Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Kiernan Gallery Presents: Matt Licari

This past Friday, The Kiernan Gallery hosted an in-studio solo exhibition for Richmond-based photographer Matt Licari. This exhibition was specifically designed both around the unique bodies of work and also his unique workspace. Matt's white cube-style studio was the perfect fit for his vibrant color images framed in white. We invited the public into his workspace, transforming it into a one-of-a-kind gallery for one night only. 

The night was a great success! Works were raffled off, books were signed, portraits were taken, and many people walked away with art.

Congratulations to James Creger of Glen Allen, VA who won the raffle for Teacher and to Laura Schwenner of White Plains, NY winner of Dock Workers

Here are some photos from the portrait studio part of the night:



Here are some photos of the event and the space:
The silent auction images line the hallway

Matt photo bombs our blog editor, Shannon and her husband

Reading about the art
(photo by Sarah Clarken)

 The artist at work and a very attentive audience

A special guest!
(photo by Sarah Clarken)

Important art discussions
(photo by Sarah Clarken)

A full house!
(photo by Sarah Clarken)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Still Life Winners (pt 2)

            Still life photographs are rarely spontaneous. They take forethought and planning, as well as perfect lighting. But for Juror's Choice winner Andrew Thomas Lopez, many of his still life images are delightfully stumbled upon as his son’s creativity blossoms into vignettes around the house.

                                         Juror's Choice Award: After Doug

I create Still Life images in a variety of ways. Sometimes there is complete control, as in the Pyramid Triptych, where I placed a laundry basket in the light near a window and my son began creating different versions of his Lego pyramid. However, in other instances, such as in Ascension and After Doug, I captured my son creating things that made sense to him. I controlled setup of the camera and waited for the right lighting. I believe Still Lifes can be found and spontaneous, controlled through the camera, just as much as they can be completely controlled and set up for the benefit of camera.
                             Pyramid Triptych
            As is evident in the Juror’s Choice Award image, After Doug, he draws quite a bit of inspiration from his son. The photograph is part of a larger series titled This Means Something… This is Important. “The series began as my direct reaction to my son’s diagnosis of autism and my attempts at trying to understand how he expresses himself through his interaction with toys and objects around him.” Being a parent and communicating with your child is challenging enough. For Lopez, his son Sebastian’s diagnosis felt like a huge barrier. As the series grew larger, the creation of these still lifes began to feel like teamwork and an avenue to understanding Sebastian, or Sabas for short. “Each image is like a performance – my son constructs the environment and I make the images. Our intentions are different, but the reasons for doing it are aligned, which is why I consider this series to be a collaborative effort.”


             Lopez draws inspiration from many different places and a large number of artists though nowadays his influences seem to have a common thread: subject matter, namely family or the exploration of parent/child relationships. In the end, his largest influence is clear.

The greatest influence, of course, is Sabas. Through the process of creating this project over time, I have seen my son grow into an increasingly interesting character. In the beginning, he started making things out of toys, just for pure enjoyment of play and comfort; but now when I set up the camera, I can see the light bulbs switching on, and his excitement is incredibly gratifying.
            As an artist, Lopez has many definitions of success. One kind of success is having his career be lucrative enough to feed and clothe his family, while another type is having an influence on the art world and making a lasting impression. The most important kind of success to Lopez, however, is the ability and drive to share his passion and knowledge of art with others.

I always despised the phrase, “Those who cannot do, teach.” That rhetoric insults both the purpose and meaning of art and academia. I believe that those who can do should always teach, whether through lectures, gallery exhibits, professorships, public or private schools – and helping others learn to appreciate and create art is a significant indicator of success to me as an artist and an educator.
                                        Blocks are People Too

Still Life: The Art of Arrangement is on view through October 27, 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Still Life Winners (pt 1)

Focusing on pleasingly simple compositions, Director’s Choice winner Skip Smith will win over many a still life skeptic. His focus on form and composition, coupled with the decision to work in black and white, yields strikingly beautiful images. His winning image, Vine, is a fantastic example of his skill and passion for still life photography.


Simplicity is the key.  I love still life work because contrary to much photography where the artist is capturing the just right moment and his or her success depends on whether that instant was 'perfect', a still life artist has to create the perfect moment.
For Smith, the actual composition of the scene comes second to finding a perfect object. “My still lifes generally start with an object that intrigues me.  I am usually drawn to an unusual shape, or simple form frequently from the natural world, but old bottles and antiques also have been subjects.” Only then does Smith begin to choose other objects and create a background, always keeping his composition just complex enough to create visual impact. “Normally I only work with two objects, but there are exceptions.”
But Smith’s work is stunning not only due to his talent of arrangement, but also due to the richness and texture he creates in his work with his preferred method of printing, a somewhat uncommon process called “lith printing”.


The lith printing process uses standard black and white photographic paper with lithographic developer. The developer is made from heavily diluted standard developer. The resulting print has dark shadows and bright, soft highlights. This allows for tones, colors, and hues that are different from a traditional black and white print. This creates a unique depth in each print while the properties of this technique ensure that no two prints will ever develop in the same way. Smith goes through multiple round of printing before he is satisfied with a finished product. He often scans a final print so that he can then reproduce it digitally, because no two final prints are ever exactly the same.

  One of Smith’s biggest inspirations is a favorite quote by Robert Adams, one that he always keeps in mind while he is working:

If the goal of art is beauty and if we assume that the goal is sometimes reached, even if always imperfectly, how do we judge art?  Basically, I think, by whether it reveals to us important form that we ourselves have experienced but to which we have not paid adequate attention.  Successful art rediscovers beauty for us.
Taking that last sentence to heart, Smith truly believes that his opinion is the only one that matters in determining his success as an artist. “I really cannot please anybody but myself. If others respond positively to my work by word or purchase, so much the better, but it is not paramount.”


Still Life: The Art of Arrangement is on view through October 27, 2012. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Winter Featured Artist
Deadline: November 22
Exhibition: January 2 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception: January 4

If all photographers are storytellers, then documentary photographers are novelists. Each image is a sentence in a broader narrative the photographer has chosen to tell. Since documentary projects are difficult to distill into a single photograph, The Kiernan Gallery seeks an entire documentary series for exhibition in one room of the gallery. The selected documentary work will be shown in conjunction with our upcoming show Encore: A Look at Music, though it need not be thematically related.

This year’s first annual Portfolio Showcase was a great success. To continue the gallery’s mission of promoting the work of emerging photographers, The Kiernan Gallery will hold its first tri-annual call for portfolio submissions to select a featured artist. The featured artist will be chosen by Owner/Director Kat Kiernan. That artist will have their work occupy the entirety of a room in the Main Gallery.

                             View into the main room and right hand wall

                             Left hand wall

                             Right hand wall

The featured artist will receive:
-       A one-month show of approximately 10 images.
-       A feature on The Kiernan Gallery’s blog and website.
-       An electronic show card designed and distributed by The Kiernan Gallery.
Submission Guidelines:
-       Submit a body of 8-10 images.
-       Submit a written statement about the work (no more than a page).
-       Artists should be prepared to ship or deliver their printed and framed work to the gallery if selected. We offer these services as well.
We cannot guarantee an entire body of work will fit into the exhibition space. In such cases, the Director and artist will collaborate to decide which pieces will be displayed.

For more information and to see submission guidelines visit: www.kiernangallery.com

Monday, October 1, 2012

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Encore: A Look at Music
Deadline: November 22
Exhibition: January 2 - 26, 2013
Opening Reception: January 4

From tribal drumming to radio DJs, advertising jingles to Italian opera, music is important to every culture. Even though it is more accessible than ever before, our thirst for rhythm and melody continues unabated. For this exhibition, The Kiernan Gallery asks you to explore one art form with another; using the visual medium of photography to illustrate the sounds that inspire you.

Show us your record collections, instruments, and portraits of musicians and fans. Show us stadium concerts, jam sessions, and street performers from distant nations. Most of all, show us what music means to you. For Encore: A Look at Music, The Kiernan Gallery seeks photographs of and inspired by music.

                                         Photo by Kat Kiernan

For this exhibition, juror Michelle Egiziano will select up to 25 images for display in the main gallery, and up to an additional 35 to be included in the online gallery. All images will be reproduced in an exhibition catalogue available for purchase. A Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice will also be announced and both winners will receive a free copy of the catalogue.

About the Juror

Michelle Egiziano is a Photo and Art Director specializing in celebrity, fashion, portraiture, still life, reportage, and youth/street culture. She served as Photo Editor of SPIN Magazine until its closing in mid-2012. With an MFA in Fine Art from Hunter College, Egiziano’s work as a Photo Editor has taken her from ElleGirl Magazine to Blender Magazine to SPIN, and now to her current position as a freelance Photo Editor and Art Director. Egiziano has worked with some of the most talented photographers in the commercial photography business. She has been a recipient of a Society of Publication Designers award every year since 2005, most recently winning their 2012 "Tablet App of the year" for SPIN Play.

For more information and to see submission guidelines visit: www.kiernangallery.com