Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Kiernan Gallery Presents: Matt Licari

The Kiernan Gallery is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an in-studio exhibition of work by photographer Matt Licari. One of Licari’s images was the Juror’s Choice for the gallery’s inaugural show, Street Stories.

The Kiernan Gallery presents photographer Matt Licari, who will open the doors to his studio at Plant Zero in Richmond, Virginia for a salon and fundraiser event. A talented photographer, Licari unfortunately lost nearly all of his equipment in a robbery earlier this year. 

For one night, The Kiernan Gallery transforms Licari’s studio into an alternative gallery space to display his work. We invite the central Virginia arts community to join us for a night of great photography, fantastic food and drink, and exciting rewards.

                             Juror's Choice Award

·      A silent auction will be held from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

·      See the framed images and buy raffle tickets in advance here. A $5 ticket could win you one of Matt's pieces! You do not need to be present at the show to be selected.

·      For $10, donors will have the opportunity for Licari to take their portrait on a white backdrop. All portraits will photographed, printed, and signed during the event.

·      Licari’s self-published book Ride will be available for purchase from our website and in his studio. Any book orders placed at the event will include an on-site portrait.

 Raffle Item #1 
Dock Workers Unloading Rice Bags, Qing Dao China, 2007
C-print 20x24 Edition 1/10

Raffle Item #2
Teacher, Grace Dodge Vocational High School, Bronx, NY, 2006
C-print 30x40 Edition 1/10

Matt Licari received his BFA in photography from the School of Art + Design at SUNY Purchase in New York. Inspired by street photography, his work explores urban, suburban, and rural subjects. The work – primarily in large format – has been exhibited widely, including Sasha Wolf Gallery, Kris Graves Projects, and The Neuberger Museum of Art. Licari has worked for the Guggenheim Museum and the Richard Avedon Foundation, and currently serves as the Programs Chair of ASMP.

For further information about Matt Licari’s work, visit

Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebration of the Arts in Lexington!

The Kiernan Gallery is very excited to announce its participation in Arts on Washington’s October 5th street fair. This event will feature local wines and tastes of some of Lexington’s best restaurants. The gallery, along with the others on Washington Street, will have their doors open and have planned many fun activities. Coincidentally, October 5th also kicks off an alumni weekend at Washington & Lee University. This will be a fantastic opportunity for our artists featured in Still Life: The Art of Arrangement to have their work seen as we expect a large turn out. This is going to be a great event, not just for the gallery, but for the city of Lexington as well. We hope to see you there!

                                         Downtown Lexington

Celebration of the Arts In Lexington
As the sun goes down on October 5th, historic downtown Lexington Virginia will light up with a diverse display of art, music and dance. Enjoy a glass of wine, a taste of Thai and the company of friends as you visit galleries and view the street entertainment. Washington Street will be closed to traffic from Main to Jefferson between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for this special arts block party. Organized by the newly formed Arts on Washington and sponsored by Artists in Cahoots, an arts cooperative marking its 30th anniversary, the festivities will include regular gallery receptions plus business open houses and a line-up of street entertainment.

                                                       Halestone Dance Studio

A slide show of old Lexington photos will be projected on the wall of Grand Furniture. Whimsical sculptures will be displayed by Rockbridge County artist Mark Cline, who recently had a write up in The Wall Street Journal. Bluegrass musicians will perform and members of Halestone Dance Studio will pirouette down the street. Restaurants will offer savories and award-winning Rockbridge Winery will have a booth on the street.

                                         Mark Cline's famous sculpture Foamhenge

The six galleries which comprise Arts of Washington have planned several art events and will be holding a $100 gift certificate raffle for guests. The Kiernan Gallery is offering portraits sittings using antique and vintage props. Photographs will be taken in its upstairs studio for $10 and then emailed to the client.

                                                      Kiernan Gallery Photobooth

Wolf & Co Arts and Antiques is hosting folk artist Ron Sachs who will demonstrate how he makes his large papier-mâché sculptures. The public is invited to “Be a Master for a Moment” by Lexington Artists Co-op. Drawing pads and paints will be set up on benches outside the gallery. Participants create an original work, gallery members will hold a frame over the completed art which then will be photographed and emailed to the individual who also get s to keep his or her creation. Studio Eleven around the corner on Jefferson has some surprises planned. Nelson Gallery is hosting its 5th Invitational Paint Lexington plain air event on Friday and Saturday. More than two dozen artists will be working throughout the city and county for the two-day paint out which will culminate in an opening reception Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All Washington Street galleries will be open late during Saturday's Paint Out reception at Nelson on October 6th.

Well known for its charming downtown and as the home of Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, Lexington remains a historic jewel in the Shenandoah Valley and an ideal location for a celebration of the arts.  

Just a few miles off the Blue Ridge parkway and easily accessed by the Interstate, day trippers and weekend visitors enjoy a wide range of area activities from biking and kayaking to strolling the streets in search of art and collectibles. It’s the kind of place where you can park your car and wander about downtown feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.

For more information on local attractions and events visit

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ken Rosenthal

The Kiernan Gallery is thrilled to have Ken Rosenthal jury The Unreal. We have asked Ken a few questions about his work, below.

                                                 From series Not Dark Yet

How does your personal work influence your role as juror for The Unreal

I think my artwork will slightly influence the way I jury this show, inasmuch as I clearly have an interest in work that deviates from a literal depiction of the world. That said, I am not looking for work that is very reminiscent of my own, especially regarding the formal qualities of the work. I do, however, expect that I will see imagery that explores similar themes and interests. As an artist who works in the series format, I will likely gravitate towards solid submissions from a cohesive body of work as opposed to “one offs.”

In your artist statements you describe a desire to explore memory, dreams, false remembrances. What drew you to explore this facet of your mind? What do you find so compelling about dreams and memories, and why use photography as opposed to another medium to explore these ideas?

About 12 years ago I began working with images from my family archive. Many of the images that elicited strong memories had been made before I was born, and I was fascinated by the phenomenon of memory that can be attributed to a photograph, a story, or a dream as opposed to experience. That became the point of entry for me with the series that became Seen and Not Seen. The relationship between memory and photography is the predominant theme linking Seen and Not Seen with the five subsequent series I made employing the diffusion technique that has characterized my work.

                                                 From series Seen and Not Seen

Your most recent work, That Was The River, This Is The Sea and The Forest are very different in terms of subject matter. How did you arrive at The Forest and what connections do you see between the two bodies of work?

I view That Was The River, This Is The Sea as a transitional series, one that serves as a bridge between the “blurry work” and The Forest. In That Was The River, there is still a very recognizable connection to the earlier work, both thematically and formally. Both series are highly autobiographic, though that is less obvious perhaps when viewing The Forest.

I think with The Forest, I’ve made an even greater shift formally and thematically. It is the closest I’ve come to a series of typologies, though I don’t view the work as typological. As with all series I’ve worked on over the past dozen years or so, this series developed very organically. I did not set out with any preconceived notions of making this series. I spend at least a month each summer up in the Pacific Northwest, a combination of shooting and vacation. Last year the weather was miserable, and it rained nearly the entire five weeks or so that I was up there. I was with my daughters, and we all had cabin fever. I found myself needing to break away each evening for some alone time, and found myself seeing a familiar territory in an altogether new light.

The Forest in part relates to a specific place, but is in essence an exploration of self. For me, it’s the most complicated and personal work I’ve done. It is the first series I’ve made in which all the images are landscapes. Yet it is not at all about landscape. The landscapes functions metaphorically for an internal space: one that is dense, layered, not easily navigated, and filled with myriad revelations waiting to be discovered.

                                               Cosmos from That Was the River, This is the Sea

                                         Forest #4987

Your work has a unique relationship between the past and present by incorporating a vintage aesthetic and a mastery of print craftsmanship. How do you think your work will be interpreted 150 years from now?

I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. One hundred fifty from now, the photographic medium will be nearly twice as old as it is now. It is curious to imagine what, if any, of the techniques being employed today will still be used in 2162. My hope is that future generations will look at this work and consider it to be an interesting piece of the puzzle that is photography at the beginning of the Twenty-first century: a time of huge transition within the young life of our medium. I do take great pride in the prints I produce, and it would be lovely if they continue to have an audience in 2162.

                                                The Great Divide

And lastly, we ask this of all of our artists, how do you define success in art?

Ultimately, I think success in art comes from the ability to consistently produce new and vital work over a considerable period of time. It is easy enough to produce a great series or two, but few are the artists who can continue to evolve artistically and challenge themselves for decades. I would equate the ability to sustain one’s vision, and artistic integrity over time, with success.

The deadline to submit your work to The Unreal is today, September 18, 2012 and the exhibition will run from October 31 – December 1.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Terrain Winners (pt 2)

            Photography touches many aspects of our lives. We hire photographers to document special occasions and purchase fine art photography to decorate our homes. And while these two categories of photography are viewed as completely different from one another, Terrain Director’s Choice winner Amanda Schilling has become quite proficient in both. Aspects of her personal work influencing her event work and vice versa.

I think my wedding and event experience, having to capture the “perfect” moment before it slips away, never to return again, has influenced my personal work in that I often make quick decisions and take an abundance of shots. [...] At the same time, I believe the most interesting fine art photographs are often those that tell a story, capture natural beauty, or are unexpected. I try to bring all of these aspects to my wedding and event photography.
                             Tire Swing - Director's Choice
            Schilling’s process tends to be fairly instinctual: “While I may have a general idea of what I’m looking for or a certain iconic place I want to go, I never really know what I’m going to find until I get there.” For instance, her winning image, Tire Swing, was a found image in Jamaica. “That photo screams more Southeast Texas or Louisiana bayou than Jamaica, but at that moment the empty tire swing in that scene caught my interest.” Schilling has also had success with carefully composed shoots as well, as in her image Vanishing Presence. “I think it captured perfectly the story I wanted to tell.”

                                                       Vanishing Presence

            Finding a talent for the arts at a young age, Schilling participated in many contests and art shows growing up. “However, I was also often reminded of the ‘starving artist’ stigma growing up and as the class valedictorian thought that I had to follow a more financially lucrative degree path in college.” Majoring in architecture, Schilling had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program in Italy that presented her with her first introduction to photography. “It was my first time developing film and watching my prints appear before me, and I fell in love.”

                                                 Afternoon Stroll

            Though she knew that photography was her dream, she began to build a different career while pursuing her passion for photography on the side. After 10 years of additional training, and an infusion of inspiration from photographer Keith Carter, Schilling finally decided to focus on photography full-time. And while she finds it surreal at times to be able to call herself a photographer or an artist, that doesn’t keep her from striving to be her best. “I think success would mean being represented by well known galleries and having my prints in the collections of great museums and art collectors. Making a good living doing something I love wouldn’t be too bad either.”

                                         Golden Dream

Terrain is currently on view through September 29, 2012. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Terrain Winners (pt 1)

            The desert can be a mesmerizing place. Whether it's the vast, open expanse of land or the amazing scope of the night sky when the sun goes down, the desert is rife with opportunities for photographers looking for the perfect vista. For Juror’s Choice winner, Brian Van de Wetering, this environment has provided an endless stream of inspiration and is the featured landscape in his winning image, Far Ridge.

                                         Far Ridge

It’s hard to put my finger on one thing that keeps drawing me back there. I love the wide-open spaces, the solitude, how every wrinkle and buckle in the earth’s crust is visible through the sparse vegetation. Away from the city lights the night sky is a significant draw for me. It’s also been significant to my development as an artist.
            As a software engineer, Van de Wetering says his engineering skills have been a great help to him in his artistic career. Understanding the technical aspects of digital photography was one of the things that initially sparked his interest in photography. Now he is using his engineering skills to build cameras out of old flat-bed scanners, modifying the drivers in the devices to his own specifications. “It is definitely pushing my boundaries both as a software developer and a photographer.”

            Van de Wetering’s technical background has also had a huge influence on his art, inspiring his newest project: light paintings. Set against serene backdrops such as recently abandoned structures or his go-to location, the desert, Van de Wetering creates striking shapes with many different types of light. The precision required to create these geometric forms hearkens back to his scientific background. It also indicates a great deal of planning to get his technique down as well as making sure the light levels will be adequately low at his chosen location.

In my light painting work there is quite a bit of visualization necessary due to the nature of the techniques. […] When I arrive I walk the area looking for shots and angles and imagining the light painted forms. Framing and focusing is difficult under dark conditions so I usually take several test shots at high ISO first to set up the camera. The real planning is to go through in my head the sequence of moves that I’ll make in front of the camera while the shutter is open. […] Then it’s a process of trial and error until I get the shot that I’m pleased with. I can usually get 3-5 good shots out of a night of light painting.

            In the end, Van de Wetering creates art to convey ideas, “I would like to communicate the wonder I feel in a particular location, or the sense of fun and curiosity in my light paintings,” and for his own personal growth, “There are so many possibilities with this medium and I have only begun to explore.” And though there are always stressful periods in any project, he also recognizes that every successful venture must have passion behind it. “If photography stops being fun, it’s time for me to reevaluate what I’m doing.”

Terrain is on view through September 29, 2012.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Big Changes

The Kiernan Gallery has made some big changes this month, namely the update to our website and our partnership with Frame & Design in downtown Lexington. These new developments are very exciting and we wanted to take a moment to explain what they mean for the gallery.

Our website has a brand new look! It is cleaner, more flexible, and better showcases the fantastic images that appear in our gallery. There are still a few glitches to be sorted out, but the redesign has made a world of difference. Be sure to check back often as the website continues to evolve.

Presentation is of the utmost importance to The Kiernan Gallery. A good frame can make a great photograph glorious, while a bad frame can bring a beautiful image down. The Kiernan Gallery has partnered with Lexington’s premier framer, Frame & Design, to provide the option of professional framing to our artists. All work is framed with acid-free, archival materials with expert attention to detail that comes with over 20 years framing experience.

Many of our exhibiting artists are from other countries and the cost of shipping framed work could be prohibitive. We try to reduce costs for our artists wherever possible since we realize how expensive exhibiting your work can be. All printing and framing is provided at cost to the gallery. Framing with Frame & Design can reduce the cost of shipping for artists. If the work sells, the artist will not have paid shipping at all. Even if the work does not sell, artists will pay only return shipping and have invested in an expertly framed piece for any future exhibition opportunities. 

Some exhibitors have inquired about renting frames for the duration of our show. We do not offer rental frames because the diversity of image aspect ratios demands a number of mats which we cannot provide. We would hate to have some images cropped, or having gaps or unwanted borders, because of an incorrect mat and frame. While this may not happen with every rental frame, print sizes and ratios vary so much today that “standard” sizes aren’t so standard anymore.

In addition to offering the option of professional framing to our exhibiting artists, The Kiernan Gallery is also happy to print your work. Pricing is dependent on the final print size (see below). All work is printed onto Fujifilm Crystal Archive paper in a light-jet process. This is a hybrid process in which a C-print is made from a digital file. Black and white images are also printed this way and have produced excellent results, although it is understood that black and white images are not traditionally C-prints.

Even though we are pleased to print your work, exhibiting artists are encouraged to consider printing their images themselves and flat mailing them to the gallery for framing. It gives you more control over the final presentation of the image, as well as the ability for you to sign your work.

About the framing:

Our framing is provided by Frame & Design. All work is professionally framed with UV protective glass and acid free materials and is also professionally wired and sealed. 

Files should be at these specs:
-       submitted as a PSD file
-       254 dpi
-       8 bit
-       adobe RGB 1998
-       Important: Be sure to send a file that is the correct size for printing.
Check the file at 100% to be sure it is the quality you are expecting.

In the event that your photograph does not sell by the end of the show, you may either pay the shipping costs to have your work sent to you or donate the print to the gallery.

Printing and Framing Options

Size options (in inches):

  1. 11x14 image, framed to 16x20 = $110                

  1. 16x20 image, framed to 20x24 = $140                

  1. 12x12 image, framed to 18x18 = $115                

  1. 20x24 image, framed to 26x30 = $165

Frame Options:

  1. Option #1: Black frame, white mat

  1. Option #2: Black frame, black mat

  1. Option #3: White frame, white mat         

I hope you are as thrilled as we are to watch The Kiernan Gallery continue to grow. Be sure to check back often for future updates as the gallery continues to bloom.