Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Juried Process

I often receive questions from exhibitors about the gallery. I have compiled answers to the most common questions on our website here. One common type of question regards the jurying process.  While I cannot speak for other galleries, this week I would like to explain a bit about how the jurying process works for The Kiernan Gallery.

As a photographer myself, I recognize the desire to want to understand the judging process. Every juror makes their selections differently. A show juried by a panel would probably lend itself to more transparency, because each juror’s opinion would need to be explained to the others and compromises would occur. A single juror does not need to compromise or justify their aesthetic.

I choose jurors for their eye, and defer entirely to their aesthetic discretion. I strive to select jurors who I think are able to curate a strong and diverse exhibition. All of our jurors are well respected in their fields. Jurors who are professional photographers have had books published and are major award winners. Many of them also teach. If the juror is a photographer, it is not enough for me to admire their work; I need to have seen them in a panel, to have read their blog, or to know something which indicates that not only does their own work fit the theme, but that they are able to respond to work different from their own. Jurors who are curators, gallerists, and/or editors are highly respected in the photographic community, are sought after portfolio reviewers, and have reputable galleries or publications.

Each show receives a different number of submissions. The numbers vary by the month, theme, and juror. We have had shows with nearly a thousand images where few were of exceptional quality, and also had shows with far fewer images where the competition was fierce. We try to vary our exhibitions to include both niche and broad themes. I ask jurors to select no more than two images from any one artist. This could be two selected for the online gallery, two for the main gallery, or one in each.

As someone who regularly submits to exhibitions, I have seen the positive effect they have had on my career by building connections, sales, and my exhibition resume. There is no secret strategy for selection into a juried show. I wish I could say that there was. Believe in your work. Send you best work. Send it again, even if it was rejected the first time. Remember that art is subjective and that often one juror’s least favorite image will be one that another cannot live without.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Open Water
Deadline: March 15
Exhibition: May 1 – June 1
Opening Reception: May 3

Water has a long history as subject matter for artists. It is revered for its beauty as well as respected and feared for its unpredictable nature. Water carves our landscapes, making rivers and streams. It provides sustenance, recreation, and transport. Whether contained in swimming pools, bathtubs, or fountains, or freely flowing waterfalls, currents, and tides, The Kiernan Gallery seeks images of literal and metaphoric interpretations for Open Water. 
For this exhibition, juror Jennifer Schwartz 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.
All photographic media are encouraged.
Surfacing, Kat Kiernan

About the Juror:

Jennifer Schwartz is the owner of Jennifer Schwartz Gallery and the creator and curator of the online project, The Ten. This Spring she will be driving around the country in a 1977 VW bus (affectionately named Lady Blue) bringing art to the people as part of her ongoing arts engagement project, the Crusade for Collecting.

Jennifer Schwartz co-founded the Fraction Retreats program, and she regularly participates in portfolio reviews such as PhotoNOLA, PhotoLucida, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, FotoFest and others.  She was invited as a curator to the Lishui Photo Festival in Lishui, China in 2011, and travels around the country giving talks, guest-lecturing at universities, leading workshops and hosting photographic retreats. 
Jennifer Schwartz is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and has her BA from Colgate University and her MA from Georgia State University.  The owner of a successful commercial photography business for ten years, she opened her gallery in 2009 to give Atlanta’s thriving photography community a venue to showcase the work of emerging photographers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Alter Ego
Deadline: June 20
Exhibition: July 31 – August 31
Opening Reception: July 5

 Self-portraiture is often used to explore and manipulate identity. There is a performative aspect to this genre. By turning the camera on oneself the photographer is brought out from behind their lens, and able to choose how they would like to the world to see them. The photographer invites judgment and critique on not only their artistic message, but also their appearance and demeanor. For this exhibition, The Kiernan Gallery seeks self-portraits that provide insight into the “second self” that appears when artist becomes subject.

For this exhibition, juror Stephen Sheffield 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.
All photographic media are encouraged.

About the Juror
Stephen Sheffield, a native of the Boston area, is an alumnus of Cornell University, where he obtained a BFA in painting and photography.  He received his MFA in photography from the California College of the Arts, in Oakland/San Francisco, studying under Larry Sultan and Jean Finley.
His photographs, often self-portraits depict both everyday and unusual events, all framed by his unique, and occasionally dark, sense of humor.  His masterful storytelling, use of traditional silver, alternative processes, mural printing, and large-scale photo assemblage bring to his work a unique and cinematic mood.
Stephen has exhibited nationally for over 20 years, and has a number of large and small-scale commissions in, Boston, Cambridge and Brooklyn NY.  He has worked out of his studio in Boston’s Fort Point for over 18 years.  Stephen is represented locally by the Panopticon gallery, and runs the advanced black and white silver photography major at the New England School of Photography in Boston.

For more information and to see submission guidelines visitwww.kiernangallery.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Featured Artist: Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle, our 2012 Winter Featured Artist, first exhibited in The Kiernan Gallery in our Family Dynamics show in February of 2012. Her image, entitled “Becky’s Bedroom,” was selected as the Director’s Choice winner. At the time, Doyle’s image was part of a larger series that documented the home life of her sister Becky as she raised her five children. Doyle was compelled to makes these images because she wanted to capture the closeness she felt to her sister and her family. Doyle and her sister talked to each other about how easily they could swap life roles. She stated that, “In some ways I thought of the portraits of Becky and her family as self-portraits.”

As the project developed, it evolved from its documentary roots into something more complex. Expanding away from a strict documentary format, Doyle began incorporating symbolism from her family’s Catholic background in her images, creating compositions that spoke to the intersections of tradition, family, and faith. The finished product of Allusion reflects this shift of focus.

I began to think about the idea of family identity and history as something to follow, with the Catholic religion as a core theme to guide my thinking. I recognize that not everyone practices Catholicism, and yet many of its themes and visual tropes are mostly recognizable because of its permeating influence throughout culture and art history. Instead of photographing my sister as herself, I began cultivating the idea of having her represent Mary in the images. In religious artwork, Mary is portrayed in a wide variety of ways, though in the work she is always recognizable as the mother of Jesus. I am interested more in this idea of Mary as a universal mother . . . .

Doyle also sought to present commentary on motherhood, families, and her family’s faith by invoking historical catholic imagery. “Its influence is there to be recognized – in how Becky or her children are posed or in the Renaissance-style light and color of the photographs.”

Adding to the complexity of her exploration of family, Doyle is herself expecting. Due in May, she is looking forward not only to being a mother, but also the influence this will have on her photography. While she expects that her work will head in a new direction, the theme of motherhood will still be central to her artwork. She would like to begin to incorporate herself into her images, capturing her body, life, and perspective as they rapidly change. “I like the idea of the unpredictable total life change that a child can bring about (a change that so far, I have only been a voyeur to) acting as a guide for new photographic work to come.”

We are excited for Doyle’s approaching motherhood, and eager to see where it will take her photography.
Allusion is on view through January 26, 2013.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Encore: A Look at Music Winner Gregory DeLucia

Director’s Choice winner Gregory DeLucia found his love of photography while studying abroad in Rome as an international business major. In between the stress of classes, he found that he could appreciate the beauty of Italy in his own way with his camera in hand. “Photography seemed to be a way for me to center myself and put myself at peace.” Returning home, DeLucia took the time to learn more about his camera and the art of photography itself. As well as a means of meditation for him, it also became one of his passions.

But passions can sometimes get derailed by jobs, relationships, and children, and DeLucia found himself too busy to make time for photography. “I had let ‘life’ pull me away from one of my passions and had certain events take place that reminded me that life is precious and inspired me to pick a camera back up.” In the 10-year interim, DeLucia says that his style, his eye for images didn’t change much. “The equipment that I used is what changed the most. I purchased a DSLR and it gave more capabilities than my previous camera.” So he started to work on his landscape photography again and decided to try his hand at concert photography.

Delucia has always been a music lover. For him, it naturally made sense to combine his two passions. Nonetheless, he found concert photography challenging: The lighting is poor and constantly changing, his subjects were in motion, and flash is often prohibited. Furthermore, DeLucia found that he was generally only allowed to photograph the first two or three songs. Nonetheless, these challenges pushed him to be a better photographer.

His diligence has paid off. His photographic handiwork is evident in his winning image, The Wiz, of rapper Wiz Khalifa. He is well on his way to fulfilling his own definition of success:

"Success to me is about happiness and growth in my craft.  I want to push myself to become better at what I do.  If I can show growth to myself, then I consider that success.  Art is very subjective and therefore I try not to equate my success to what others think of my work.  What one eye finds appealing, another may not.  Maturation, growth, knowledge and happiness are all keys to what I measure my success against.  Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have your work admired, appreciated, and given awards, but that is not what I draw on as my basis of success."

Encore: A Look at Music is on view through January 26, 2013.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Encore: A Look at Music winner: Corinne Ryan

Growing up in the suburbs, Juror’s Choice winner for Encore: A Look at Music Corinne Ryan was initially anxious about her move to urban Philadelphia to attend Drexel University. Once resettled however, she found a deep appreciation for the city and its people, drawing new inspiration for her photography. “This new life has helped me to be more adventurous with my work and has allowed me to meet and photograph a variety of fascinating people that I would never have come into contact with in the suburbs.” Upon graduation she chose to continue living in Philly as an emerging artist.

Ryan states that she owes her love of photography to a fascination with memory and a fear of forgetting. She has used her talent to document her life and her surroundings, growing more invigorated due to her change of scenery.

“I picked up a camera because I felt like I needed a way to remember all of the places that I went and all of the people that walked in and out of my life. This fear of forgetting turned into a passion for capturing the personalities of the people in my life.”

One of the best ways to view Ryan’s quest to document and remember is through her portraiture. When taking portraits, she attempts to create an intimate connection with her subjects that can then be captured by the camera.  Through this interaction, the subject can choose what they expose to Ryan and her camera: “Some people reveal more and some people reveal less and how I work can dictate how much or how little they show. The end result is a successful photograph that encompasses who the person is.”

Ryan’s other passion in life is music. As with photography, she is both an enthusiast and a practitioner. She uses music to inform her photography. “As a musician I have been able to feel the thrill and passion of performing. I try to use my own experiences to access those emotions and capture them with the artists that I photograph.” This is clear from looking at her portfolio of musical images, most notably in photographs like her winning image, Meredith Bell.

Juror's Choice image, Meredith Bell

By following her passions, Ryan is taking positive steps to accomplishing her goals and making a documentary out of the people and places in her life. “Success is creating work that impacts yourself and others in the ways that you hoped it would as well as in ways that you could never have predicted.”

Encore: A Look at Music is on view through January 26, 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anne Berry

The Kiernan Gallery is very pleased to have Anne Berry as our juror for Creatures. We have asked her a few questions about her work and her passion for animals:
As a 2012 Critical Mass top 50 finalist, your series Behind Glass has gained a lot of recognition. How will your personal work influence your role as juror for Creatures?
I am very excited to have the opportunity to juror the entries to the Creatures exhibit! This subject is my passion, and I love to look at the work of other photographers. Consequently, I have seen a lot of animal photography in many styles. This factor might influence my role as juror as could my appreciation for the challenges involved in photographing animals, domestic or wild, in their natural habitat or in environments created by humans.
Much of your work is focused on animals, particularly their anthropomorphic qualities. What drew you to the apes? How did they become your chosen subject matter and what are you hoping to convey by using an animal as subject?
While working on my Menagerie project, which focuses on animals in antiquated European zoos, I became fascinated with the interaction between the primates and people in monkey houses. Primates are most able to remind people of the connection between man and animal, and the glass windows function as framing devices and also work as a metaphor for the separation between man and nature. Whatever animals I am photographing, I like to establish a connection and attempt to convey this relationship and also something of the spirit of the animal.
Tell us more about your non-profit causes and how you use photography to support them.
I assist animal non-profits in three ways: by making photo books for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness-raising gallery exhibits and blog essays.  The fine art book of Behind Glass will benefit a primate sanctuary. I am currently looking for this partnership, and I am always interested in discovering non-profit organizations interested in taking advantage of a collaboration in which photography can assist animals.
Lastly, we ask this of all of our artists, how do you define success in art?
I feel successful and lucky that I am able to live the life of an artist.  This gift comes with a responsibility to produce work that is meaningful and pure. The practice of photographing and the art produced are connected in a mysterious way. I often experience an unexplainable, magical connection with an animal, and the resulting photograph echoes the encounter.  It is difficult to explain, and not everyone will see it, but it is this quality of mystery that for me makes a successful photograph.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Guest Writer Ashley Kauschinger

This week The Kiernan Gallery asked photographer and blogzine writer Ashley Kauschinger to write a piece on self-promotion and goal setting. She explains a bit about how she connects with the photographic community and promotes her art.

As an emerging photographer, I spend a lot of time on promotion. I enter around three juried shows or publications a month. When I first started submitting, I sent my work everywhere. I soon found that this was not an efficient use of my time and money. Now, I am more selective and do more research beforehand. Shows juried by curators, editors, and collectors are excellent shows to enter because they have more avenues to help further your career. The best thing about participating in juried shows is being seen by your chosen audience, and building your exhibition record for galleries and teaching jobs in the future. Another excellent and less expensive form of promotion is online and print publications, such as PDN, Shots, Flak Photo, Fototazo, La Journal de la Photographie, and F-Stop Magazine. These venues are a good way to be connected to the photography community and create an online presence.

Above all is to make friends with other artists. This is the greatest form of inspiration and promotion. If you respect a fellow artist or enjoy their work, send them an e-mail. I am always surprised at who will e-mail me back and at the friends I have made.  In the past, I have has a hard time reaching out to other photographers. As a way to create friendships with other artists, I founded the blogzine, Light Leaked. This allowed a platform to have conversations, honor artists, and create inspiration. It is important to me to be a positive force and contributor to my fellow photographers. Sometimes the business aspect of my career distracts from art making. Sharing experiences with other artists helps me stay connected to my love of photography and not get caught up in the serious elements of the business. In building my career, my submission experience and blogzine have presented me with opportunities that I did not expect, and I can see advancements in my work being seen.

A good exercise to help focus your goals is to write down what you would like your photographic career to look like. Where would you like to see your work? What are your dream galleries? Where do you see your artistic life going? Put the answers to these questions on your refrigerator as your “fridge dreams.” This will help you stay committed to yourself, and turn your dreams into goals.

-- Ashley Kauschinger

Ashley's Refrigerator 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Happy New Year! We at The Kiernan Gallery would like to kick off 2013 by answering some frequently asked questions. Most things have stayed the same, but we no longer take commission from sold pieces. This information is now permanently available on our website as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Get to Know Your Artists?
If you exhibit with The Kiernan Gallery, we have been on your website (if you have one), read your bio and artist statements, and viewed your other work. This allows us to engage gallery patrons in discussions about the works they are viewing and the artists who created them. We familiarize ourselves with the processes used as well as the artists’ background and accomplishments in order to create connections between patrons and artists and to increase sales. We also use our Facebook page to highlight awards won by past exhibitors.

Who are Your Jurors?
All of our jurors are well respected in their fields. Jurors who are professional photographers have had books published and are major award winners. Many of them also teach. Jurors who are curators, gallerists, and/or editors are highly respected in the photographic community, are sought after portfolio reviewers, and have reputable galleries or publications.

Do You Do Solo Exhibitions?
Yes. Three times per year we hold calls for a Featured Artist to show solo in the second room of the gallery. This work is often non-photographic, which broadens the gallery’s reach. We also use the second room for solo exhibitions to show complete bodies of work by photographers whom we have worked with in the past.

Can I Alter My Submission?
Yes. We log all submissions manually. Once you have submitted, you may make additions or changes to your submission up until the deadline by emailing us.

Do You Photograph the Exhibition?
Yes. At the close of every exhibition we email each artist photographs of the gallery as a whole and their individual piece. This allows an artist to see the show if they couldn’t attend, and to have installation photos for their records. Having images of the framed pieces allows us to show buyers who have seen the work online what the framed pieces look like.

What Does The Gallery Look Like?
The Kiernan Gallery is located in a historic building in downtown Lexington, Virginia. It is two rooms totaling 2000 square feet, with original heart pine floors and an exposed brick wall. We have been featured in South By Southeast Magazine for our beautiful space.

Do You Produce Exhibition Catalogues?
Yes. All exhibitions have a corresponding full color catalogue that is available for purchase in the gallery, from Blurb directly, and from our web bookstore.

Do You Offer Awards and Prizes?
Yes. Although we cannot provide cash prizes, a Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice Winners are announced. They each receive a free copy of the exhibition catalogue and are featured on our blog.

Are Entries Anonymous?
Yes. Each artist is assigned a number in place of their name when their work is submitted to the juror (e.g., 001-Title). For our alternative process exhibitions, the juror is also provided with the size and process of the work.

Why Should I Read Your Blog?
Our blog features interviews with jurors to provide insight to their tastes and their own work or roles within the photographic community. We also feature Juror’s and Director’s Choice Winners as well as post about issues relevant to emerging photographers.

Do You Take a Commission?
No, but no commission does not mean we have no incentive to sell your work. The Kiernan Gallery was founded by an emerging artist, and recognizes the importance of selling work. Nonetheless, we believe that if artists are paying a submission fee, the gallery should not also take a portion of the sale. We do reserve the right to negotiate 20% in order to make a sale. When your piece sells, we send you a receipt of the sale.

Do You Provide Printing and Framing?
Yes. For an additional charge, we offer custom framing with a professional framer in town. Owner/Director Kat Kiernan personally prints the work and discusses the framing needs of each piece with the framer. We do not use ready-made frames because they are not considered professional and are not able to accommodate all camera aspect ratios. Custom framing presents the image as the artist intended, uses archival materials, and guarantees attention to detail.

What Happens if I Don’t Want My Piece Returned to Me?
If your piece has not sold at the conclusion of the show, you have the choice to either have it returned to you or to donate it to the gallery. If donated, the piece is hung in our back room. In the past, we have shown interested patrons our donated collection. We continue to try to negotiate a sale for these pieces, which may differ from the original list price. In the event that a donated piece sells, we send the artist the full balance. Artists may also request that their piece be destroyed at the conclusion of the show.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at info@keirnangallery.com.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Deadline: February 15
Exhibition: March 27 – April 27
Opening Reception: April 5

Like any abstract art, abstract photography is an exploration of color, form, movement, or other intangibles that need not be wedded to a recognizable subject. Unlike other mediums, photography was designed to reproduce the world as we see it with technical precision. Abstract photography uses this technological capability to break down our world, revealing it anew in surprising ways. Extreme close-ups, long exposures, and blurred subjects are just some of the ways that photographers chose and manipulate their subjects to express themselves. Such work is limited only by the imagination. For Abstraction, The Kiernan Gallery seeks images that partially or fully obscure the recognizable world.
Ishihara Test in Light–Brite from Any Color You Like © Matthew Gamber

For this exhibition, juror Matthew Gamber will select up to 23 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.
All photographic media are encouraged.
About the Juror
Matthew Gamber is a Boston–based artist and critic. He has taught at The Art Institute of Boston / Lesley University, Boston College, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, College of the Holy Cross, Savannah College of Art & Design, Massachusetts College of Art & Design and has worked on digital preservation projects for Harvard University and the Boston Public Library. He is a founding editor of Big Red & Shiny, an independent online art magazine for New England. His recent exhibitions include: Second Nature: Abstract Photography Then and Now, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA, 2012, The 2012 deCordova Biennial, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA, 2012; Flash Forward 2011 Exhibition, Magenta Foundation, Toronto, CA, 2011; The Sum of All Colors, Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York, 2011.

For more information and to see submission guidelines visitwww.kiernangallery.com