"Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy — Photographs by Gordon Watkinson" is a long and fussy title for a exhibition about an art form that is anything but. The show, which includes 77 photographs by Wilkinson, opens Friday, May 24, at the Arkansas Arts Center. Wilkinson's photographs, which capture the spare and functional architecture of the Bauhaus school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, and other items in the exhibition — architectural plans and elevations and furniture — are paired with images of contemporary designs that are heir to Gropius' ideas.
Friday evening, the Arts Center and StudioMain present "From the Bauhaus to Our House" on the history of the design form and its influence on today's designs starting with talks by design experts at 5 p.m. in the lecture hall and a panel discussion at 7 p.m. There will be a break at 6 p.m. for folks to see the exhibition. Speakers (who are also the panelists) include UALR art history professor Dr. Floyd Martin; John Greer of WER Architects and the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, UALR applied design professor and artist Mia Hall and UA Fay Jones School of Architecture associate dean Dr. Ethel Goodstein-Murphree.
The legacy of Bauhaus explored in the show includes, for example, the notions of passive solar, radiant heat and prefabricated housing. There are 77 photos in the show.
The exhibition is comprised of photographs, plans and elevations, and furniture that capture the essence of Bauhaus design and its influence on architecture. By pairing Bauhaus buildings with contemporary examples by leading architects, Gordon Watkinson explores the legacy of such modern ideas as passive solar, radiant heat and prefabricating housing.
Photographer Kat Wilson, whose narrative compositions of people and places have brought her many awards, including a Delta Award and two other awards from that annual exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, is exhibiting her work at two venues in Fayetteville, the U of A Fine Arts Center Gallery and Arsaga's Depot. Since both go down Friday, and both have closing receptions, you can party amid her work from 6 p.m. on that day.
At the UA gallery, Wilson's exhibit "Portrayal" includes her photographs of Arkansas artists. Her show at Arsaga's, "Habitats," is a continuation of her work featuring subjects and locations from Northwest Arkansas. The UA reception starts at 6 p.m., and the Arsaga's reception, on Dickson Street, starts at 9 p.m.
From a news release on the exhibitions:
In every circumstance, Wilson has developed relationships with her subjects. The images in Portrayal present artists from around the state within their respective studios. Each one reveals more than the environment, or countenance of the subject, it also examines the relationship between an artist's body of work, their public persona, and their private realities. Wilson's photographs are carefully staged and have strong references to historical portraiture compositions. Portrayal is a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain of an artist’s public perception and peer into their private realms of domestic space and psychology.
Habitats captures our local 'folks' on film. She includes and carefully arranges everyday and sometimes exotic belongings owned by each subject in their domestic space. The resulting images are of an environment that defines each subject’s appearance, personal interests, and desires. 'I’m exploiting these people and their stuff,' Wilson admits, and through this exploitation she enables them to express themselves completely, if only for a single moment in time.
Architectural photographer Tim Hursley's years of photographing a toppled silo in Hale County, Ala., has gotten new attention from the Oxford American magazine's So Lost series, with this video by Dave Anderson. The OA wrote about the project after it was in its sixth month; now Hursley has been shooting for a year and a half.
In this video, shot in Alabama, Hursley says he was intrigued by the silo because it reminds him of an "early Frank Gehry," referring to the designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and other curving and geometry-defying buildings.
David Houston, curator with the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Ga., known here by his former association with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, says the silo itself has an "amazing powerful, poetic presence." The video of the nearly a million photographic frames, shot every 12 seconds with a surveillance camera to capture stars streaking through the night and light falling in various places through the day, animates a tumbledown, rusting heap into something quite beautiful.
Hursley has focused a camera on a grain separator by railroad tracks in Gould as well; that animation gets a little Fritz Langy by night.
Tim O'Brien of Conway, his interest in photography of national parks piqued by a T.J. Hillman photograph of Glacier National Park left him by his park ranger grandfather, decided a couple of years ago to bid in an online auction of 43 glass negatives made in 1915 in Yosemite Park.
The photographer was (and remains) unknown. The initials U.D. were on the packets the plates came in, which were also labeled with the where the photograph was made.
After he won the auction, O'Brien said, he thought, "Now what do I do with them?" Few people know how to develop prints from glass negatives. But through a contact at Hillcrest Gallery, O'Brien found John Blakney, a professional photographer who took on the project. Blakney photographed and digitized images from the 4-by-6-inch plates and he and O'Brien then looked at the results in photoshop, tweaking the images to get rid of the "scratches and flaws that have accumulated over the past 100 years."
O'Brien said his interest in printing the plates started out as a hobby, but when he saw the quality of the printed work — which he puts "up there with Ansel Adams," who didn't start work in Yosemite until 1922 — he realized he could also sell them.
Blakney and O'Brien also tackled the printing of a 6-by-63-inch negative of a photograph by Howard C. Tibbitts of the cabin of Yosemite settler Galen Clark, which O'Brien also purchased. The photograph was made with a revolving Cirkut camera in Mariposa Grove, famed for its gigantic sequoias. O'Brien dates the picture to 1908. O'Brien and Blakney decided to enlarge the photograph, and the result is an 11-foot-long, 6-inch high photograph in four panels.
Prints from O'Brien's find go on exhibit March 1 at Gallery 360, at 900 S. Rodney Parham Road. They'll be for sale at a variety of prices, depending on size and framing.
O'Brien is still searching for clues to who U.D. might be. He and his wife and family visited Yosemite last summer and met with a park ranger who was familiar with the pictures, but did not know the photographer. The park service has not gotten around to alphabetizing and digitizing its visitor logs, but O'Brien might find U.D.'s name in the 1915 log if he had the time. He'd have to plow through a couple hundred thousand names though, so it would have to be a lot of time.
Chris Cranford, creative director of Jones Film Video, won first place in the 15th International Krappy Kamera photography competition sponsored by Soho Photo Gallery in New York. His entry, a black and white photo shot with film, was selected by jurors who looked at 1,200 entries from 180 photographers and 12 foreign countries, the CJRW website has announced. (His father is a retired principal in CJRW, an advertising company.)
The Krappy Kamera competition was created by Soho in 1992 in response to photographers' admission that "they preferred using their junky cameras to their high-end ones," the gallery says. Cranford used a Holga to shoot his winning work, "Palms."
Forty-seven artists were chosen for the show, which opens March 5 at Soho Photo Gallery, 15 White St., with a 6-8 p.m. reception.
An exhibition of photographs by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette photo chief John Sykes Jr. opens today at the Thea Center (aka the Thea Foundation), 401 Main St., North Little Rock. The work includes landscapes and digital collages; a reception is set for the Argenta ArtWalk from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 18. The show runs through Jan. 25.
In a press release, Sykes is quoted as saying that he was inspired to take pictures by the Ozarks: “The natural beauty sparked my interest in photography, and I’ve been attempting to copy the work of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston ever since.” I'm thinking that's a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Sykes has had one-man shows at the Cleburne County Arts Council, Cantrell Gallery and the Arts Center of the Ozarks all in 2004. His resume also includes group exhibitions at Cantrell Gallery and
“A Voice through the Viewfinder: Images of Arkansas’ Black Community by Ralph Armstrong”
Images by mid-century Little Rock photographer Ralph Armstrong.
As promised, here's a slideshow of some of the work that can be seen at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Ralph Armstrong (1925-2006) made a career of taking photographs at African American events in Little Rock for 50 years, his entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History tells us. Armstrong aspired to be a classical musician, but in 1946, after he auditioned for the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, he was denied a seat, probably because he was black. He then embarked on his photography career.
I got a quick look at the exhibit yesterday, in the temporary exhibit hall at the museum. Many of the people pictured and the date of the shots aren't known; the museum would I'm sure welcome a visit by long-time residents of Little Rock who may be able to help with identification.
Alex Leme, regular readers of the Oxford American and this blog may recall, was named by OA as a "new superstar of Southern art" in its February issue. Now you can see Leme's work in person at the Butler Center Galleries' Atrium Gallery, in the Arkansas Studies Institute.
"Small Town: Portraits of a Disappearing America" features photographs Leme made in Cotton Plant to record the vanishing farm community in Monroe County. There, amid the crumbling buildings and empty storefronts, Leme said he found that, "The sense of purpose that once accompanied steady, meaningful work has long since vanished."
Leme, of Little Rock, was born in Brazil and is both photographer and a student of art history. He's exhibited his work internationally, and in 2010 he won an En Foco New Works Fellowship for his work capturing dying small towns in the U.S. He is also the art editor of UALR's "Equinox Literary and Art Journal."
The show will run through Aug. 25.
The color of the day may be St. Patrick's green, but it's the Blue-Eyed Knocker Photo Group that will be the center of attention tonight at Gallery 26, which will hold an opening reception for its new exhibition from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with music by the Staggering G8z.
Nineteen photographers are showing 170 photographs, many produced in the darkroom, according to the teacher of many in the Knocker group, Rita Henry. On exhibit will be original handmade silver gelatin prints, authentic Polaroid manipulations, long-exposure digital images and iPhone photographic art.
The BEK group includes Cynthia L. Adams, Darrell Adams, Gail Arnold, Ann Ballard Bryan, Tony Bliss, Mary Chamberlain, Susan Crisp, Betsy Davis, Susan Ebel, Eric Estes, Lynn Frost, Rachel Green, Tammy Harris, Bud Holloway, Jamusu, Casey Sanders, Dauphne Trenholm, Margaret Wang and Rachel Worthen.
Blue-Eyed Knocker show
The 19 members of the Blue-Eyed Knocker photography club are getting ready for their exhibit March 17 at Gallery 26, a show they say will be one of the largest displays of fine art photography ever in Central Arkansas.
The club has been working for three years on the exhibit, which opens with a St. Patrick's Day reception from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring food, drinks and music.
The photographers in the exhibit are the students of Rita Henry, one of Little Rock's photographic talents. Samples of what you'll see in slideshow.
Vermont photographer Don Ross will give a talk at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock at 7 p.m. tonight in Fine Arts Center Room 161. He is both a commercial and fine artist; his website features abstract photography drawn from nature and man-made materials and landscapes. Ross also specializes in photographic reproduction of works of art and archival pigment ink printing.
You've read about Little Rock photographer Dave Anderson's "So Lost" video series with the Oxford American here and his book "One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds" here. Now comes news that OA and Anderson have partnered with National Public Radio to produce "Southword," multimedia stories about the South by Anderson and NPR journalists.
The first episode, about obesity in Mississippi, can be heard at 6 p.m. tonight on "All Things Considered" on KUAR. NPR's Debbie Elliott and Anderson went to Holmes County, which has the highest obesity rate in a state with the highest rate in the country. Anderson's companion video is "Living Large in Mississippi"; a Q & A with Anderson and Elliott is here.
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