portraits.

A portrait often reveals less about the individual portrayed than it does about how the photographer sees their subject. Siri Kaur‘s portraits focus on the private lives of strangers. Her interpretations of them allow us to relive her fantasies and the curiosity we all have undoubtedly experienced regarding a person’s true identity. In each of her Chapters Caitlin Atkinson’s constructed scenes expose human vulnerability and represent fear and failure in ordinary life. Emerging from personal narratives, Caitlin allows us to comfortably dwell on the awkward moments of life. Adolescence is a period of exploring boundaries and testing limits in effort to define our own personalities often within the group structure. Lydia Panas’ images explore the emergence of power dynamics among youth. Through both natural and controlled arrangements of teens before her camera, she presents diverse relationships and reveals how personalities emerge and retreat. Michal Chelbin’s images of small town performers in Russia and the Ukraine are filled with tension that present the viewer with layered contradictions. In the photographs, her subjects appear before us as if floating between two worlds – that of the illusionary grandeur as circus performers and their more sedate private realms. They reveal an inner struggle between who we are and who we may become.   

Continue Reading...

The portrait as a document of record is a powerful tool, which can introduce us to the new and unfamiliar, transferring the everyday into a still moment for our examination. In warm and sincere portraits of his relatives at their annual family reunion in Minnesota, Mike McGregor eludes the third wall – that invisible barrier between a photographer and their subject – and captures his family unguarded without pretension – relaxed, standing, (or wading), before his camera. Photographer Honey Lazar‘s collaboration with Barbara Miller, the Amish woman who is the subject of her portraits, offers a level of intimacy and familiarity not often seen in portraits of the Amish made by an outsider. Arantxa Cedillo’s images of Bellevue Hospital offer a sense of unusual calm within a place known for its chaotic atmosphere. By photographing the in-between places, she creates a portrait of an environment through which we can contemplate a larger discussion about health care.

Expanding on notions of portraiture, I have included two photographers whose pictures are not portraits in the traditional sense but do reflect the essence of what a portrait does – communicate something individualistic about its subject. B.A. Bosaiya’s images of insects are not simply magnified scientific studies, but also offer the personification of something within that we can relate to on a humanistic level. Torrance York’s images of a New York State dairy farm and its country roads provide artistic interpretations of the region’s unique character and landscape, while quite literally presenting a portrait of Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates.

It is a difficult task to define what photography is now. In selecting these nine photographers I hope you will be as impressed as I am with their contributions. My thanks and appreciation to the staff at the Center of Photography at Woodstock for hosting this annual exhibition and their endless support of photography in this community; and a very special thanks to each of the photographers who shared their work with us. 

– Natasha Lunn, Photo Editor, The New Yorker, 2006

A former Deputy Photo Editor at The New Yorker, Natasha Lunn has served as a Contributing Photo Editor at The New York Times’ Style Magazine and worked as an Editorial Liaison for photography cooperative Magnum Photos. She is now the Director of Photography at More Magazine, where she has worked since 2010.

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Caitlin Atkinson

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006B.A. Bosaiya

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Arantxa Cedillo

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Michal Chelbin

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006   Siri Kaur

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Honey Lazar

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006 Mike McGregor

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Lydia Panas

"Photography Now 2006", selections by Natasha Lunn, April 8 - June 11, 2006Torrance York

Ruth Adams

Ruth Adams


April 8 – June 11, 2006

unremarkable…a term meaning lacking distinction

…the word you want to hear when receiving the results of medical scans

“unremarkable” is a journey through cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, and recuperation, showing that the voyage can be one of physical and spiritual recovery instead of a spiral into illness and despair.

“unremarkable” was motivated by a desire to document my declining health. In November of 2002 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Once the reality of that news sank in, I decided I had to find a way to document my journey through what I imagined would be the deterioration of my physical and visual health. By ‘visual health’ I mean the ‘cancer pallor’ that I understood all chemotherapy patients to have; the loss of my hair, which to me was the outward symbol to the world that I had cancer; and the inevitable weight loss that I thought would happen due to the nausea associated with the treatments. The way I decided to do this was to make an image of myself every day for a year starting on the day of my first treatment. What is amazing is that instead of depicting a devastating decline in health, the images reveal a rebirth. In the early Polaroids I look dead inside—my eyes seem empty, my body already ill from the growing cancer. As the months progressed, the cancer pallor appeared and my hair started to fall out, but my spirit got stronger and stronger and it shows. In the end, I found I had created a body of work that reveals how beautiful and strong the soul is even when fighting for its life. At the moment I am done with treatments and cancer free. With unremarkable, I am excited to share my experience and show the world that a cancer diagnosis does not always mean a death sentence, and that the treatments, although horrible, are survivable.

An artist and educator based in Kentucky, Ruth Adams holds an MFA in Photography and Digital Art from the University of Miami. In addition to being represented by Period Gallery in Nebraska, Ruth’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many private and public collections. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Art Papers, and Shutterbug and has received a number of awards including research grants from the University of Kentucky. Since completing unremarkable, Ruth remains dedicated to helping people overcome cancer by participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s fund-raising triathlon events.

Fawn Potash

Fawn Potash


January 28 – March 26, 2006

I suspect these pieces chronicle the years my husband and I have been trying to start a family- a humbling journey.

The struggle to get pregnant has moved on to a surprisingly long wait for an adopted child. My emotional ups and downs are in the palette. Hopes and wishes appear in the light and in the drawings of plants reaching with out-of-season blooms. Barrenness and fertility seem to be elemental themes. The tides and swirling energetic forces join the atmosphere of the landscape and its emotional sweep.

I use an old Polaroid camera from the 1970’s and a film that gives me both a negative and a positive. The film acts slowly in the winter cold and tends to develop only half way, solarizing (reversing) the lightest tones. The photographs are mounted on wood and then sealed in translucent encaustic medium (bees wax w/ a resin hardener). I use etching tools to draw a response to the photograph, filling the etched lines with oil color. Several encaustic layers build an interpreted place, season, and time of day. This process obscures the work’s photographic origins, moving more toward the world of printmaking and drawing.

These landscapes come across as otherworldly, more like drawings of a place where twilight holds day and night in an odd balance; the seasons exist simultaneously; water, sky and earth remind each other of their common business. I am attracted to the inter-relatedness of it all, nature’s miracle of cooperation I allow myself to use a photographic image five times to see what happens each time depending on my internal landscape. I think of these “editions” as families, cousins, or siblings born with the same genes and destined to realize their own potential.

On January 2nd our son was born. We were notified the next day and picked him up a day later. In my new-parent daze of tiredness and elation, I am in love – a kind of love I haven’t felt before. This new tide of emotions is bound to change my work in ways I could never anticipate.

Fawn Potash, based in Catskill, NY, is a photographic artist, art educator, and arts administrator who is active in the developing art scenes of the Hudson Valley and New York City. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is represented by the Howard Greenberg in New York, the Anne Reed Gallery in Sun Valley, and the Elena Zang Gallery in Woodstock. Her work is in collections worldwide including the Bibliotech Nacional, Sony, Dow Jones, and Standard and Poors Asia. Potash’s work has received grant support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, the Bell Atlantic Foundation, Fuji, and Ilford Inc. Her imagery has appeared in national and regional publications including Harper’s Magazine, the New Yorker, Mirabella, and Art News. A monograph of her work is slated for release in 2006. For ten years, she has been an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, leading a criticism seminar for photography majors. She was the CPW on-site manager for the Woodstock Photography Workshop and Lecture series for twelve years.