On Exhibit May 10th through June 23rd, 2013
Photo: Wes 2010, Bryan Schutmaat, Brooklyn, New York
"The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where
we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
David Fraher Juror Statement:
Home: Where We Live
The concept of home is ultimately different for each one of us. For some, home is a literal building, a house or an apartment, with walls, windows, doors--spaces which can hold both the neccesities of a life as well as those unnecessary artifacts we choose to carry with us, and which add emotional comfort and substance to our lives: books, souvenirs of trips taken, photographs, artwork. For others, home is a memory, a place we may have occupied at some moment in our past, but to which we no longer have access. It is a near-mythical place of nostalgia and longing. For some, home is less about physical space, but more about the sharing of that space with loved ones or trusted friends--thus, any place in which the bond of family, love, or friendship can be nurtured is, in itself, our home.
Home might be where we go to re-connect with our selves spiritually, a sacred space of our own choosing, be it temple, church, or wilderness. Home can also be a hoped-for future, a next life, a world yet-to-be, towards which we travel each day. And for some, home is an absence of all of these, a missing limb. It is the family left behind, the country we were forced to leave, or even an idea we've heard discussed by our parents, but have ourselves never once known: Home.
In thinking about this project, I began to understand that for me, a place can be an objective concept, and thus, divorced to a certain extent from a deeper human meaning. It is possible that a photograph of a field or a mountain or a body of water can be simply that, no matter how elegantly it is framed and realized. But the notion of home inherently implies a human intervention, an interaction between emotions or desires, memories or fantasies, and a physical or imagined place.
The seventy photographs which comprise this exhibition powerfully, and yet quietly, explore many of the diverse meanings and aspects of home. There is the captured image of a family gathered closely together on a sunlit couch, surrounded by--no, almost protected by--a mountain of books. There is the glowing haven of a tent tucked into a moonlit wilderness; a nearly invisible weaving of twigs and branches crafted in an urban forest as a place of safety and privacy; the carefully manicured hedge and landscaping of a modernist home; and the chaotic collection of detritus from a life lived somewhere beyond the edge of reality. There is a simple key strapped to an arm, an object of dignity signifying that, indeed, one still has one's own space, a room which can be locked, a home. And there is the now-empty hospice bed, wedged strategically into a window bay, looking out onto a scene of neighboring houses and well-manicured landscape and, far in the distance, an expanse of mountains and wilderness--a view from home--and yet, perhaps for the now departed viewer, a view towards home?
Another juror could have easily selected a different set of seventy images from the more than one thousand submitted, each a fine photograph, each an embodiment of the photographer's and that juror's understanding of home. Thus is the nature not simply of the jurying process, but in this case, of the very personal, subjective interpretation of the concept of home. Even in speaking the word aloud, we each imbue it with our own desires and dreams. We conjure our own memories and visions. Try it. Say aloud it to yourself. Say, Home.
Exhibit Juror: David Fraher - President & CEO, Arts Midwest David Fraher has been executive director of Arts Midwest since January 1984 when he joined the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest and successfully led that organization through a merger with Great Lakes Arts Alliance, forming Arts Midwest in July 1985. Prior to his position at Arts Midwest, David had been the executive director of the Wyoming Council on the Arts and had worked as a consultant for the Western States Arts Foundation in Santa Fe where he designed and developed the Western States Book Awards project. He has been active as a panelist and trustee for numerous arts organizations over the past twelve years, including terms on the boards of Western States Arts Foundation, BOA Publishing, Inc., and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Charitable Trusts. David has a degree in creative writing from SUNY at Brockport, New York and has taken graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens.
Polly Norman: Dances Through Glass
“Dance allows us to see music” - Polly Norman
Photo: Polly Norman
After a decade of photographing classical ballet students, she began her foray into making abstract images that “dance.” The discovery of the beauty of images projected behind glass block was by chance. On a trip to Chicago, she visited the Lakeshore Athletic Club. In their pool area was a large bank of Pennsylvania glass block lit from behind with fluorescent light.
The images Polly Norman saw coming through them were amazing, so she went up to her hotel room grabbed her camera, returned to them and started shooting away.
This was the beginning of a long journey experimenting with different kinds of glass block, eventually enhancing with an additional layer of photograms and hand-coloring select pieces.
Interestingly, the “dance” element came about subconsciously and gradually became evident to her. Polly Norman’s passion for dancing herself and photographing professional dancers had a great influence on her abstract photography.
In conjunction with this show is the premiere of a Normans new book: “Dances Through Glass” A Retrospective of 25 Years of Art Making by Polly Norman. It describes Norman’s journey beginning with photographing classical ballet dancers leading to creating abstract photographic images that “dance.”