Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Photographers Talk About Their Work in Still Point I

Several photographers were selected to exhibit their work in Still Point I, the inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery. In this post we hear from Sue Alden and John Luesing. We learn how their careers as an environmental scientist and an interior designer influence their approach to art and photography. Be sure to see their work in the Gallery.

Sue Alden, from Delta, Pennsylvania...
I have always had an interest in the details of organic matter. The delicate beauty, filled with color contrast, lines, and shapes. Each photograph of organic details carries its own narrative and unique beauty that stands on its own. Whether it is a vein on a leaf, or the patterns found in ice crystals, the texture and patterns are unique.

Sue Alden, Abstract Macro 5

Macro photogr
aphy is an adventure for me; I never know what I will discover on just common grass or a flower stem. It's like seeing something for the first time and being stunned by the beauty. My career field in Environmental Science gives me insight into the natural world surrounding us. The macro world is full of beauty and I want to immerse myself into this art form and appreciate it for what it has to offer.

Everyone sees the world and our surroundings differently. My photography captures images that enable the viewer to see as I see, to witness the wonder
of the natural world, if only for a moment. I strive to create artwork that enables the viewer to observe and interact with what is provided in the natural environment; to see and appreciate what naturally surrounds us and what is most often missed in passing.

John Luesing, from Chicago, Illinois...
My photography stems from my theories and practices as an interior designer.

Born in rural Michigan, I grew up surrounded by nat
ure, and at the time it was easy to take my environment for granted. Yet living around woods and fields instilled in me an appreciation for the forms and randomness of nature. As I grew older, a fascination for man’s ability to construct massive structures and buildings led me to begin studying interior architecture and design. The non-randomness of the process of building intrigued me.

John Luesing, Wacker Drive #2

When I moved to Chicago to complete my BFA in Interior Architecture and Design, I began studying the techniques and philosophies of the most famous twentieth-century architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe to name a few. Their mathematical, proportional, and rational designs were a great inspiration to me, and I began applying these techniques to my own design.

I look at buildings and interiors as groupings of planes in multiple axes which are inherently related to one another; they have to be reconciled individually while simultaneously interacting with each other to produce a harmonious grouping. Within each individual plane there must be strong composition, but also an emotional component. Composition is what attracts you to the space. Emotion draws a response to the space, whether it is comforting, thought provoking, or something else. Usually I rely on my client to add the emotional content to the space through his or her likes and dislikes, as well as through personal objects interjected into the space. In my photography, I take responsibility for both of these aspects: composition and emotion.

When I see things that make me smile or make me think, I photograph them. I apply my theories of composition, proportion, color, and positive and negative space to create a composition that, when on paper, subconsciously draws the viewer to the subject matter. I would like to think my work inspires people to take a moment and appreciate the things around them they may have missed. It is important, I believe, to stop and regard the world around us.

In my photography, I don’t rely on specific subject matter. Living in Chicago, I am fortunate to be exposed to both the randomness of nature and the structure of man’s creations. I have no expectations of what I may come across when I wander with my camera. What I do look for is the unexpected, the juxtapositions of life, and things people see every day but may not stop to look at or admire.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 17, 2009

Abstract Artists Talk About Their Work at Still Point Art Gallery

Still Point I, the inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery, explores those things that artists, through their art, hold still. In this post we hear from abstract artists for whom what is held still is not something easily seen or conceptualized. These artists are Diana Cadwallader, an artist and graphic designer; Constance Humphries, a painter; John R. Math, a photographer; and Wolfgang Schweizer, also a painter. Be sure to see their work in the Gallery.

Diana Cadwallader, from Jacksonville, Alabama...
My work is mostly abstract or nonrepresentational; in it I recall, record, and imagine places and states of mind. It is also about the observation of small wonders—mostly seen in nature.

Color is my predominant element. I also look to solve formal problems such as balance, and how soft and hard edges come together in a piece when transparency is used. I intend my “line pieces” to be seen differently from a distance and close up. The work is labor intensive as most of the lines are multi-layered. Nevertheless, I want to spend time with the work, letting it grow until it takes on a life of its own. And yes, in my line series, I use a rule.

My recent pieces explore sacred subjects: “Stabat Mater” is about the sorrows of the Virgin Mary and “Vigil” refers to the night watches of the “Officium Divinum.”

Constance Humphries, from Asheville, North Carolina...

Drawing is the primary element in my work. It gives me direct access to my impulses through the immediacy and personal quality of mark-making. Exploring form, memory and imagination through the creation of ambiguous clusters, the work describes the connections and interdependencies of life.

The process of creating the work is such that it develops organically. Working intuitively and spontaneously, which allows the subconscious and imagination to take over, each mark suggests others until the work is completed. This is balanced with a slow and careful development of layers that results in a work that is simultaneously formal, random, constrained, loose, deliberate and instinctual.

John R. Math, from Jupiter, Florida...
I specialize in abstract and impressionistic [photographic] landscapes. Being near the ocean, I shoot horizons, seascapes and waves. I also create what I call "Focus Images," which depict the essence of a natural object or place. This essence may be a distinguishable element of an object or an overall feeling that one would derive from being subjected to that particular focus. Overall, my images focus and interpret an identifying element of a natural object or scene. My images are in the form of impressions and abstracts. With my images the viewer has an immediate intrinsic connection. The depiction of these inherent elements provides for and serves as a reminder to us that we are connected to nature through our source and essence.

Wolfgang Schweizer, from Andover, Connecticut...
My field of activity as a painter is to recreate feelings on canvas while leaving the business of exact definition of the world to scientific study. I see life as colorful and not gray. I follow my internal rules of proportion and color, leaving minimalization and elimination concepts behind. Thus the inner music can come forth with no restriction.

I started with realistic paintings, then began to develop abstract scrawlings coming to mind automatically. All begins with one decisive line whether I am using pens, watercolor, oils or acrylic paints. The quiet stillness quickly moves to a harmoniously proportioned canvas leaving each side true to the other.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Still Point I Artist Laura Yang Confronts Memories of 9-11

Artist Laura Yang is exhibiting her Void Series in the Inaugural Exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery. The idea of the exhibition, entitled Still Point I, is to explore those things that artists, through their art, hold still. For Laura, Void Series is a deeply personal work, recalling the personal and shared tragedy of 9-11. It is the memory of loss and tragedy that is held still in Laura's profound work appearing in this show.

In Laura's own words,
Each time I confront my memories of the tragedies of 9-11 it is a never ending face of evil. I feel a sense of anxiety about the void in my world; the muted songs and the unfulfilled dreams of lives cut short.

For my Void Series prints I use drained colors and the texture of the cement as formal resources; this event was etched in the wall, in our hearts. The calligraphy lines represent the written history of mankind.

This is my statement about the biggest tragedy of my live time.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Introducing Four Visual Artists Exhibiting in Still Point I

Ione Citrin, painter, from Los Angeles, California...
Ione's abstract art is loose and free flowing and has been described as "intuitive," "spontaneous," creating a sense of "limitless space," having "light interact with matter in a way that breaks down the barriers between the physical and the ethereal."

Carla Kathryn Cope, sculptor, from Sarasota, Florida...
I am inspired to create images that remind us of our emotions. I draw from nature the shapes, textures and movements that make us feel the drama of our world. As humans we have a direct connection with the elements of earth, without them we become sluggish and unhealthy. I study the effects of these elements on our psyche and the emotions that they create. My work is a tool to rekindle that lost sense of mystery and awe from our lives. I strive to pause the viewer for a few quiet moments so that they can reanalyze their feelings in relation to the art and our world.

I received my Associates degree from Miami-Dade Community College in Fashion Design. I have designed for Fashion Design houses, as well as costume design and character design for Walt Disney World and MGM Studios. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Arts/Sculpture from Purchase College, NY. I have also studied abroad at the Ballyvaughn School of Art in Ireland. I have participated in group shows in Ireland, Japan, New York City, Texas, California, and Florida. I have been published in the Magazine of the Arts.

Anita Masterson Johnson, from Valentine, Nebraska...
Currently residing in the Sandhills of Nebraska, Anita holds a Bachelor of Art from Sam Houston State. Anita has been chasing her passion of photography since being the yearbook photographer in high school. After years of living in larger cities such as Houston and Dallas her family relocated to rural Nebraska. Surrounded by wildlife and great open spaces Anita strives to capture the surreal essence of the land and the beings that inhabit the area.

Eileen Baumeister McIntyre, from Miller Place, New York...
Eileen Baumeister McIntyre is a contemporary realist artist whose work emerges from devotion to the representation of still life, landscapes and botanical art. In each of the mediums Eileen works in, it is the nuances of light that accent the tender realities of her images. These mediums include colored pencil, oil pastel, watercolor, oil paints and the obscure medium of silverpoint. Eileen is also a jewelry designer as well, specializing in fused glass with silver pieces.

Eileen Baumeister McIntyre's work has been shown primarily in east and west coast galleries as well as in numerous national and international juried shows. Her artwork is in many private collections throughout Europe and the United States.

Eileen Baumeister McIntyre attended Long Island University/Southampton on an art scholarship, graduating Cum Laude in 1988. She then went on to receive her Masters Degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1991 and continued her studies at The School of Visual Arts in New York and Long Island University/C. W Post.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

Cindy Rizza Named Artist of Distinction in Inaugural Exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery

The colors are realistic. The scenes are familiar, though perhaps most familiar to one's memory...if you remember blowing soap bubbles and playing in small inflatable swimming pools. They could be scenes from anyone's childhood, anyone's fantasy childhood, anyone's escape from a sad childhood.

It is easy to be swept away by Cindy Rizza's paintings in this exhibition. It is easy to feel that you are part of the image, also blowing bubbles and playing in the pool. In her paintings Cindy captures just the right moment, the exact right moment to hold still...the exact right moment to feel that you could be part of the painting.

Cindy Rizza, Fuel

Here is what Cindy says about her work...
In my recent works, I've been painting children isolated in suburban environments to symbolize vulnerability in our fast-paced, modern lifestyle. The young characters I paint are surrounded by comforts, yet they seem vulnerable in their environments, as if they have realized what their world would be without them. Bubbles, toys, picnics and sweets lay unprotected by a darkness that emits from behind the fun. My aim in these works is to capture that still moment when my characters begin to realize the presence of the darker forces at bay looming in the shadows, that their comfortable world is threatened by what they do not understand.

The children I paint are based from past photographs of friends, family members and strangers. Even though I prefer painting from life, I believe that using photography as my primary reference for these works helps me develop my narrative and capture the moment I aim to portray. My process consists of sorting through stacks of found family snapshots, from myself and strangers, to look for a lone subject to base my work from. Since one second of a story is captured in a snapshot, I'm able to generate my own narrative and produce the feeling I want to communicate from that visual data, even if it differs from the actual event in the photograph. Through paint I am able to add or subtract subject matter from the primary source, and be free with painterly matters of composition and color. Although I may personally know some of the characters I choose to paint, the identity of the children themselves are of no importance. They are meant to summon universal, collective symbols of youth, that are vulnerable to the world around them as they learn about their immediate environment.

By painting children in the still moment of discovery, I hope to symbolize a truth that our own environments are fragile and unstable, which is a feeling I think viewers of all ages can identify with in a world full of recession, war, poverty and disease. Throughout history, artists have reacted to changes in their environments. With my work I hope to continue that creative reaction by responding to changes that I see occur in my time, place and self.
Reflecting on Cindy's use of photographs, I asked her when she started using photographs in this way and what made her transition to this process? Cindy replied,
Cindy Rizza: Well, it is quite a long story. First for practical reasons, I began using photography in my process after I began wanting to capture a specific moment that I was unable to paint by setting up a still life in front of me. I received my BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art where the painting curriculum is very traditional in terms of working directly from life to develop technical skill with paint. There is an undeniable intimate connection between what the painter sees directly with their own eyes and how they interpret that in paint. But as I moved towards my senior year I had a strong desire to communicate something to my viewer that wasn’t just on surface value, similar to how a poet uses metaphor. So I turned to using photographs for the visual data because the subject matter that I wanted to paint could not be set up in still life form, but I also wanted it to help me develop my use of metaphor by making my own visual associations from what I saw in the snapshots. Sometimes being labeled as a representational painter makes me cringe, because I think my work is also very abstract. I hope that my work can be revisited again and again and something new can be taken from it each time, very much like a poem.

Christine Cote: This process must invoke a unique connection to each of your pieces. Can you say more about that?

CR: I’ve always felt connected to my work because I can also see the process and struggles that go into each painting. But recently the connection has been unique because after I began using photographs, I found myself more comfortable with taking risks with paint, because I did not feel so bound to painting exactly what I saw. I believe this further developed that intimate connection between what I saw and what I painted. I also feel like my work summons a universal memory, and I think my use of photography helps that.

CC: Do your family members or friends know you are using certain photographs of them in particular paintings? What do they think about your artistic process?

CR: Some of them do, yes. I think my family members wonder if I’ve had a troubled childhood, which is not true at all! I’ve had to explain that I’m not making a commentary about my childhood specifically, even if myself or family members are in the painting. I began with using family snapshots since that was what I had available, then moved onto snapshots from people I do not recognize. I’ve found that the total strangers in the photograph actually excite me more. If I know the people and events from the original source, I sometimes have a hard time taking the photo out of context into painting form since I am associated with the place or person, and less liable to make changes to composition. By having a stranger in the photograph, there is a more comfortable distance because I have no particular attachment. But after the work is finished, the painting is just as personal to me as if I painted someone I knew, because I’ve developed a new relationship with the image.

CC: Cindy, thank you for talking about your artistic process and thank you for your contribution to the Still Point I exhibition.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

Robin Borland Named Artist of Distinction in Inaugural Exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery

Robin Borland's pieces in the Still Point I exhibition are bold...bold color, bold strokes, bold design. The slight abstraction mixed with the bold color and stroke make the pieces nearly vibrate with intensity. They are gregarious and outgoing, but, like other more somber pieces in the show, capture a moment that the artist knew was worth holding still.

Robin says,

I like to capture places and people as they are in that moment in time. I try to convey not only what my eye is seeing, but also what emotions are being felt by the people or places in that moment in time. I paint quickly, trying to get down every feeling that I have as I experience it. I use color, line, and shape to build images that will project an emotion to the person viewing the art.

I asked Robin what emotions and feelings she was experiencing when she painted the pieces exhibited in Still Point I. Her reply,
When I paint anything, I find myself climbing right into that place and time that I am trying to capture. I live that very moment in my head. I can hear the the people talking and glasses clinking in Girls Night Out. I can see the way the sun hits the buildings, and I can smell the fresh air of the Tuscan village in Somewhere Else I'd Rather Be. I find myself front and center experiencing everything that is going on in that moment. When I paint a place it is like going on a vacation for me!

Robin received her degree in Fine Art from the University of South Florida. Upon graduation she began her full-time career painting at a studio in Dunedin, Florida. In 1999 Robin helped to create and manage Trailside Artist Colony, an artist co-op dedicated to helping professional artists show, market and sell their work. In 2000 Robin moved her studio into her home in Safety Harbor, Florida and began a career in local politics winning two terms as a commissioner for the city of Safety Harbor. In 2004 she successfully held a position as an aide to then State Representative Gus Bilirakis and left in 2005 to make a bid for State Representative District 48. Robin continued her painting throughout her political career often painting places that she would visit on vacation or business. Robin works in acrylic as well as oil. She now resides in Palm Harbor, Florida with her husband Bob and son Oliver. Her paintings are owned by many local politicians, business professionals, and several New York radio personalities.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

Five Artists From Maine Talk About Their Work in Still Point I

The inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery - Still Point I - attracted artists from all over the country. In this post, we hear from five exhibiting artists who are from Maine.

Mary Brooking, from Westbrook, Maine, has two landscape paintings in the exhibition...

I am an acrylic painter with many years of professional experience in art and graphic design and figure drawing, including teaching experience. Most of my images currently take the form of landscapes, definable as such to greater and lesser degrees. Most are unpopulated, and I try to impart to them a sense of either memory or anticipation that someone or something might inhabit them in the past or future. They have been called expressionist landscapes, and while I've never been totally comfortable with labels in general, this one probably fits my work best. . . . I like to test the balance between representation and abstraction; creating fields of color and texture which form a visual space that the viewer can enter mentally and emotionally.
Fellow Maine artist, Frank Valliere, said about Mary: "Mary paints like a Mainer talks - exactly enough said to make her point, with nothing unnecessary or extra to blunt the effect of her truth."

Anne-Claude Cotty, from Stonington, Maine, has three photographs in the Still Point I exhibition that were taken in the Sahara Desert...
I returned from seven days walking in the Sahara Desert with pebbles, brittle bones, small bags of sand the color of cinnamon and a few rolls of film taken with a plastic toy camera. The walk as done in silence, in the company of strangers and alongside a dozen camels and their handlers. While the Berbers fasted in observance of Ramadan, we entered the New Year feasting on the desert's spare landscape, senses and spirits awakened and nourished in its vast oceans of sand
and stars.

My soft-focus cameras would capture some of the mystery that held us captive in the desert. Fellow travelers were shooting with fine equipment and recording the beauties that were immediately visible to us in full and dazzling color. But I found that the desert had more to say and would have us see more. As stolid and immobile as the dunes appear, they are centuries-old grains of sand in perpetual motion, gliding along the desert bottom, reforming themselves. In this cycle of reconfiguring, my Holga and pinhole cameras became accomplices, joining in the play of wind and sand, conspiring with the elements in their sculpting, shifting, balancing, ordering, erasing.

Laurie Downey, from West Baldwin, Maine, has a series of four Snow Drawings, in the exhibition...
These Snow Drawings are from a series of large charcoal drawings done over several years. During this time, forms half-melted into spring snow exerted a very strong pull. There seemed to me to be some mysterious tenderness in the way the objects and the snow altered their relationship to each other slowly, over time. Like runes, the quiet arrangements felt weighted with meaning, and worth recording before they disappeared. I particularly like the way the snow became the surface of paper, and the objects hinted at depth.

Liddy Hubbell, from Bar Harbor, Maine, has two landscape paintings in the exhibition...
I use the landscape to express a hopeful, elevated vision through a colorist style. My palette includes both strong, deep colors and transparent hues and washes.

These landscapes [in the Still Point I exhibition] were influenced by my home region, Downeast Maine

Phil Stevens, from Windham, Maine, has three monotypes in the exhibition...
I seek the sublime through nature. I seek beauty, the universal, and a sense of place. I constantly search the countryside to find images. The effect I seek is fleeting. I am interested in the primordial so I look for abandoned fields and nature preserves. The images are slices of nature where color, form, and light combine to create a unique visual sensation.

The monotypes are unique, one of a kind, prints which I create using two layers of ink. Printmaking is a transfer process where the pressure of the press transfers the ink from the plate onto the paper. I first mix the inks to create the desired colors. The background color is rolled on to the first acrylic plate and then transferred to the paper. Next inks are brushed and rolled onto a second place to create the image. The paper is then placed on top of this plate and printed again.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

Nik S. Clements Named Artist of Distinction in Inaugural Exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery

The young boy's big dark eyes cast a look over his shoulder toward something that cannot be seen by the viewer. His brow is deeply crossed, his lower lip is set straight across...is it defiance or a pout? His overall demeanor....concern, intense curiosity, rebelliousness? This photo, simply called "Boy," is hard to look away from. The viewer is drawn in to study it, wanting to know the reason for the look on the young boy's face.

"Boy" is one of five photographs by Nik S. Clements that appear in the inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery. The show is entitled Still Point I. The idea of the show is to explore those things that artists, through their art, hold still.

Nik talks about his art in this statement,
As a young child, I was always fascinated with the idea of trying to find something on this planet that had yet to be touched by human or animal hands. I’d imagine climbing up to the very top of a large oak tree and touching a leaf that had never been touched before. However, there was inevitably a problem with this idea. I began to realize that everything, in one way or another, had actually been touched in some way. Perhaps the tree I was staring up at had been planted by a woman hundreds of years ago and she had cradled the tiny seed in her palm before plunging it deep into the soil. Or perhaps two feisty squirrels had chased one another across the same exact leaf upon which my eyes laid. This, of course, frustrated me to no end. What in this world could be mine and mine alone? Was there anything at all that could be unique to only me? What could I experience that nobody else had?

It wasn’t until I discovered photography that I developed an answer to these questions. Over the years there have been trillions of photographs taken and there is very little, if anything, that hasn’t been photographed before… but nobody sees the world as I do. Nobody experiences the moment that streams in front of my eyes exactly as I do. You and I may take the same exact photograph of a hill on a cloudy, snowy day but your experience with the moment will be different than mine. You stood there; I stood here. Your vision was yours; mine was mine. And so our visions, our experiences, our photographs are completely unique.

In many ways, the only thing we have in this world is our own experience with the moment, right now. We can’t find anything else that hasn’t been physically touched before. There are no trees, no books, no cascading waves of water, no remote islands that haven’t been touched in some way or another. All we have is our ability to see the ever-changing river that flows in front of our eyes. This is all we have… and it’s wonderful. By coming to terms with this fact, our lives become full. Now, let me correct what I had said earlier: As a child, I had in fact been the only one to touch the leaf on the very top of the large oak tree. But I did so with my eyes and my soul, not with my hands. That moment, though long past, was mine and mine alone. Only I saw it. This, to me, is the beauty of photography.
I asked Nik a couple of questions:
Christine Cote: Your statement very much conveys a sense of life experienced as movement or as flow. How does this influence your photography, and how does this sense of life and this experience of photography fit with the idea of the exhibition Still Point I?

Nik Clements: Though I don’t consider myself a religious person, I have always found myself fascinated by Buddhist philosophy. In Buddhism, there is a strong emphasis on “seeing," of being as awake in the moment as one can possibly be. No matter what you do, life is always moving forward; you either move with the flow, or you end up struggling against it. As an artist, I try to truly see and then capture the essence of individual moments as much as possible.
In many ways, I believe the concept of living in the moment and photography go hand-in-hand. When I’m behind the camera, I oftentimes feel that I am seeing the world around me in a much clearer fashion than when I’m not behind the camera. There’s a sense of calm, of stillness, that overrides me, and I begin to feel a strong connection between myself and the world I am capturing on film. This is the reason why I was so intrigued by Still Point I, as I felt the idea behind the exhibition somewhat mirrored my philosophy as an artist.

CC: I believe there is a “sense of other” that comes through your statement. Has your work as an artist been influenced by any spiritual traditions or avenues? If so, in what ways?

NC: Photography is my own personal form of meditation. I’ve never been one to sit on a chair and meditate quietly for half an hour, yet I can spend hours at a time photographing whatever it is that is fascinating me in the moment. After I’m done, I realize I hadn’t had a thought- no worries about finances, no thoughts on what I’m going to make for dinner- just me, my camera, and what I see through my viewfinder.

CC: Thank you Nik for your wonderful thoughts related to the exhibition and for your artistic contribution.

Nik S. Clements earned his BFA in Theater from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and worked as a professional actor for nearly a decade. When his son Kyan was born in 2005, he was moved to begin documenting his child’s life, honoring the bits and pieces of his everyday existence through photographs. Soon thereafter, in Spring 2006, he was accepted into the Photography program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, where he is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Photography.

Most recently, Nik’s solo show Sekai was on display at both The Walton Gallery in Newtown, PA and GalleryPrint in Hudson, WI. Prior to these solo exhibitions, his photographs were chosen for display at the Biggs Museum of American Art (Dover, DE); the Center of Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO); Morpho Gallery (Chicago, IL); Still Point Gallery (Brunswick, ME); Upstream People Gallery (Omaha, NE); Projekt30 (New York, NY); the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (State College, PA); and the 2007 and 2008 San Francisco Spring Show at Academy of Art University. In 2009, he was selected as a finalist in the 29th Annual College Photography Contest and received an Artist of Distinction award from Still Point Gallery for his project Mehoopany. In 2008, he received Honorable Mention in the IPA 2008 Professional Photographer of the Year competition and his project Mehoopany placed 2nd in the Best Portfolio category at the 2008 San Francisco Spring Show. His photographs have been published in Photographer’s Forum’s Best of College Photography 2009, GalleryPrint’s POW, F-Stop Magazine, FILE Magazine and GOMMA magazine, as well as used in several academic textbooks at both Minnesota State University and the Academy of Art University.

Nik currently lives in Newtown, PA with his wife Anitra and son Kyan. They are excited to be expecting another son this summer.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Still Point I Photographers Talk About Seeing and Feelings

Still Point I, the inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery, shows the work of several photographers, two of whom talk about their art in this post. Bonnie Jones and Cella Neapolitan talk about photography in terms of seeing and feeling - seeing and feeling different aspects of their unique lives and then holding them still with a photograph. See their work in the Gallery.

Cella Neapolitan, from Cookeville, Tennessee...

Sometimes I view my life in photography as a grapevine of intertwining aspects ~ changing over time, some growing, some withering, new shoots, overlapping ~ but at the root is seeing with feeling. Relating to the world viscerally/visually is a lifelong pursuit, as is focusing on part of it to produce an image that conveys that feeling.

Bonnie Jones, native of Florida, currently living in West Texas...

If you look at a map of Texas, the eastern half of the state appears full and the western half empty. Moving to the 'empty' half led me to my recent photographs. I was interested in exploring the expansive, often lonely landscape of the west half of Texas; especially the small isolated towns loosely strung together by ranch roads. Despite the nature of my time here being transitory, I also felt the urge to make a series of more intimate photographs that evoke the feeling of home. These images I made in my (temporary) Texas home, which is in fact an old summer lake house fully furnished with the odds and ends and memories of another family. Using the artifacts and surroundings - that I live with but are not mine - I hoped to create a warm, familiar, yet slightly distant sensation that matches my experience. I am learning that the idea of home can be curiously ephemeral.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 10, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Still Point I - Curating the Show

Still Point I presented a unique challenge to curate, but also a great pleasure. Yes....CURATE. When was the last time you heard that word in connection with an online art gallery? Yet another thing that sets Still Point Art Gallery apart.

Being the first show for the Gallery, it was such a pleasure to see the work of all the submitting artists and to see the show come together. The challenge was to decide which pieces to select and which pieces would work well together overall. My plan is not just to mount or upload image files and then make the show live. Rather my plan is to select art pieces that work well together as an entire show, as well as on individual screens or windows. I don't have large walls or rooms to work with, so computer windows do present a bit of a curatorial challenge. Still Point I did not have any subject restrictions, but explored those things that visual artists, through their art, hold still. Artist submissions for the show represented a wide variety of media and styles, which presented the curatorial challenge, but also a creative pleasure.

I personally hope to learn something from every exhibition presented by Still Point Art Gallery. I wrote in my February 16, 2009 blog entry that, in my own artwork, I can feel that I'm holding still whatever is before me with the click of the shutter on my camera. In working with and looking at the pieces in Still Point I, I learned that there are times when I should think about this even more consciously. What scene do I want to hold still? What expression on my friend's face do I want to hold still? How do I create a photograph that holds still the feeling of love? I'm not sure exactly, but I can practice and perhaps one day I'll know.

Still Point I opens April 14, 2009.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 3, 2009