Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Work!

Fall Featured Artist
Deadline: August 25
Exhibition: October 2 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception: October 4

Artists have a rich tradition of incorporating nature into their work. The Kiernan Gallery pleased to announce its non-photographic call for portfolio submissions to select a featured artist. The Gallery seeks works in 2D media. Photography is not eligible.  Whether in bloom or decay, edible or admirable, mammoth or miniscule, all interpretations of flora are welcome. The selected work will be shown in conjunction with our upcoming photography show Botanicals.
Right hand wall

Left hand wall

View into the main room and right-hand wall.
That artist will have their work occupy the entirety of a room in the Main Gallery. The featured artist will receive:
-       A one-month solo show.
-       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 pieces
-       Submit a written statement about the work (no more than a page).
-       Artists should be prepared to ship or deliver their work (ready to hang) to the gallery if selected.
We cannot guarantee an entire body of work will fit into the exhibition space. In such cases, Director and artist will collaborate to decide which pieces will be displayed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Deadline: August 22
Exhibition: October 2- 26
Opening Reception: October 4

The natural world has fascinated photographers since the invention of the medium. Botanicals are props in portraiture, examined in landscapes, and rendered as patterns in décor and apparel. Preserving the ephemeral quality of plant-life as a still image allows viewers to contemplate the beauty and complexity of natural forms, but it also allows artists to re-purpose nature for our own expressive ends. Whether in bloom or decay, edible or admirable, mammoth or miniscule, all interpretations of flora are welcome for The Kiernan Gallery’s exhibition, Botanicals.
For this exhibition, juror Sharon Beals 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
Sharon Beals is the author and photographer of Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them. Her images have been published in both science and art publications, including Scientific American and American Photo, which named Nests one of the best photo books of 2011. Her work is in many private collections and was purchased by Art in Embassies for the US Embassy in Riga. Following her environmental path, she collects and photographs beach plastic to maker large scale, deceptively beautiful yet confrontational prints. She is represented by Cordon/Potts Gallery in San Francisco.

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

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stephen Sheffield

The Kiernan Gallery is pleased to have photographer Stephen Sheffield as juror for our upcoming exhibition Alter Ego.

Though you often use yourself as a model, your portraits tend to be anonymous, making yourself into a character of sorts. Why is it important that you are the subject matter instead of a stand-in? What are you communicating about yourself through your images?

I use myself as a model as a way to experience and/or feel the situation (or, as I see it, the performance) that I have set up. The imagery comes from me and is often either a re-creation of my dreams and nightmares, or a reaction a response to something I have read or seen.

Your work has a surreal and sometimes theatrical element to it. How much pre-planning is involved in one of your self-portraits?

I am very much influenced by surrealism, and I agree that the work often feels theatrical.  I often refer to my works as performances.  For pre-planning, Location is unquestionably one of the most important parts of the process. I try to keep the locations simple but loaded with potential meanings to myself and/or the audience, thereby giving them significance. I also have an ever-growing array of "props" which I use for symbolic effect.  Nonetheless, I usually only use what I can bring with me on my bicycle or in my car, and often use props found on location that make sense or inspire me. 

You make work in a variety of photographic media (silver gelatin, polaroid, alternative processes, color film, artist books, etc.). How do you determine which media will work best for a given piece or project?

Some processes I treat as completely separate entities. With artist books, for instance, I search for an image to work into the piece rather than creating one specifically for the book I am making.  That means I am open to all imagery, new or old, including my own work of course. It’s really whatever I respond to. 

For other media, the first step is the straight image.  I then print the image at different sizes and shapes, pin them up in my studio, and then sit back on a stool, looking and drinking tea. This step may take a few days.  If a direction for the work does not come to me in a few days, I try everything I know—and often a few things I have never done before—to find a spark in the work.  This process means that many pieces end up in the trash or in storage. But like a roll of 35mm film, you are winning if you get even one that hits the mark.

As an artist, how do you feel that your own aesthetic will influence your approach to jurying this exhibition?

I admire and am influenced my so many forms of art that I will approach this with an open mind.  When I teach, I show as much painting, performance, and installation art as I do photography. I have had students complete final portfolio reviews with mixed media projects rather than straight photography. In such cases, the work can be wonderful, and the viewer will have to dig for the photography.

My main objective when jurying this show will be to build the strongest exhibition possible, one that holds together as a whole and is not simply a group show of the greatest hits of what was submitted.  I would like to explore and comment on what self-portraiture is and what it can be.  This may possibly irk some folks, but I am hoping every viewer will come along with me on the ride.

Finally, we ask this of all of our artists, what does success in art mean to you?

Success as an artist to me means many things.  It is easy to become addicted to the strokes one gets at a successful show and when your work sells.  I admit it is a rush.  Now as a "mid-career" artist (it hurts me every time I say that now) I am more concerned with longevity, legacy and continued growth and depth of my art.  Of course I need to support my family with my art (teaching is a smaller, but very important, part of my art life), but I am also driven to keep searching and creating.  Success to me would be a healthy balance of family, creative satisfaction, and the rewards of having my work collected.

The deadline to submit work for Alter Ego is June 20.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Open Water winners: Alexandra Opie

Thanks to a serendipitous printing error in the darkroom that created a flat antique-looking silver gelatin print, Director’s Choice winner Alexandra Opie became fascinated with antiquarian photography. She has honed this error into a unique photographic process ever since. “I spent years developing a chemical process that utilizes gases to age photographs, creating a silver sheen on the surface – a natural phenomenon called silver mirroring.” Opie decided to expand on the silver mirroring process she had developed and began learning the tintype process. “My intention was to also learn Daguerreotype, but I found working in tintype so satisfying I have stuck with that for now.”

Director's Choice Aquarium Landscape (moonrise)

Her winning image, Aquarium Landscape (moonrise) is “part of a larger series of underwater landscapes that focuses on ambiguous scale and heightened sense of atmosphere.” Utilizing this series to explore landscape photography with a 4x5 camera to photograph water and plant life in a glass enclosure, Opie is discovering the “rich strangeness” created in a tintype.

Underwater Landscape No. 6

Opie finds ideas for her series through her curiosities about certain visual phenomena or even a simple thought. The series grow from her exploration.

With tintype I find this process to have a quicker feedback loop, an immediacy that is very satisfying. Shooting traditional film, I will work through a number of attempts to get the negatives that I need and then work out the printing approach that works for the idea. Then it is a matter of executing the series.  With tintype, since each plate is unique, my usual process of planning, exploration and execution is compressed. Tintype is so complex and finicky that working with it can mean working for a month to make a successful image, but each attempt yields concrete and immediate results and I find that very satisfying.
Underwater Landscape No. 22
In addition to being an artist, Opie teaches photography at Willamette University. For the last thirteen years she has found inspiration in working with her students. “My work often pairs traditional art-making approaches – landscape, still life, portraiture – with new technology or uses old technologies to re-frame contemporary settings. This has certainly been influenced by teaching.” Conversely, her art also invigorates her teaching. “Being an active artist keeps me excited about the form and connected to the struggle and excitement my students experience. So, in a larger sense, the studio practice enlivens my teaching and helps me learn new ways to present material and teach students to solve problems.”

Underwater Landscape No. 1

To Opie, the definition of success is centered more on life than on career. “To me success is achieved by living an interesting life, which involves pursuing the things I love to do with intensity and curiosity. I am privileged to work as an artist and an educator, both of which are constantly challenging and exciting.”  

Underwater Landscape No. 12