Alan Ostreicher

Apartment 304 | These photographs are from an ongoing series of snapshots taken in and around my wife's and my apartment with a Polaroid camera and instant film over many years. I've had the idea of making images of my immediate domestic, day to day environment ever since spending a summer during college living in the Boston expressionist painter Jason Berger's art filled apartment in Brookline. He painted mainly landscapes but I had a special affinity for the work he produced in his apartment. I was amazed at how his unique way of seeing transformed the space in which I was living into abstract, playful, and frenzied lines of color and space. Robert Bechtel is another artist whose use of everyday domestic scenes in his work has influenced my approach to this project.

We've lived in this rent controlled apartment for over 20 years and although the rent is very reasonable we sometimes think about moving.

The thought of living somewhere else is a poignant reminder that although we've spent a good part of our lives here it may, at some point, be just a memory. I've made a lot of pictures of physical details of our apartment over the years, but the series mainly consists of those that depict the quiet moments of little consequence that comprise most of our time.

Lori Pond

Menace | When danger flares, what do you do?

Since humans first experienced the fight or flight reflex, the subconscious brain has told us what, when, and whom to fear. This remains so. When faced with peril, our bodies respond with intensified adrenaline and racing heart beats. Survival depends on our instantaneous emotional response instructing us to run or stay, a millisecond before our rational self can decide.

While our brains have not changed, what we fear has. It is rarely a carnivorous beast that triggers our instinct to run. It is pictures of burning skyscrapers, reports of schoolchildren crouching behind desks to hide from bullets, or a gathering of teens in hoodies that make us tremble: Our 21st Century litany of what to fear.

But are these threats real? My series “Menace” challenges us to question what we “know.” “Menace” confronts us with frightening, darkened, wild animals that trigger the ancient instinct, while our rational mind knows we are in a safe, civilized space, viewing images.

We look longer, closer, and realize the threat was never there: these are taxidermied animals, their images captured in bright sunlit shops, manipulated later by the artist to ferocity. They frighten, but are impotent.

Menace asks us to consider if our modern fears are justified, or if our contemporary bogeymen are figments of our imagination, mere empty threats manipulated by an unseen hand.

Matthew Finley

This Too Shall Pass | This Polaroid series is a look back at my journey from pain to acceptance. Through the unreliable lens of memory, I am revisiting an emotional period of shame, fear and rejection, and later, love, desire, and home. These memories, conjured up time and time again over the years, fuzz and change, often leaving only impressions of a moment, an apparition. It’s these bygone feelings, these ghosts, that I’m trying to capture and in doing so, set them free. 

Instant film was prevalent at the time of my earliest remembrances. I can still glimpse my mother fanning a Polaroid photo of me on the steps of our mountain town church, waiting for it to develop. The circle, or looking glass, is a way through which I can see my past selves. There is also a completion to this circle, an acceptance of what was, and an understanding that those selves made me who I am today.

I share these filmy impressions in an effort to connect to others and maybe help them through their own difficulties, showing that one day they may look back on them and say, “Hello ghost, you don’t hurt me anymore.”

Becky Wilkes

Ditched | Society’s health and wealth might be judged not by the magnificence and abundance of its creations but by its regard for the environment and the discards of its citizens. Until we value that which we discard, it could be said that we are rich beyond measure.

"Ditched" explores the implications of our throwaway society through the examination of debris meticulously collected for one year during the drought of 2014 to 2015 from the shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake, near Fort Worth, TX. Following in the footsteps of the archeologist, Augustus Rivers, who first insisted that all artifacts, not the just the beautiful or unique be collected and catalogued, I photographed every item found along one mile of newly exposed lakefront. These artifacts speak to me; I seek to understand them and account for each of them.

With the abundant runoff of the Spring 2015 flooding, and subsequent barrage of debris filling my immediate landscape, I began to realize the migratory nature of trash in our waterways flowing from our drainage ditches and roadways. Eagle Mountain Lake, while only 14 square miles in size, is fed by a watershed of over 850 square miles. Unlike the trash entering our oceans, this debris is trapped inland, restrained by lakes and dams. Individually, the collages reveal the variety, quantity and rate of disintegration of the materials contained in the lakefront. Collectively, they speak to our careless abandonment post gratification. Either by accidental or intentional action, we are being inundated on a massive scale by the individual fingerprints of personal choice.

Susan Rosenberg Jones

Building 1 | I have lived in the NYC neighborhood of Tribeca since 1984. My apartment is a rental – the complex I live in is one of 3 high- rise towers named Independence Plaza. I live on the 39th floor of “Building 1”, the northernmost of the three 39 story towers. The three towers and attached townhouses, erected in 1974, were intended to be luxury rentals, but at that time Tribeca was mostly non-residential. There were practically no grocery stores, pharmacies, and the like to support a residential community. It was considered a “pioneer” neighborhood. The only residents were artists in legal and illegal live/work lofts.

In order to attract occupants, the complex was converted to NY state subsidized middle-income housing until 2004 when the buildings were again sold and the subsidies were removed. Some tenants were forced out, others remained, and the vacated apartments were renovated and rented to new tenants paying premium market rents. The neighborhood had changed dramatically since the mid-1970s.

When my neighbors and I first moved into our apartments, we had to qualify officially as “middle income” – we are teachers, nurses, artists, musicians, civil servants, social workers, writers. We have rented in Manhattan for years, working to pay our rent and bills and enjoy life in New York. Many of us, like myself, raised our families here. The high cost of living has made it difficult to save for retirement, and many of us don’t own any real estate that can be sold for profit. We have contributed to the diversity of our neighborhood and our city.

For the past several years I have been photographing the original and long - term tenants of Independence Plaza. I am making portraits of residents in their apartments and in the common areas of the complex. My intention is to illustrate the distinctive mix of the people and the created comfort of their residences. Every apartment may have the same parquet floors and bathroom layouts, but people have in many cases transformed the mid-1070’s layouts into real homes. There's a real bond among the original tenants; we have seen each other's kids grow up, and have shown up for their funerals and joyous celebrations. When I visit my neighbors and photograph them, I listen to their stories about the neighborhood and realize how important it is to maintain this feeling of community in our city.

Jo Ann Chaus

The Exquisite State of Imbalance | Photography is the lens through which Jo Ann negotiates her world as a daily practice.

She is arrested by the brilliance and the darkness of the beauty before and within her, enmeshed with life’s complexities, relationships, expectations, disappointments, surprises, joys and desires, and with great curiosity and resiliency reaches and stretches herself using the deep, raw, and authentic places she accesses during the process of making her work.

These images are a selection from a series of performance driven work entitled "Conversations with Myself, The State of Exquisite Imbalance", where Jo Ann embodies assorted nineteen-fifties era women who are evaluating themselves and the roles they have performed over their lifetimes, with misplaced identities, as they search for it and discover, with courage, tenacity and perseverance, who they are.  The work is an homage to and a connection with women of all generations who struggle as wife or mother, juggling the demands of nurturing the family while finding time to nurture themselves, their desires, and their dignity. 

The work quietly alludes to the significant growth and metamorphosis, emotionally and psychologically, that is possible for all, with great reflection, consideration, and determination.

Glenna Jennings

At Table (2004-2019) | documents everyday spaces of expression and connection – dining rooms, kitchens, restaurants, bars and coffee tables. The series uses the messy contingency of plates and bottles and condiments to foreground human relationships performing for my lens, which navigates from a perspective that is local in depth but global in breadth. In locations including the USA, Mexico, Canada, China, Serbia and the UK, I have collected thousands of moments that capture friends, family and erstwhile strangers sharing time around food and drink in spaces where I am also an active participant.

My “tablescapes” offer subtle moments of drama and humor in which gestures, expressions and objects combine to perform as cultural artifacts and personal memories. I see the table as a space that can often transcend cultural barriers to become a place for authentic interaction. While the surface qualities that connect the photographs are largely formal – bold colors, exaggerated facial expressions, a consistent focal length - the series arose from the notion and need to forge diverse relationships outside the familial. For an only child, these photographs have come to represent an extended family that defies traditional definition.

On a broader level, the work offers a unique visual anthropology of everyday moments shared by a range of cultures, while also addressing how photographs may function in the realm of public culture as imperfect personal memories or shared histories. Ultimately, this series aims to connect, rather than solely critique, aspects of the human condition that collide and converge in a familiar, everyday place with an often untapped political potential – the table.

As an artist and educator, my work within the community often uses food culture as a means to address harder questions around social inequity. At Table presents a first-person narrative that uses the photograph as a fairly traditional, though purposefully performative, document. However, the images have been placed in the service of larger cultural conversations through exhibitions, community events, and educational activities.

My experiences in these discrete locations around the globe have resulted from my own privilege to move freely and access sustenance widely. I present spaces that fall within a fairly narrow socio-economic margin of neither extreme wealth nor destitution, while realizing this represents just a small portion of a global society where hunger is a very real issue.

My own photographed experiences, in all of their awkward beauty or chaotic authenticity, have all resulted from the hospitable acts of friends, family members, loved ones and mere acquaintances. I offer them as a small archive of the potential for radical hospitality, active togetherness, and the kindness of strangers to help alter the landscape of our polarized political climate. I offer them with the blatantly naïve but stubbornly fervent faith that sitting down together to share food and drink can change hearts, minds and worlds.

Kathy Anne Lim

Where Salt meets Ice | On a trip driving to Höfn, in south-east Iceland, our journey was defined by dramatic, ever-changing geography and unpredictable weather. Wind whistled and carved through the landscape, and we had to turn the steering wheel 11 degrees to the left to keep us travelling straight through the winter storms. Our headlights illuminated the swirling snow that filled the road ahead of us, bright against the black asphalt and dancing in synchronization with the lo-fi howl of the wind. The landscape changed around us, and I watched the grey sky begin to part in our rear-view mirror as sunbeams illuminated the edges of the clouds and we drove further into the storm.

Growing up against the backdrop of two glossy cities, Singapore and London, I found the otherworldly wilderness of Iceland captivating. Arriving in the tail-end of winter, layers of the landscape began to unfold before us as the melting snow unearthed sleeping grass and formed glacial pools of sapphire. But nature here is as brutal as it is beautiful. On Reynisdrangar beach, the frenzied, forceful winds dragged me backwards, whipping the sand around my feet and burying me into the black shore. In that out-of-control moment, I decided to surrender to this alluring yet violent place.

I decided to experiment by overlapping my photographs, these highlighted the vastness of the landscape, while also intriguing the viewer to speculate about what might beyond theimage surface. The project was a strategic attempt to examine the landscape I encountered. Informed by encounters, personal affection and experiences, this series allowed me to make sense of an emotional landscape riddled with stories.

Jaime Alvarez

Lee’s Retreat | While driving through central Virginia in 2016, a sign caught my eye. The sign was for Lee’s Retreat Highway, a self guided tour one could take to view the various locations of the final days of the Civil War. The particular route I was one also lead me to several small towns that at one time had importance as part of the general infrastructure and coal business to the region. It is also intertwined with the Civil Rights in Education Heritage trail, pointing out locations where African Americans, Native Americans and women developed the right to an education equivalent of white males. 

These small towns while exhibiting signs of decline, the ghost of a strong American Industry is still persistent. 

Burkeville VA, population of 405 (estimated) serves as the junction of the Norfolk and Western Railway and the Norfolk Southern Railway. 

Crewe VA, population of 2171 (estimated) was founded as a central steam locomotive repair depot, and named after the large railroad town of Crewe, England. The town of Crewe has faced large economic decline in the past years, but still houses a small railroad museum dedicated to the work the Norfolk Southern Railway’s history. 

Victoria VA, population of 1642 (estimated) is largely employed be the Lunenberg Correctional Center, which opened in 1995, and was founded in 1906 during the construction fo the Tidewater Railway, which later on merged to become part of the Norfolk and Western Railway which in 1997 was merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway.

Sandra Klein

The Embittered Heart | The series, entitled The Embittered Heart, consists of visual poems that evoke the universal emotions of pain, loss and cynicism that often come with the experience of betrayal. Although my own such experience happened many years ago, the remnants of it have in some ways remained with me and changed me so that the memories feel vivid enough still to portray them honestly.

 This ongoing series uses vintage appropriated anatomical imagery, of the heart in particular, and photographed images of cacti, succulents and roots.  I combine these visual components to portray the various responses that human beings have at the close of a relationship.  Selected images also have the addition of embroidery to add three-dimensionality.  Reflecting my background in printmaking, I am drawn to the layered image and the actual printing process in photography.  I continue to find this study of love and loss mysterious and magical.

Wendi Schneider

States of Grace | In States of Grace, I illuminate beauty amidst the chaos. I’m calmed by the simplicity of a graceful line and the stillness of the suspended moment and compelled to share an impression of the serenity I find there. I capture the ephemeral movement of light on organic forms to preserve that mystical moment that stills time for me. Photographing intuitively - what I feel, as much as what I see - and informed by a background in painting and art history, I portray a personal interpretation by layering the images digitally with color and texture, to find balance between the real and the imagined.

The images are printed digitally with archival pigment ink on vellum or kozo. White gold, silver or 24k gold leaf is then applied by hand behind the image, creating a silken luminosity on the print's surface, which varies as the viewer’s position and ambient light change. Throughout history, civilizations have prized the use of precious metals for their beauty and sanctity. The leafing process suffuses the intrinsic value of the treasured subjects with the implied spirituality of the gold. Within the limited edition, the prints may differ in color or texture, and, as the effect of gilding inherently varies, each of the limited edition prints is unique.

Ann Mitchell

Chance Chronicles | In this series of constructed images, I have created a world that feels somewhere between a dream and a cinematic still. A world where we have a sense that the space and narrative continues beyond the frame, with echos from a past existence. The title, Chance Chronicles, comes from the process I used to create the images, starting with a randomly selected written meditation prompt. I then start writing and the writing process leads to me images…which are the basis for the work you see here.

Beginning with a warm, monochromatic palette to impart a sense of nostalgia, I use a visual language of objects that weave man-made structures into a place where nature is returning. These are spaces of transition and I like the idea that in a balance between man and nature…nature will eventually have its way with us. The objects within the frame are the characters - they embody hope, loss, life, age, strength…that is their roll in these landscapes. Visually, I’m fascinated by the narratives/dreams that come to mind when I find abandoned places, and I’m drawn to western landscapes where the sky seems to go on forever, where there’s enough space for waves of those dreams.

In creating these scenes, I work with my own imagery and that has taught me to look for scenes that are both evocative and non-specific to allow the viewer to remain in the “authenticity” of this new world. For this series I created a set of textures taken from a variety of vintage traditional processes: the glass from old proof frames, the edges of wet plates, even aging film by leaving it out in the elements. I’ve chosen to print these in hand-coated Platinum / Palladium, a 19th Century process which I love for its luminous mark of the hand.

The images are printed in hand-coated Platinum / Palladium, a 19th Century process used for its beauty and mark of the hand. I have also created a series of short (15-30 secs) animations that bring several of them to life.

Alexa Cushing

Seeing Is Believing | With time, personal perceptions of reality begin to shift. Our sentimental connections to a particular place feel as though they are less powerful. Instead, we separate ourselves from the meaningful embraces that are often linked to the places we grew up. This change gives way to the disconnect from what we once understood as familiar, and in turn reveals a more vague relationship with our own surroundings.

A place originally created to provide a sense of safety and community to its residents now displays relicts of the past and the once glorified idea of society. These photographs reveal a tension that is tangled between the landscape and its current community. With visual traces that represent the harsh impacts of time, weather, and people, we are reminded that a place can be just as vulnerable as life. The people of this community exist within the hieroglyphics of the landscape. The human relationship to a familiar place is no longer one we recognize, but instead it has become something that is unbalanced. With this in mind, we can begin to understand how our past memories pollute our current experience with a familiar place.

Alexis Vasilikos

Art is a spiritual experience, it's not about conveying messages or anything in particular, it's more like a communion with the timeless core of existence, a revelation of the fundamental unity of form and formlessness, of what we are and what we appear to be.

Courtesy of Can Christina Androulidaki Gallery

Ashley Miller

Sweet Things | The still life series, Sweet Things, was photographed in a studio, captured on film, and printed in a color darkroom. Owing to their careful arrangements, the images take a stab at the unnerving sides of consumerism. The work picks and pulls at the embodied anxieties from insatiable capitalism, chewing over desire, bodies, and fetish objects.

Michelle Rogers-Pritzl

Not Waving But Drowning | Not Waving But Drowning is a look inside an Evangelical marriage. These images show the truth of a life lived in the confines of oppressive gender roles, cult-like manipulation, and the isolation of Fundamentalism.

Each image is equivalence for the unseen, for the reality behind facade. Despite the smiles and appearance of perfection, Complementarianism is an abusive system in which a wife serves her husband as a helpmeet, remains silent, and prays for her spouse to become a better man. The man is the head of the woman, and the woman is to do what she is told. Even her body is not her own. Because churches worship the institution of marriage as a reflection of Christ's relationship with the church pastors put the institution above the people in it. If a woman leaves she will be shunned.

I use self-portraiture to share my own experience within the Fundamentalist Lifestyle without being explicitly autobiographical; I unmask what is beneath the veneer of "perfect" marriages and families. My chosen medium of collodion used with contemporary digital media represents the outdated behaviors and rules imposed on women by Fundamentalism.

The title of the series is taken from the Stevie Smith poem by the same name. The title suggests a kind of frantic despair beneath the surface of a smiling, perfect demeanor.  It represents the woman who smiles every Sunday while protecting her husband with silence and prayers for change.

The image titles come from The Awakening by Kate Chopin and are sequenced by their titles’ place within the story. Unlike Mrs. Pontellier, I choose to thrive in my freedom. I seek to unmask, to reveal truth. Growing up in Fundamentalist Christianity, I endured the cognitive dissonance of wearing the smiling facade to mask the oppressive truth. By unmasking that truth, I set myself free from the burden of my silence. This is my protest. I will no longer be silent. I choose to live.

Corey Isenor

Once Around the Sun  | Once Around the Sun is a chronological collection of photographs spanning the entire year of 2015. Documenting adventures, friendships, parties, and everything else in between, these images explore a year in my life; a somewhat external self-portrait. All photographs were taken on 35mm film with a Leica R4s camera.

Michiko Chiyoda

Starting a New Journey | After a long struggle with sickness, my mother passed away. Since then I have made a lot of trips while captured by undigested mixed feelings. I have chosen to visit seaside, because I remember what my mother used to say to me before she died. “Michiko, I want to go to seaside and feel the breeze.” While seeing the horizon way out there, all the memories of her was back to me.
We used to often take a walk together around open fields in our neighborhood. As she was a good walker, I think she would enjoy walking around the seashore tirelessly. Now, she’s gone and I can’t see and touch her again. However, I feel her all the more because I know that I can never build up the relationship with her any more.

I might be able to describe those trips of mine as pilgrimages in order to face my mixed feelings about my mother.

‘Osorezan’, which is located on the northern tip of the Honshu island, is one of the places I visited. This sacred site has existed for over a thousand years. It is known as the place where people can contact with the departed. People who visit there try to console the spirits of their loved one by piling up stones and laying flowers, so, I did the same thing, and I surely felt it was the right place to talk with my mother.

What does “mourning for a departed soul” mean? When you lost someone, you might feel that person deep in your mind and you might recall the relationship and your memories of events with them. People exist in relation to each other. However, once they die, their materiality comes to exist only in someone's mind. Someone who has passed away could be assimilated into one's mind, so to speak, and become a part of that person, in their memories and emotions. I have been asking myself whether feelings toward someone who has passed away is our own internal conflict and if mourning means to keep going forward with that conflict.

On realizing it, I felt that I merged with all the memories of my mother rather than living with them. At the same time, it was strange but the loneliness came up to my mind. I have never felt like that before. It’s sad a little bit but I found the feeling of elation had grown in my mind, too. It is like the feeling before starting a new journey.

Rick Wright

Vessels of the Late Petroleum Age | A work of dada archaeology: collecting, photographing, and cataloging present-day plastic bottles like an archaeologist from c. 4300 A.D.
There are 27 digital photographs in the collection—printed with tri-tone pigment ink on Hahnemühle Bamboo paper.

Sharon Draghi

Split Tree Road |
“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things.”  - J.D. McClatchy 

Split Tree Road is an ongoing project about myself, my family and the place we live in. By capturing quiet moments alone, as well as our shared life together, I’m exploring ideas about privacy, intimacy, self awareness and the passage of time. I use candid and staged imagery with the intention of deliberately blurring the boundaries between what is true and what is imagined. I’m also interested in looking at how our environment brings context to our daily lives. The suburbs can be breathtakingly beautiful and sinister at the same time, and I want to show both the peace and isolation that one can feel living out here. 

Despite the fact that we may be surrounded by friends and family – and if we are lucky we receive love and stability through these relationships – we go through life alone, confronted with our unique fears, struggles, dreams and desires. It is this sense of existential loneness that I want to capture in my work.