Jace Graf shows Dan Winters’ book in The Physical Photograph exhibition at Art Intersection
When I flip through Kate Breakey’s Las Sombras photobook, I am reminded of the beautiful and glowing photograms I encountered on my first day interning at Art Intersection. I remember being fascinated with the pieces as we laid out Breakey’s massive installation of life-size prints of desert animals, exhibited in ornate vintage frames. The work was so striking and amazing that I fell in love with it right away. As a young collector, I couldn’t buy one of her original pieces, but I was thrilled to find her book of the series just a few years later in the MOPA bookstore in San Diego. It’s my favorite photobook I own and a way to now appreciate that entire body of work anytime I want.
Books often become special objects that are phenomenal works of art, while also engaging the viewer with something more tangible. Touching the pages, flipping each sheet to pace viewing, seeing the ink on paper, all of these things create an intimate experience completely unique from looking at framed prints on a gallery wall or zipping through digital files on a screen.
Book of Palladium prints by Kelsey Vance from Home Bound exhibition at Art Intersection
This year during PhotoTapas Day at Art Intersection, I had the pleasure of moderating the Photobooks After Funding Panel Discussion with artists and book designers in an open forum about why we make art books to share and express our work. Artist William W. Fuller shared his entire process of crowdfunding, designing, and publishing his first monograph The City. Through discussions, education, and the Photographic Arts Lab, Art Intersection serves to provide resources for print-on-demand publishing, handmade art books, and traditional publishing.
Whether an artist, collector, or admirer of work, art books can be appreciated as an alternative to standard ways of collecting, exhibiting, and sharing images. In the New Year we will be offering more opportunities at Art Intersection to engage with the bookmaking medium and I am excited to begin creating my own photography book of my current work!
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Have you ever held a platinum print of a beautiful image? It’s amazing how printing in a handmade process turns a that image into an object of art that can be seen by many and handed down to future generations. I first experienced this excitement many years ago when I held in my own hands a 1934 platinum print hand-printed by Edward Weston, and I have been hooked ever since.
From the initial concept of Art Intersection through today, I have been determined to design and create a space for learning, creating, and exhibiting physical pieces. I know first-hand how viewing a print brings a more powerful and positive experience to the viewer than seeing a facsimile on the computer or tablet screen.
Digital negatives on our light table
The community of artists working in Art Intersection’s Photographic Arts Lab have access to three centuries of imaging technologies from darkroom to digital, including the new use of digital negatives to take our digital files from the phone or DSLR into the darkroom to create gelatin silver, platinum, cyanotype, tintype, or photogravure prints. I’m excited we can provide all the tools to create contemporary work in almost any current or historical process.
News flash, we’ve added a new tool in the Photographic Arts Lab to bridge past centuries of photography (we build bridges, not walls). Last week an M.M. Kelton and Sons 1870 intaglio press arrived in the lab to create photogravure prints! See a press just like ours in action here.
Michael T. Puff discusses finished prints
If you are excited to make a print from your digital or film image, come by and see what’s available to help you realize your vision. Watching people create prints at Art Intersection allows me to continue enjoying, seeing, and maybe holding, beautiful prints from our image making community (eat your heart out Edward Weston).
Sometimes it can be hard to see past all the obstacles involved in learning something new. However, taking a leap and trying something different can open doors that lead to fantastic possibilities. As Photographic Arts Lab Manager at Art Intersection, providing the tools that make it possible for creative people of all skill levels to bring their vision to life makes my job worthwhile.
Our learning opportunities can provide the missing link that makes the creation of your artwork possible. With our 1-on-1 tutorials, students get the hands-on training they need to perform a process on their own, from black and white film development to making exhibition-worthy prints. Frequently, with a little instruction and enough practice, they find that the technique they’re learning isn’t nearly as complicated as they thought.
In our workshops, participants get to spend valuable time with an instructor who has mastered their craft, frequently forming relationships that lead to continued mentorship. Our Open Studio and Working Group programs provide artists with the opportunity to continue their study of a process with peers, all exploring together.
Seeing visitors walk away from their time here excited and empowered is the best part of my job. I watch people do things they didn’t know they could do. I witness appreciation for artistry and technique. I see improvement and perseverance and dedication just about every day.
This space is for you. Join us by attending one of our events, making time to learn a new skill, or using our resources to create your artwork.
Everyone is welcome here. Anyone can create.
– Caroline Hudson-Naef, Photographic Arts Lab Manager