To Teach Chemigram course at Goggleworks, Reading, PA

I will be teaching a three day course on creating Chemigrams at the Goggleworks, Reading, PA in 2016. The work is a form of mark making, and is done very much like painting or print making. It uses the materials of photography so the results are quite different from prints or paintings, and the images created are not photographic. For these reasons, print makers and painters as well as photographers are invited to take this course. Friday August 5, 2016 through Sunday August 7, 2016.

    GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

    201 Washington Street

    Reading, PA 19601

    610 374–4600

After Fukushima/memories at New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA

Many thanks to the folks who viewed the exhibition at the NAP, and those who attended the opening and closing receptions and lectures. Seeing the twelve images and installations together at the NAP Gallery gave the work a solemnity and formality very much in keeping with the theme, and beyond my expectations in terms of presentation. A special thank you to Dan Talley, professor of Art at Kutztown University. He provided the opportunity for me to speak with twenty art students about the process and the exhibition concept. I understand they went into the darkroom the next day to create cameraless Chemigrams using the technique I use. What a thrill to hear.

After Fukushima/memory of nature (H) archival pigment print, exhibited as scroll, Moab                         Museum Rag Paper. New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA, September, October, 2015. Altars beneath each image contain symbols of radioactive cesium, strontium and plutonium, and of Japanese funeral customs.

Gallery floor painted by Kutztown native Keith Haring.

Ancient Chinese and Japanese Sumi-e ink scrolls were marked with seals indicating succession of ownership over the centuries. A famous critic might also place a chop-mark on the scroll to indicate having examined it. I have created a seal for the NAP and placed it on each scroll to indicate the first exhibition of this work. I will create and add seals of future galleries to indicate the exhibition history of the scrolls.

New Arts Program Solo Exhibition

The series of Chemigrams, After Fukushima/memories, will be on exhibition at New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA. Dates and events are listed below:         

           Wednesday, September 9, 2015 through Sunday, November 1, 2015

Opening Reception Friday, September 18, 6 to 9 PM, Gallery talk 8 PM

One hour one–on–one consultations with the artist, September 18 and 19, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, by appointment with NAP.

Poetry Workshop with Marilyn Hazelton Saturday, October 24, 1 to 4 PM, limited to ten participants

Closing Reception Sunday, November 1, 1 to 3 PM, Artist’s talk 2 PM

New Arts Program       

173 West Main Street      

Kutztown, PA,610 683–6440

Friday – Sunday, 11 to 3, and by appointment

This series was begun shortly after the meltdowns of four nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Japan in March of 2011. The relationship between the distorted nature and urban environment in the images, to Fukushima’s continued destruction by release of radioactivity was inescapable. They represent what may be our memories of nature and metropolis after these are made unusable by Fukushima and similar nuclear disasters. Risks from the 2011 melt downs is increasing due to the continuing release of radioactive particles from Fukushima into our air, water, and food, the poor media coverage and consequent lack of public awareness and concern.  This series presents an important opportunity for the artist to use art to inform, energize, and even to worry the audience about the dangers to our environment of nuclear power and arms.

Because the subject of this exhibition is going to be so difficult to contain, the images are exhibited as scrolls suspended on the wall rather than being formally constrained in frames. Beneath each image is a small wooden altar on which is placed a Japanese funeral bowl hand thrown by the artist. Clear glass beads within the bowls signify the invisible nature of the radioactive particles being released into our air and water by Fukushima and similar nuclear installations. Chopsticks inverted in each bowl resemble sticks of incense burning at a funeral, a symbol of death in Japan, and the legacy of Fukushima.

Work to be featured in Alternativa Fotographie Umeni Kreativita

This Czechoslovakian Alternative Photography publication will be featuring the series, After Fukushima/memories. In conjunction with this publication Lyrica, a Czechoslovakian poetry group will be asked to create poetry about the series and the issue. Proximity to Chernobyl makes this a particularly important topic for the group.

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Katherine Ware, Curator of Photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art has included two images, After RS/1 and After RS/4,  in the exhibition Cameraless at the NMMA. These are original silver gelatin Chemigrams. The series, After RS, was inspired by the somber strength of Richard Serra’s large scale ink crayon drawings as mentioned on the Inspirations page of this web site. August 29, through December 7, 2014.

Art Intersection, Gilbert, Arizona

An original silver gelatin Chemigram from the series After the Hoboku (Gallery Two of this web site) was selected by Tom Persinger of F295 for inclusion in the exhibition, Light Sensitive at Art Intersection, March 8, through April 19, 2014.

Fukushima at Serenbe Photography Center, Palmetto, GA

The exhibition, Antiquarian and the New Alchemy, curated by S. Gayle Stevens, includes, After Fukushima/ Memory of Nature (T), August 3 - September 22, 2013

Fukushima at 440 Gallery, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

An image from this series, After Fukushima/ Memory of Nature (D) was included in Earth, an exhibition curated by Jill Connor, at 440 Gallery, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY in June/July 2013.

New Series: “After Fukushima/ Memories”

The series After Fukushima reflects my belief that the full effects of the nuclear reactor meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan have not been felt, that the danger is ongoing, and that the future result may cause significant damage to our environment and to our health. The extent of this damage may be beyond our current comprehension. Social commentary has long been the focus of photographers using a camera to record society and places. This series represents the first use of the camera-less Chemigram process for social commentary. 

With the Chemigram process I use photographic materials – photo paper, light, and chemicals which reduce the paper’s ability to darken under light, along with application of resist – to completely create an image on blank photo paper. One may think of the process as parallel to print making using a metal plate, resist, and acid bath. However, the results using photographic materials are different from those seen with printmaking or etching processes due to the light reactivity of the silver gelatin paper, and the flow of chemicals across the paper. The twelve images in this series are presented as archival pigment prints. There is no camera or lens used. For these images I have used an alternative photographic process to create an alternative reality.

While I have sought to instill the beauty of nature in each image, the trees, structures, and sea creatures you see here represent a very disturbed, “unnatural” world. They represent what might be the future of nature and metropolis after further damage by the Fukushima meltdown and by other past and future nuclear accidents. It is my hope that during the exhibition of these images there will be educational programming to raise the level of understanding and of concern of citizens, political leaders, and the media. These could include a public symposium concerning the threat of nuclear accidents, an evening of poetry concerning the preservation of nature, and a children’s program on the importance of respecting nature.

Recent Exhibition: December 7, 2012 Santa Bannon Fine Arts

My Chemigrams were shown in an entirely new format along with a new series shown for the first time, “Steel Works.” 6 - 9 PM, Banana Factory, Studio 243, 25 W. 3 St. Bethlehem, PA.

Recent Exhibition: Perkins Center Gallery, Collingswood, NJ, February - March, 2013

My work was included in a three person exhibition at the Perkins Center Gallery, 30 Irvin Avenue, Collingswood New Jersey, February 9, 2013 through March 23, 2013. Opening reception: Saturday, February 9, 2013, 6 to 9 pm.

Carnegie Museum of Art Presentation, Pittsburgh, PA

On June 9, 2012 I presented a keynote address at the Carnegie Museum of Art as part of Group f295’s symposium, “Twenty-First Century Photography.” The topic, “Light and the Chemigram,” included a discussion of the fact that light in the chemigram is not created by light as seen through a camera, but rather by chemicals degrading the photo paper’s silver, making it unable to respond to light by blackening and thus resulting in areas of white or beige. I also presented the thesis that the Chemigram may be the ultimate pictorialist photograph.

Chemigrams Published in Christina Z. Anderson’s New Experimental Photography Textbook

Christina Z.Anderson’s 2012 book, The Experimental Photography Workbook, contains several images and a description of my CHemigram process. This is a very readable guide to all things experimental in photographic processes, and is full of helpful, practical directions and ideas.

Curator Award

Philip J. Carroll, Curator of Exhibitions at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorsetown, NJ awarded my Chemigram, “Ancient Marks,” a Curator’s Award. My work will be given a place in a three person show in the Perkins Center for the Arts beautiful gallery in Collingswood, NJ in early 2013.

Juror Award

Juror Stuart Rome, founder and head of the Photography Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA awarded “Ancient Marks” an Honorable Mention at Perkins Center for the Arts’ “Photography 31” exhibition, February - March, 2012, Moorestown, NJ.

Presentation of Chemigram Process at Golden Paint Inc.

I was invited to Golden Paint Inc. in New Berlin, NY in early 2011 to describe my process of using Golden products to create Chemigrams. The plant is beautifully run with great care to protecting the environment. Thanks go to Mark and Barbara Golden, Sarah Sands, Mike Townsend and all the wonderful employees at Golden Paint for their generous hospitality. Fellow Chemigram makers Douglas Collins and Richard Turnbull of New York City also demonstrated their use of varnish as a resist in making Chemigrams to the Golden group.

Doylestown, PA Exhibition

My chemigrams were included in a group exhibition at Allure West Studios, 15 East State Street, Doylestown, PA, November 4, 2011. The evening was very well attended and a happy home was found for some of my chemigrams. The event was arranged by Jennifer Miller of Loudseed Creative Marketing, LLC.

Solo Exhibition, Easton, PA

A solo exhibition of my chemigrams at Connexions Gallery, May through June, 2011, represented the first presentation of the work as archival pigment prints. After high quality scans, the images were printed at an atelier in New York City on Hahnemuhle German Etching paper. The resulting prints had a soft, lush quality that represented their Asian influence quite well.

Philadelphia, PA Group Exhibition

In August, 2010, my Chemigrams were included in a group show, "RSVP," at the LGTripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. This relatively new gallery is spacious, nicely lit, and well managed by Luella Tripp, who has considerable gallery experience in Philadelphia. The three receptions were well attended with attendees stopping to look at, discuss, and purchase the chemigram images. 

Chemigrams Published in New Edition of Robert Hirsch’s Alternative Process Textbook

A description of my work with Chemigrams and an image, "Kokoro," were recently published in the new Third Edition of Robert Hirsch's highly respected textbook "Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes," Elsevier - Focal Press, 2009. The work of Belgian professor, Pierre Cordier, who first described the process in 1956 is also included in this edition, the first to include information on Chemigrams.

Presentation at National Symposium in New York

It was my privilege to be a guest speaker at the recent National Symposium, "Twenty-First Century Photography," in New York City. Sponsored by Group f295 of Pittsburgh, PA. The symposium took place at B&H Photo in Manhattan in January, 2010. A standing room crowd heard six speakers discuss new and unusual techniques in photography. Using a PowerPoint presentation I showed step-by-step photographs of my personal process of creating chemigrams (processes and therefore final images vary greatly among those working with Chemigrams around the world), including the use of resist, and the inspirations for my art.Monograph of My Work

A solo exhibition of my unique camera-less chemigrams, "Marks on Silver," took place at the Martin Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, June 1 - August 4, 2007. The exhibition included 32 images created over the past five years. A 16 page monograph was published in conjunction with this exhibition, including many of the images shown, and an essay and interview by Alexis L. Boylan, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Tennessee. For copies of this monograph please contact the artist.