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Image : Constructed : Constructed : Image at Wellington B. Gray Art Gallery ECU

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

I attended the Society for Photographic Education Regional Conference in Greenville, NC this past weekend and was given a huge jolt of inspiration to get back to making pictures. It was great being immersed and surrounded by so many creative and passionate artists and photographers. I was very much inspired by the various speakers, excellent exhibitions such as Constructed Image in addition to just talking with my colleagues about photography.

The Constructed Image Exhibition was particularly inspiring to me because it was so diverse in visual content and photographic technique / media.  This exhibition is a great example of how photographers and artists continue to break pre-conceived barriers of what photography is or can be.

constructedimageAccording to the Gray Art Gallery web site

“Image : Constructed :: Constructed : Image in the main gallery of the Gray Gallery is curated by SoAD photography faculty member Angela Franks Wells. This national invitational photography exhibition features the work of twelve artists from eleven states and Canada. The artists in the show are Thomas Allen, Tracy Longley-Cook, KK DePaul, Amy Friend, Amy Theiss Giese, Dan Herrera, Aspen Hochhalter, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Louviere and Vanessa, Emma Powell, Liz Sales and Kris Sanford.

The artists’ work encompasses a wide range of photographic processes: cyanotype, gum bichromate, type C color prints, digital pigment prints, images on found objects and mixed media. In describing the exhibition, Angela Franks Wells said,” Over 300 million photographs are uploaded to Facebook every day.We will take more than 380 billion pictures this year. Our society is consumed with the activity of taking pictures. As an artist and educator, I am deeply invested in the practice of making photographs, rather than taking them. The twelve artists in this exhibition exemplify the diverse nature of contemporary photographic practice. They make photographs; from creating the subject of the photograph to building the camera to making images without a camera; these artists are constructing the image. The image constructs conversation and challenges our ideas of what makes a photograph—well, a photograph. “

Tom Braswell, interim director of the Gray Gallery

Tom Braswell, interim director of the Gray Gallery

Light radiates in all directions is also installed in the Special Collections Gallery at the back of the Gray Gallery. It is Curated by Tom Braswell, interim director of the Gray Gallery, the exhibition features the work of seven southeastern photographers who exhibited together previously in the Photon Rangers exhibition in 1999. The work of Crista Cammaroto, W. Cameron Dennis, Jessica Hines, Gil Leebrick, Jackie Leebrick, John Scarlata and Sam Wang represent varied aesthetic and technical approaches to the medium of photography. Curator Tom Braswell stated, “At the intersection of art and science and the interpenetration of physics and metaphysics the one light is revealed through each individual vision.”

I came away from the conference with a head full of new ideas and  “fire in my belly” for making new photographs.  In fact, I stopped numerous times during the drive home from Greenville, North Carolina to take pictures in the late afternoon light.

The main thing I got from the conference was that making art is hard work and you just have to do it.  You can’t always wait for inspiration.

Something things one of the speakers Amy Friend said during her presentation really stuck with me.

 “What do you want to say with your pictures”?

“Photography is about self discovery – a threshold…a place to enter.”

“Fear is an integral part of the creative process.”

“You must live a photographic life”

“Pick subjects you are passionate about – work happens through work.”

It really isn’t about being inspired. Its about doing what we do as image makers – being who we are and that is artists and a photographers.

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off of 5th and Jarvis Streets on the campus of East Carolina University in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center.  Summer gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  The gallery is closed for all University holidays.  Jenkins Fine Arts Center is handicapped accessible.  Parking for the reception is available in the lot surrounding Jenkins Fine Arts Center.

For more information, please contact Tom Braswell, Interim Gallery Director, at (252) 328-6336.

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About Patrick Keough

Editor of Keo Blog and VASA Transmedia

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