This one but not that one: Perception, Editing, and Meaning

by Mary Lang

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Mt. Hood and circuit board, Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club

I am amazed by the ubiquity of photography and cameras in the world today. Whenever a celebrity speaks or performs, the television images always show everyone in the crowd holding up their cell phones, taking pictures or video. Do people really think they can take a photo that way? Hundreds of thousands of pictures, maybe not great shots, but pictures nonetheless, are made every day. On Instagram, there are thousands of really great pictures posted every day – some from established artists and photo journalists, but most from ordinary people recording the memorable moments of their lives. Everyone does it.

Taking pictures is different than mounting a show of photographs, even though both share the raising of a camera to the eye and a click of a shutter as the starting point. When my fellow Kingston artists talk about showing drawings, or work in progress, as a photographer, I always balk, since my journey to get to the 10 or 15 photographs that I am willing to show means making and printing hundreds of bad photographs. Who wants to see or share those? But, in my experience, bad photographs are the stepping stones to good ones, and so I have to make that journey, again and again.

At some point, there are the good ones, the ones you are willing, and maybe even excited to show and share with the world. Even then, however, not every good photo belongs in a particular show. I thought I would share some of the ones that didn’t make it into Wonderland, and the reasons why.

Model railroads are about artifice, and construction, and if you wander around, and get invited “back stage”, into the inner worlds of the railroaders, you see that very clearly. I could so easily have done a show about obsession, or artifice, but I decided not to.

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A different view of the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad club

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Above – Construction, Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

When putting together a show, each image should resonate with the others. The way the space feels, repeating elements of paths and roads, the palette of beige and brown and green tied the photographs in Wonderland together. Sometimes when you lay your prints out to do an edit, to figure out the show, you can almost viscerally feel which ones don’t belong. Which often means you have to eliminate some really beautiful photographs that you are in love with, like this one:

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Low tide, the beach at Parkville, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Or this one:

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Shambhala Mountain Center at dawn

Instead, I felt this one, October snow at Shambhala Mountain Center, with its meandering pathways, random structures and uncertainty about size and scale, belonged in Wonderland. (It is also the most recent piece in the show. It was taken two days before the dawn image, basically at the same place, but it is qualitatively different.)

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Which made the meaning of the whole collection of photographs more clear.

Wonderland: Landscape Photographs by Mary Lang is on view in the Main Gallery through May 28, 2017. There will be a Q&A with Mary Lang on Thursday, May 25th from 6-8pm. For more information on this exhibition and Lang’s work visit: KingstonGallery.com.

Art and Design in the 20th and 21st Centuries

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Exhibiting artists (top left going clockwise) Susan Emmerson, Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Christina Pitsch, Barbara Moody

From April 6th through 9th, four Kingston Gallery artists will present their work at Art and Design in the 20th and 21st Centuries, a show and sale of modern and contemporary art at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts. AD2021 celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and Barbara Moody, Christina Pitsch, Susan Emmerson and Kathleen Gerdon Archer will represent Kingston Gallery during this celebration of art and culture and remain on hand throughout the weekend. Hours are Friday April 7th, 1-8pm, Saturday April 8th, 11-8 and Sunday April 9th, 11-5.

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Barbara Moody, Interior Energy, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 22″ x 30″ 2016

Employing deftly drawn geometric shapes, Barbara Moody’s richly colored abstractions define and activate space. In the stunning painting Interior Energy, a pulse of seemingly cold air sweeps into the foreground adding an intriguing rhythmic motion to the yellow and blue cityscape.

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Christina Pitch, Mapping Absence: Trophy Mounts I, II, III, cast plastic, sewn vinyl, sheet acrylic, Installation variable, individual units 36″ x 20″ x 24″ 2014

Christina Pitsch uses porcelain, acrylics, and found materials to create representations of our attempts to dominate nature through collected objects. Influences of the European decorative arts and 1950s kitsch come together to form invented trophy objects such as transparent deer heads, animal hoofs, and gilded flowers. Often unsettling, Pitsch’s work addresses questions of taste, mashing highbrow with lowbrow. What is it? What am I seeing? Things are not what they seem to be in Pitsch’s work.

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Susan Greer Emmerson, For Sleep in the Storm, acrylic on cut and molded Tyvek, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″ x 3″ 2016

Susan Emmerson plans to present her new work on Tyvek, a plastic based insulating material that she paints and often heats, reshaping it into new dynamic forms.  Blue Dance is a striking example of her recent sculptural explorations.

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Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Insight or Afterglow, polypropylene print on Sintra under plexiglass, 20″ x 32″ 2017

Addressing the accumulated weight of genetics and family history on the individual, Kathleen Gerdon Archer will offer work from her recent series of photographs. After forming sculptures filled with layered organic material and personal items, she freezes the forms and photographs them as they melt. Photographed through a macro lens, her image A Pulse of Silver, depicts an silver and mysterious blue world.

The four day event opens Thursday evening April 6th, at 5:30pm for a Gala Preview and the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jonathan Leo Fairbanks, Curator and Director of The Fuller Craft Museum.

Boston in Wyoming

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Kingston Gallery member Jennifer Moses just spent a month at the Jentel Artist Residency in Banner Wyoming population 50…. endless sky, blue morning light, black and brown cows in the snow, wind swept snow banks against the backdrop of the Big Horn Mountains…a place so completely different than Boston, Moses was astonished. “I knew it would be different and an open landscape but I didn’t know it would be like walking in a moonscape of white hills against the mountain ranges…and so quiet, the deer could hear you coming a mile away. They would all raise their heads for a look and then run across the snow covered ridges ”

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For one month, six artists, 4 visual and two writers, shared a home in the vast landscape of Wyoming. Moses’ days consisted of painting, walking and reading. “Time slows and we all developed our own work rhythm, meeting for dinner in the evenings. The studios are beautiful and the accommodations posh. No cell phone coverage unless you walked a mile up the road. Complete immersion.”

Why it’s called a cooperative gallery

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There are three exhibitions on view at Kingston Gallery in this month of March: Susan Alport’s Exactly What I Want in the Main Gallery, Lavaughan Jenkins’ Reflections of Power in the Center Gallery, and Linda Leslie Brown’s Wall Holes in the Members’ Gallery. Three concurrent exhibitions can make for a chaotic installation day, but many hands make light work and this was no exception.

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In addition to the three featured artists striving to perfect their installations, they had help from the gallery’s Exhibitions Committee where Julie Graham adjusted lighting to put full shine on Susan’s work and Susan Emmerson stepped in to document the entire process and offer assistance where needed.

With Susan’s installation coming to fruition, the team put their communal focus around the corner where Lavaughan’s work beckoned and Linda’s funky, fabulous Wall Holes claimed their space. While it may not seem apparent on first glance, in palette, material, and image, the three presentations work in perfect harmony and create a visually surprising triad in Kingston.

Art and Giving Join Forces

Community partners at both ends of Harrison Avenue join forces to support immigrants and refugees.bmc_atkingston_03

Discussing the art in Relay: Jeff Samet, MD, BMC Section Chief, with Sarah Kimball, MD and Ilona Anderson, Kingston artist. Photo by Alex Hua.

For our January All Members show, Relay, the members of Kingston decided to donate their share of the proceeds from artwork sales during the exhibition to the Boston Medical Center Immigrant & Refugee Health Program. We wanted to do something to offer support to vulnerable populations, and the clinic, at the other end of Harrison Avenue from the gallery, was an ideal choice. Their program serves approximately 700 patients from many countries across the globe, who have been displaced by war, trauma, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. IRHP serves the complex needs of these patients in a culturally informed and multidisciplinary setting, offering integrated mental health, case management (for HIV patients), women’s health specialty services and care coordination. In addition, IRHP is a designated screening site for newly arrived refugees in the Department of Public Health’s Refugee Health Assessment Program, through which the program provides initial screening, vaccinations, health education and connection to primary care. This work is incredibly important, now more than ever.

BMC_AtKingston_01.jpgStaff of the BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Clinic. L to R: Nicolette Oleng, MD, Sondra Crosby, MD, Sarah Kimball, MD, and Aissatou Gueye, NP. Photo by Alex Hua.

The Immigrant & Refugee Health Program is currently fundraising to host a full time New American Integration Program AmeriCorps member. This full time staff member would help newly arrived refugees navigate the complicated processes of applying for jobs, learning English, and applying for green cards, services which our patients need but are outside of the scope of what healthcare can traditionally offer.   The current fundraising goal of $10,000 would support the first year of this program.

On January 12 Kingston hosted a fundraising evening for the clinic, bringing together BMC physicians, staff and researchers with gallery artists and friends. It was a great mix of energy and together we raised over $2500 for the clinic! Thanks to everyone who came out during the month to see the show, and special thanks to those who donated.

bmc_atkingston_02Viewing art in Relay. Photo by Alex Hua.

Remembering the Future

By Shana Dumont Garr

“The past, present and future occurs simultaneously and future actions can change the past. And anything is possible.” -Lynda Schlosberg

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The paintings in “The Conscious Web” bring on a sense of plunging into an alternative reality. Ornate and enigmatic spaces do not duplicate the everyday, but possess familiar organic structures and rhythms that are built with complex skeins of lines and dots painted in colors as bold and beguiling as gems.

While the paintings may evoke the deep sea or vast, starry skies, they are not landscapes. The artist’s conceptual impetus is to portray energetic connections throughout the universe, where people, places, thoughts, and things intersect. The dots are metaphors for atomic particles, the submicroscopic, smallest unit of everything. The fine lines conjure matrices whose rippling gestures suggest interactions between subatomic matter.

lyndaschlosbergThe at-times immersive and vertiginous atmosphere makes the painted space seem limitless and sublime. In the twentieth century, modernist painters broke from the past, making grand works not for religion or humanism, but as inspired by their own feelings. Inheritors of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and Sigmund Freud’s theories about the subconscious, their artwork made sense of newer ways of comprehending the world.

Schlosberg’s muse, the concept of a unified field of energy, provides an apt twenty-first century update to understanding the world. The marks in The Conscious Web form fluid, dappled, rippling spatial planes that do not adhere to a fore-, middle, and background. Like circuits or rhizomes, they have no dominant ranking, allowing for multiplicity in terms of what may instigate influence, growth, and time.

schlosberg_theheartofthematter_detailEach work is an act of engagement with the belief that all things already exist, yet they can manifest themselves in many different ways. The use of patterns are also meaningful: Schlosberg says, “there is more than one path to the same destination, and the repetition of form(s) alluding to this is a purposeful part of the development of the work.” Like impressionistic maps at the scale of particle physics, they suggest aspects of our world that are not visible to the unaided eye, but do exist.

Scientists have found that, when atoms are watched, they behave differently than when there is no witness. That the act of looking, or the presence of consciousness, alters reality is a  tantalizing premise for visual art. Schlosberg’s paintings may be read as meditations on this fact, or reminders, prompting us to take care with our actions, as each ripple touches everyone.

The titles guide us toward these realizations. Entangled with You looks like two planes pressing against each other, registered with fingerprint-like forms. At times the lines match, moving in rhythm with each other, and at other points they diverge. A Messy Cloud of Probability appears to be a kinetic, soft crush of pigment. Its composition harmoniously unites organic and hard-edged imagery, emblems bridging the intellect and the senses, insisting that we are more than our flesh. When we die, we cannot fall out of the universe. Our energy alters, as a grid may pivot direction or pool around a bright dot. It is hard to tell how close or far away we are from the theoretical matter in each image, and that’s part of the idea. The dynamism and complexity of the universe remain an abiding mystery.

lyndaschlosberg_cloudofsoulsShana Dumont Garr is the Curator of Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. She was previously the Director of Kingston Gallery, and prior to that, the Director of Programs & Exhibitions at Artspace in Raleigh, NC. She has a MA in Art History from Boston University and a BA from Colby College in Waterville, ME.

All Member Show: Relay

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From Ann Wessmann (above) to Julie Graham(below)

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From Julie Graham to……..Kingston Gallery brings you an All Member Show : Relay
re·lay1
noun
  1. 1.
    a group of people or animals engaged in a task or activity for a fixed period of time and then replaced by a similar group.
    “the wagons were pulled by relays of horses”
    • a race between teams usually of sprinters or swimmers, each team member in turn covering part of the total distance.
      “a 550-meter relay race”
  2. 2.
    an electrical device, typically incorporating an electromagnet, that is activated by a current or signal in one circuit to open or close another circuit.
  3. 3.
    a device to receive, reinforce, and retransmit a broadcast or program.
    • a message or program transmitted by a relay.
      “a relay of a performance live from the concert hall”
      synonyms broadcast, transmission, showing

      “a live relay of the performance”
verb
verb: relay;
  1. receive and pass on (information or a message).
    “she intended to relay everything she had learned”
    synonyms: pass on, hand on, transfer, repeat, communicate, send, transmit, disseminate, spread, circulate

    “the PA announcer relayed this message to the crowd”
    • broadcast (something) by passing signals received from elsewhere through a transmitting station.
      “the speech was relayed live from the White House”

This group exhibition embodies all of the definitions for the word relay both noun and verb, a circuit opens another closes, information is transmitted….it is a visual conversation created through art. A call and response. To curate the works on view a finished piece by one member artist was passed along, in succession, to another gallery artist who selected a visual response with a work of their own, in turn passing it down the line. A visual community is manifested.  The concept of the exhibition runs in parallel with conversations currently occurring in the wider community about how to move forward in unity and strength through the currently charged political climate. In an effort to offer support to vulnerable populations, Kingston Gallery will donate their share of the proceeds from artwork sales during this exhibition directly to the Boston Medical Center Immigrant & Refugee Health Program. Boston Medical Center Immigrant & Refugee Health Program.

From Susan AlportSusan Alport, _Liz & Fitzgerald Letter_, 35 mm film print, 2016.jpg

To Jennifer MosesMoses_Homage to Musa ll.JPGFrom Jennifer Moses to …..and so on and so on…..January 4-29