Art Intersection presents Light Sensitive, our twelfth, international juried exhibition of images created using traditional darkroom, historical, and alternative photographic processes and methods. This year we are honored to have photographer and alternative photography process artisan Elizabeth Opalenik jury the submitted work.
As we have seen technology trends continue to drive digital photography and presentation, Light Sensitive highlights art from artists working in traditional and historical printing processes.
Light Sensitive seeks to celebrate, promote, and reaffirm the art of handcrafted prints that uniquely belong to the tradition of light sensitive creative processes. Each year we are in search for work that represents creativity, passion, and displays the beauty of these light sensitive processes.
Banner images by Randall Tosh, Lynn Bierbaum, Mary Nation
Choosing awards in the diverse juried selections of this year’s Light Sensitive presents the challenge to weigh qualitative aesthetics of the presentation, with the strength of the image, and technical mastery of the process. From cyanotype to platinum to ambrotype prints, the wide gamut of techniques and presentations made a formidable task to assign awards. Presenting awards acknowledges accomplishment and excellence in presentation, image, and technique, and encourage everyone to continue to push their work through into the next level.
Congratulations to the awardees and everyone juried into Light Sensitive.
First Place – Lou McCorkle Second Place – Marita Gootee Third Place – William W. Fuller Award of Excellence for Collaborative Work – Kenro Izu / Veritas Editions Honorable Mentions – Gary Baker, Chuck Davis, Sarah S. Curley, Jon Jeffery, Annie Lopez, Marek Matusz, Alyssa McKenna, Mary A. Nation, Cyd Peroni, Phyllis Schwartz, Fred Ullrich, Angela Franks Wells, Ryan Zoghlin
About the Juror
Elizabeth spun a map on a lazy-susan in 1968 and left home to the sound of peace marches and her mother saying, “I knew you were different from the time you were two.” She discovered photography as a metaphor for life in 1979 at the Maine Photographic Workshops and discovered passion and possibilities in Provence in 1983 where she later began her evolution as a Mordançeuse. Traveling through six continents, camera in hand, she connects life’s possibilities through teaching workshops, humanitarian projects and making art.
“I am a photographic artist, educator and freelance photographer traveling the world with my camera and I love it. Philanthropic projects keep me grounded and connected universally.
I believe that all good photographs are self portraits and know that my many former lives manifest themselves in my images. My heart is still in my darkroom working in the Mordançage process, but I use today’s technology when appropriate to explore all the creative paths.
My photographs are collected and published internationally and all work is for sale. Mordançage images are unique, others are silver gelatin, platinum, hand painted or digitally printed in very limited editions on beautiful handmade papers.”
3-day Mordançage Workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik, July 15, 16, 17, 2022, from 9am to 5pm each day with lunch included.
I vividly remember that first Provence meeting in 1983 when I heard Jean-Pierre Sudre say, “In mordançage you have the possibility….” For the next 30 summers I visited his studio and work discovering them all while learning the process in 1991 directly from this master. In this workshop we shall begin with a brief history of the mordançage process, looking at original work as we gather valuable insight into directions for making it your own creative voice.
Together we mix the chemistry and begin with an instructor demonstration on understanding the test strips to discover proper exposures for negatives and working with photograms, which is the best way to learn the possibilities. Mordançage takes time to master when working with intent and begins with a darkroom print. Information on making negatives, film or digital, and materials to bring shall be sent prior to the workshop. You will discover, when the silver print is put through the mordançage solution, the silver gelatin in the densest areas of the photographic print swell and can be removed with the pressure of a jet of water or cotton ball. Darkroom days will be spent testing various paper and redeveloper combinations, experimenting with oxidation, toners and hand painting to alter color, and deciding to save or not to save the veils. Often, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Papers, chemicals and notebooks with formulas will be supplied.
After more than 30 years of committing to the mordançage process, Elizabeth has many possibilities, pitfalls and discoveries to share. Working collectively with a group of photographic peers, students can combine information on papers available today to further enhance their creativity. Experimenting is highly encouraged. A working knowledge of the darkroom is essential.
As artists, we much each find our way and hope to leave something of value behind. The “draped spidery veils” in the images are my contribution to this process, accomplished by using my breathe or drops of water to preserve and alter the delicate floating silver skin. As such, each piece is unique and truly made by hand even when created using the same negative.
The six artists exhibiting work in the Independent Presence exhibition join us at Art Intersection for an engaging and enlightening discussion about their work and backgrounds, creative processes, and interconnected working relationships through Salon Jane.
For ninety minutes you can engage in an interactive conversation with Robin V. Robinson, Jane Olin, Robin Ward, Martha Casanave, Susan Hyde Greene, and Anna Rheim, and following the Artist Talk, the conversation continues in the galleries for the opening reception of Independent Presence.
David Bayles, co-author of the well-known book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, brings insight to the artists and concept of Independent Presence:
“The artists in this exhibition have found their place by the whole variety of means that artists use to decide who they are, but particularly by extracting themselves from the embrace of two photographic traditions that have become oppressive (West Coast landscape photography and conceptual photography) thereby freeing their intuitions to guide them towards the work they truly need to do. The resulting work belongs to no school of photography but is rather more sui generis – it generates itself out of intuition, out of perception, out of spiritual emotional and psychological relationships with the subject matter.”
We know how difficult it is to have a meaningful dialogue during an exhibition’s opening so we hosted a gallery talk for Word Up: artists using language, to discuss the work in the exhibition.
John Risseeuw and Dan Mayer, educators and artists from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU led the conversation. John and Dan talked about the history of the Fine Printing and Book Arts Program at ASU and also shared a lot of interesting historical references to the art of fine printing.
There were several other exhibiting artists in attendance, including Karla Elling from Mummy Mountain Press, Linda Smith from Picnic Press and current student, Rosalind Shipley along with ASU alumni, Peter Bugg. For more photos of this exhibition visit our facebook page.