Here and Elsewhere

Date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2012 (All day) to Friday, December 7, 2012 (All day)
The Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman Hall will host Here and Elsewhere, a group exhibition of works that emphasize the fluidity of space, including photographic, print, video, and paintings, from Thursday, Nov. 8 through Friday, Dec. 7, with the opening reception and artists’ lectures on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery.

The exhibition includes photographic artist Cheryl Childress (www.cherylchildress.com); painter Morgan Craig (www.morgancraig.org); sculptor Christina Day (www.chrissyday.com); photographic artist John Higdon (www.higdonphoto.com); photographic artist Angela Kelly (www.angelakellyphoto.com); artist Kaz McCue (www.art2xs.com); and photographic artist and videographer Mark Slankard (www.markslankard.com).

Jen Pepper, gallery director and curator of the exhibition says, “The artists in this exhibition create works that inspire viewers to question not only their own interpretation of various places, but maybe even the way in which we perceive the world.  Photographically based, the works in this exhibition are the documentation of actual spaces that seem to have been truly visually manipulated and surprisingly, are not.”

The Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman Hall, (www.cazenovia.edu/art-gallery) 6 Sullivan St., is on the corner of Sullivan and Seminary streets in Cazenovia. Hours during the academic year are: Monday through Thursday, 1-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Friday, 1-4 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 2-6 p.m. Summer hours vary. Shows and receptions are free and open to the public. The gallery is handicapped accessible. For information contact Jen Pepper, gallery director, by email to jpepper@cazenovia.edu. 

The Artists

Untitled, by Cheryl Childress, 2008 - 42inx23in, ink jet print mounted to ½ inch sintra.Cheryl Childress, of Swansea, Ill., is a photographic artist whose work is an ongoing exploration of the human condition, in reflection of media coverage and her surrounding environment. Her work investigates mankind’s need for control, his substitution of fiction for reality, and the ultimate failure in one’s search for a utopian destination. By staging petty acts of accomplishment, in junction with text excerpted from newspapers and crime testimonies, her work explores realms of fantasy and delusion while questioning the difference between the two.

Additionally, she is interested in primitive and low-fi cameras as a meditative and intuitive investigation of these themes. Although photography is her primary medium, she utilizes other two dimensional media such as papermaking, printmaking, drawing, collage and artist books.

Childress was included in the 84th International Juried Photo Exhibition at the Print Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Her work has also been exhibited both at Cactus Bra Space, San Antonio, Texas, and Box13 Artspace, in Houston, as well as written about in the e-journal “…Might Be Good.” Additionally, her work was included in a two-person show at the University of the South’s Carlos Gallery, and she has featured works in group exhibitions in St. Louis, Mo., at Fort Gondo and Hoffman Lachance Contemporary.

She writes, “Early one morning, while visiting a beach in Mexico some years ago, the tide along the gulf had extended far into the distance.  People ventured out into the sands normally untouchable, leaving their footprints on land that would later be under water.  As I walked towards the sunrise, on sand that was not intended for my path, I approached a small puddle where a sea horse was stranded and slowly dying.  The water, absorbing into the sand, left nothing for it to consume but earth.  Sadness came over me, for all I could think of was its ironic ill-fate, an end in nature's hands, in comparison to an even harsher reality of poaching for sea tokens that embodies the future for most.  The need to do something overcame me, along with contemplation of keeping it for myself.  In direct response for overwhelming guilt at the later, I scooped it into my sandal and carried it to the ocean, setting it free, only to be concurrently thinking, ‘What's the use?’

“Later, when I told a close friend about this sequence of events, he responded that he would have kept it, but I told him I felt guilty doing so.  I wondered if this made him stronger, that he could accept its frailty, lay it out, and watch it dry, for I was in denial, and by throwing it back I didn't have to confront its death, leaving me filled with ease.

“In my photography, I am very much interested in exploring these moments of insecurity, pathetic means of self-gratification, man's helplessness in his much larger surroundings, and paralleling need for control. Chaos, may it be internal or atmospherical, transpires through subtleties that speak of apathy and indifference. Escapism and existence in a hyper-reality pose as a solution to frustration over lack of control. Time becomes non-existent and irrelevant, as warped fantasies brink the edge of confinement.  In some images, actions, though simple and futile, become the subjects’ only concern, with conviction that the deed holds power and is of great importance.  Here, the hypothetical materializes into a substitute for the world that they long for but cannot possess.

In the film, The Thin Red Line, a character asks himself, ‘Why are we born into the world, part of the world, while at the same time feel that we have been exiled from it?’ By using photography as my medium, the world I’ve created bridges reality to imagination through a lens acting as a third eye.  The resulting work is a form of storytelling, combining titles from newspaper quotations with events that have only occurred to be photographed.  The struggle of making real from what is only dreamed of rarely pans out, leaving questions of how we deal with our existence.

Shuffle On, This Mortal Coil, 72” x 54” Oil on Linen 2011 by Morgan CraigMorgan Craig (www.morgancraig.org) has exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, including OK Harris in New York City, SPACES in Cleveland, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts and the Australian National University. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pa., and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting with teacher certification from Temple University.

Craig has received numerous awards, including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (2007, 2011), and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship for 2006 and 2008. He has also been invited to several residencies including Atelje Stundars in Finland, the MacDowell Colony, and Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts. In 2010, he was the visiting artist at the Australian National University. Selections from his work will be featured in several upcoming exhibitions, including the Delaware Museum of Art, Edinboro University, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology-Penn State.  This past summer he was granted a fellowship at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2013, he will return to Australia for a 2-person exhibition on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbor.

Of his work, Craig writes, “As physical constructs, architectural edifices — from the most highly designed to the most crudely fabricated — are tangible, relevant forms of culture. They not only convey knowledge about the past, but also serve an ideological function in the present. These three-dimensional structures play pivotal roles in shaping both societal and cultural understandings of history while simultaneously aiding in an ongoing process of present-day identity construction. What, I have come to wonder, will the implications be — for both future constructs of identity and versions of history — if societies fail to recognize  the profound impact of architectural edifices — such as the ruins of the post-industrial era? While many dismiss or abhor the site of the post-industrial ruin, I believe it is imperative to document these edifices and to press people to engage in dialogue about the associations we make with such sites and the sentiments that they engender in us—whether or not we have personal associations with them. I also find it imperative that people begin to question how particular types or styles of architecture shape the identities of those who live in or around them.”

Streetview #4, 2009. Found object, photographic decal - 3.5" x 1.75" x .75", by Christina DayChristina Day lives and works in Philadelphia, Pa. She teaches as an adjunct professor in the Fiber Departments at both The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pa., and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md. She has written articles both on her own work and in critique of others for Architecture and Ideas, based out of Carleton University (Canada) and Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture (Oxford, UK). She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts in fibers in the Crafts curriculum, and a Master of Fine Arts degree specializing in fiber from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Her sculptural and photographic work has been shown around the United States and abroad in Germany and South Korea since 1999.  She participated as a resident artist in 2008 at Sculpture Space and most recently won a Full Fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2011. 

In her artist’s statement she writes, “I am interested in recollection as a building method, where mismatches of surface, place and space are mediated through solid construction and collage.  My sculptures illustrate a real experience of a place that was once familiar and continuous but now recalled in a fixed, constructed view.” 

Photo from John Higdon’s Antarctica SeriesJohn Higdon, of Pensacola, Fla., spent 10 years in Antarctica as a merchant marine, navigating an icebreaker for the National Science Foundation. He writes that going sometimes months without seeing another ship or person created a personal love and connection to the nature and life of Antarctica. His photos, which show the beauty, remoteness and hostility of this magnificent area, were sometimes obtained in extreme and dangerous conditions.

His work has been published in science journals and books, including The National Science Journal and The National Science Foundation’s Yearly Planner. He placed third in an exhibition at The New York Institute of Photography. Unfortunately, his last exhibit and the works sold were casualties of Hurricane Ivan, as the entire gallery was swept to sea.

Higdon writes of his work, “I have been traveling the world for 25 years in the merchant marine and have discovered after review, that my portfolio has a deep sense of loneliness and singularity. You have the time to reflect on your life and its meaning, and the lack of distractions that would normally keep your mind from introspection, allows artistic freedom to express myself.

“I feel that when I capture a photograph, it is what I am feeling and not the mindset of those around me. That feeling is compounded exponentially in Antarctica where the natural wonders of the continent override any type outside influence. The feeling of individuality really does take hold when you spend months away from society in large. The camera did help me keep my mind seeking; the wait to see those images developed made me keep searching for more ways to think about how to depict this frozen world.”

Graving Dock – built for the Titanic – Belfast, by Angela KellyAngela Kelly is an artist, educator and an active member of the international arts community. She earned a Master of Arts degree in fine art photography from Columbia College, Chicago; an undergraduate diploma in creative photography with honors from Trent Polytechnic; and an undergraduate diploma in education with a distinction in art from Mary Ward College, Nottingham, England.

Her career in teaching spans three decades and two continents; her curatorial work in the United States and England includes photography, installation, sculpture and conceptual art. Originally from Belfast, N. Ireland, Kelly is currently a tenured associate professor teaching a range of courses across both the graduate and undergraduate programs in photo arts at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

She has served on the
executive committee of the National Board for the Society of Photographic Education, the Photography Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain, in London, England, and as vice chair of the exhibition committee at the Randolph St. Gallery in Chicago. She is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the International Fulbright Committee for Photography.

Her work has been supported by major awards from the Arts Council of Great Britain and N. Ireland; the Illinois Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; RIT and the University of New Orleans. Her work is in international collections worldwide including The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, The Art Institute of Chicago, The MacArthur 
Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, The Historical Society, Chicago, The Rockford Art Museum, Illinois, The Arts Council of London, U.K., and the Arts Council of N. Ireland as well as several private collections. Her images are included in the definitive book, A History of Women Photographers by Naomi Rosenblum as well as the prestigious exhibition catalogs, Three Perspectives on Photography, Hayward Gallery, London, Changing Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Art, Document, Commerce, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

Of her art, Kelly writes, “Underlying my artwork is the desire to question, prod and tease meaning from what appears to be on the surface primarily aesthetic objects. Several of my projects use the documentary photograph as a foil to examine both the nature of photographic meaning and a personal or historical subject of importance to me. Past work engages the power of the photograph to address the social context of female culture, issues of home and familial relationships.

“Current work examines the nature of a conceptually driven visual language that is embedded with literary references, textual ambiguities and social and political contradictions. Landscape, whether urban or rural is often referenced. Mapping serves both as a metaphor and a referent for deciphering meaning. Fragments of geographical information are overlaid with private snapshots and landscape imagery to explore the nature of personal photography and cultural memory. Aspects of visual theory are tweaked, re-presented and playfully challenged.”

Factory, by Kaz McCueKaz McCue has spent the past twenty years working as a visual artist, educator, curator and arts administrator. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Parson’s School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts degree in mixed media from Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus. McCue has received numerous grants and awards and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. As a curator, he has put together over 200 exhibitions and over 100 lectures and artist presentations. He has taught at numerous universities, colleges and academies and has served in several arts administration positions. Recently, his work was the subject of a catalog entitled “Bad Seed” with essays by Judy Collischan and Sarah Glover that explore the masculine stereotype in relation to ideas of social justice that are encapsulated in his installation work.

As a professional, McCue has dedicated his life to the arts. The diversity of his background and the wealth of his experience have shaped him into a mature and knowledgeable artist-citizen. His enthusiasm and dedication has helped to define his career, and his belief in the power of the arts has driven his commitment to participating in the process of the arts and mentoring young artists.

McCue writes of his work, “Artistically, I am a storyteller. I focus on personal expression and the translation of ideas through an interdisciplinary attitude, and I use the creative process to study cultural ideas. My aggressive approach towards my work helps me to bring my personality and my attitude into the commentaries I create and I can more personally narrate, satirize, question, and comment on aspects of my physical and psychological environment. By manipulating contents and contexts, each piece becomes an abstraction of things we know, see, and understand as a society and tells of our contemporary culture through my own search for meaning. Through my installation work, I can introduce, incorporate and recombine a multitude of ideas as expressed through images, objects and materials. This gives me a platform to tell stories of my own relationship with time and place, politics, religion, class, gender roles, personal relationships and other aspects of how I fit into the world around me.”

Structure, Ümraniye, Istanbul, 30" x 44" archival pigment print, 2008, by Mark SlankardMark Slankard, of Rocky River, Ohio, is a Cleveland-based artist whose photographic and video works have been exhibited and screened widely, including such venues as the Rotterdam International Film Festival; Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Columbia University; Texas Tech University; Visual Studies Workshop; SoHo Photo Gallery; and Ohio State University’s Wexner Center. His work is featured in Robert Hirsch’s textbooks Exploring Color Photography and Light and Lens. Slankard’s work explores the influences of landscapes and built environments. He is a 2011 Creative Workforce Fellow – the Fellowship is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, made possible by the support of Cuyahoga County citizens through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. He was also awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Award for 2011.

Slankard received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University in 2002 and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University in 1996, where he also studied photography. He is a 2002 National Graduate Seminar Fellow of The Photography Institute at Columbia University. He is currently an associate professor at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Of his current work, “Toplu: Landscapes of New Turkish Suburbia,” Slankard writes, “I have a long-standing interest in the cultural landscape of residential areas.  My previous work includes an extended project on the suburban landscapes of Midwestern America.  I looked at delineations and borders - how residents and planners defined their spaces against the perceived chaos of the outside world.

“I first traveled to Turkey in 2004 and have returned many times since.  In this landscape, I began to see many parallels to my previous work played out on an exaggerated scale.  In 2008, I began photographing the rapidly changing landscape of these far-flung, densely populated regions on the suburban outskirts. 

“I was initially struck by the Toplu Konut, developments of large scale mass-residences.  In these photographs, many are still under construction - plopped down into empty fields at a startling pace.  Others are tidy high-rise condominium clusters that are self-contained with their own restaurants, schools, shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds.  Within their walls they are meticulously landscaped and manicured.  Toplu, the title of the exhibition, has the dual meaning of 1: mass, common; as well as 2: tidy or neat.

“These modern, hyper-planned, enclosed developments are usually built on inexpensive land.  This land has usually already been settled by people who've migrated to cities from rural villages.  Here, they have built gecekondu, homes constructed without permits on public land.  Turkish law makes these structures difficult to remove once they are in place.  The term "gecekondu" literally means "built overnight", a reference to their quick, unplanned and stealthy construction.

“These photographs don't depict the ancient palaces, mosques, and ruins of guidebooks.  This is the everyday Turkey of a rising middle class, heavily influenced by Western Europe and the United States.  This is also the Turkey of displaced migrants, shantytowns and gentrification.  This is the site where they intersect.”