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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Late last month we had the pleasure of hosting a Platinum/Palladium workshop in our Photographic Arts Lab led by San Francisco-based artist Michael T. Puff! A master of this luminous, tonally-rich process, Michael led our eleven participants in making gorgeous prints of their own images.
Platinum/Palladium printing, a photographic process invented in the 19th century, has long been a favorite of alternative process photographers for its highly archival nature and infinite variations of gray tones as highlights shift to shadows. In the process Michael uses, ferric oxalate, palladium, and sodium chloroplatinate are mixed together, hand-brushed onto 100% cotton rag paper, exposed to UV light through a digital negative, and then processed with potassium oxalate and sodium thiosulfate. The end result is a handcrafted print that is estimated to retain its appearance for a thousand years!
Thank you to all of our wonderful participants, and of course to Michael for traveling to us to share his expertise!
Michael instructs the class on mixing the chemicals and coating their paper
The participants mark where the image portion of their digital negatives will be centered on their paper
After exposing a coated piece of paper to UV light, Michael demonstrates developing the print
Participants process their exposed prints
Cyd looks at the class’s finished work at the end of the day
Gorgeous work produced by the students pinned up on the critique board
Michael talks about successes and things to work on with the students
Beautiful work by Lloyd Matthews
Luminous prints by Deb Alberty
A delicate, icy print by our very own Business Manager, Debra Wilson!
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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
Even though it will still be hot for the next few months, summer 2016 has come to an end, which means our summer teen photography program has come to a close as well. We had a blast passing along our photographic knowledge and providing these high schoolers with the opportunity to explore such a varied, creative medium!
During our Professional Portraiture and Photojournalism camp, teens had the opportunity to work with seasoned professionals to master the art of portraiture. We were pleased to be joined by David LeRoy Hunsaker, who led our teens in studio portraiture.
The students experimented with a variety of lighting techniques and got to practice directing a each other as models; they created a diverse range of creative portraiture from the same props and equipment, proving that the opportunities in photography are limitless!
During the second half of the camp, the students heard a presentation from Neil Miller on his long career of street (candid) photography, and then practiced the un-posed approach outdoors in surrounding Downtown Gilbert. Learning how to photograph a subject in his or her natural state is a vital skill for any photographer.
At the end of the workshop the students learned how to edit images in Photoshop and print them on our archival inkjet printers, and each student left the camp with an edited, printed portfolio of the work they created. These students now have the tools they need to start out as professional photographers!
During our two Exploring Photography summer camps, teens got to experiment with a wide variety of photographic techniques. They explored traditional darkroom photography by making photograms, shooting black and white film with SLR cameras, processing the film themselves, and making darkroom prints of their negatives.
Many of our students had never shot a roll of film and had only seen darkrooms in the movies, but they stayed patient with these tedious and time-consuming processes. By the end of the week many listed the darkroom as their favorite part of the camp!
Our Exploring Photography students also had the opportunity to make lumen prints, which is a process by which silver gelatin paper is overexposed to UV light, using plant material to create designs.
In addition to learning so many traditional processes, our teens kept with the times and practiced digital photography as well. They shot digital pictures, edited them in Photoshop, and made beautiful, professional-quality prints of their best images.
At the end of the camp, the students put all the work they created over the week on display and we discussed their results in a critique. Our students created some fantastic artwork – check out the online exhibit of their work here.
We had so much fun during our teen camps! Thanks to all the students that joined us, and we hope to see you again soon!
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Thanks to everyone who made it out to the opening reception for Emerge 2016! We love seeing the support these early-career artists get from their families, friends, and mentors.
Emerge 2016, our annual juried exhibition of high school-through-graduate school student photography, is one of our favorite exhibitions because we are always dazzled by the quality of work that we receive. This year was no exception! As juror William LeGoullon writes in his Juror’s Statement, “Emerge 2016 for me as a juror is about examining how students continue to challenge the ways we think about and develop the medium while simultaneously recognizing photography’s unique relationship to our culture as a whole.”
Congratulations to our award winners! Buzzy Sullivan won Best of Show, Brooke Wright took home Best of High School, and Aurora Berger received Best of Post-High School. We are grateful for our sponsors Freestyle Photographic Supplies (Best of Show), Tempe Camera (Best of High School and Post-High School), and INFOCUS (all award levels) for providing the prizes for these awards. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Boyana Babanovski, Christine Elysse Crossen, Pam Golden, Azalea Patricia Rodriguez, Adelaide West and Xana Wilcoxson.
Mia Tennant was a very talented Gilbert High School student photographer who passed away last year. To honor her memory, several of her photographs are on display alongside Emerge 2016. We were honored to have Mia’s mother, father, and brother join us for the reception.
Victoria Bridges poses with her mother
Prescott College student William Flemer with his artwork
Adelaide West with her artwork
Art Intersection intern Autumn Bibbee-Wright with her artwork
Emerge 2016 juror poses with Claire A. Warden and David Emitt Adams
Best of Show winner Buzzy Sullivan with his artwork
Best of High School winner Brooke Wright and family with her artwork
Best of Post-High School winner Aurora Berger with her artwork
Our first Tri-Color Gum Bichromate workshop with Diana Bloomfield last September was such a hit, we decided to do it all again! This past Saturday and Sunday Diana led nine students through this labor-intensive and difficult process. The workshop included many first-time gum printers, and despite the tricky nature of the process, all produced fantastic prints! As we gathered around to look at everyone’s completed work at the end of the two days, one thing was apparent: there is nothing like the magic of gum printing, and no one better to teach it than Diana Bloomfield!
We are grateful for all of our students, but we especially would like to extend a big THANK YOU to our four class participants who travelled from far, far away to take this workshop with us – Cary from Alaska, Timothy from Michigan, and Scott and Kelly from Pennsylvania. We’re so glad you could join us!
Diana discusses digital negatives during her demonstration at the beginning of the workshop
Diana “develops” an exposed print in water
Diana discusses the cyan-layer exposure she demonstrated as it hangs to dry – Terry, the student who provided the negative for this print, will later add yellow and magenta layers
Janet washes out her print after exposing the yellow layer
Karen coats her paper with a mixture of watercolor pigment suspended in potassium dichromate and gum arabic. The potassium dichromate hardens the gum arabic upon exposure to UV light; the parts of the coating blocked by the negative remain soft and wash away in water.
Tim washes out his print
Kelly very carefully registers the negative for her next layer
Janet, Tom, and Matthew attend to their prints
Each layer of pigment make a big impact when gum printing. The print on the left includes cyan, yellow, and magenta layers; the print on the right includes cyan and yellow. Both prints by Karen Hymer
Diana discusses the finished prints one by one with the class
Karen, Diana, and Tom mask off the brush-marked border of Cary King’s image in order to look at the print without visual distractions
Scott Wrage shares his tri-color print, not yet dry enough to pin up, with the rest of the class
Prints clockwise from left by Matthew Covarrubius, Kelly Wrage, Karen Hymer, and Timothy Wells
This past Saturday, March 26 we had the pleasure of hosting a Photogravure workshop taught by Tucson artist Karen Hymer! The weekend began with a lecture by Karen on Friday night – she talked about the history of photogravure and the evolution of her artwork as she continues to use the process.
Seven students joined us for the workshop and got hands-on experience making photopolymer plates from their images, then pulling prints from the plates. Karen taught the process using Solarplates, which are steel plates coated with a light-sensitive polymer emulsion. When exposed, the polymer hardens; the unexposed polymer washes away in water, leaving an “etched” plate ready for inking after the plate has dried in the sun. Ink is then applied to the plate and wiped from the highlight areas. Finally, paper is laid on top of the plate and both are run through an etching press.
We are forever grateful to our friends at Cattletrack Arts Compound and Santo Press for lending us their etching press – we could not have done this workshop without their help!
Karen demonstrates the “development” of the Solarplate in water
Exposed and developed plates harden in the sun
Karen demonstrates inking the plate
Participant Shari Trennert prepares to run her plate through the press
Shari has made a print from a “test strip” plate to check her exposure before committing to a full plate
Jean-Charles Chapuis, Cyd Peroni, Tom Moore, and Gina DeGideo hard at work inking their plates
Chris Palmer and Karen compare a test print with another print of the same image to check for contrast and density
Gina uses a cotton swab to fine-tune her ink application
Cyd lays a sheet of fine-art water color paper over her inked plate before running it through the press
Participants enjoy letting their creativity run free and working in a community environment
Participants let their finished prints dry before taking them home
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