Milwaukee Redux

Thanks to all who came to the opening at the Dean Jensen Gallery last Friday eve. Especially, Mel & Dan of the Trittini’s Bar & Grille, and Sonja, and a special shout-out for Kevin who is the best host in-absentia a girl could ever ask for.

Sonja, me and Mel, I am trying to direct the shot but having us vogue.  I am not Dan Winters.

Sonja, me and Mel, I am trying to direct the shot but having us vogue. I am not Dan Winters.

Milwaukee, as one might expect, has a warm and scrappy arts community (data collected from my brief sojourn this is not expert witness testimony here). This was made apparent to me when I walked into the museum of advertising on sunday looking for a host gift (no luck there, but be warned kevin, a souvenir from the Dells is on it’s way to YOU), and the guy at the ticket counter recognized me from the show (A stah is born!) and told me how much he enjoyed it (and yes, Erik Ljung, you’ve tracked me down again and I owe you an email).

After-Party at Dean's, Dan and Sonja frame a Warhol.

After-Party at Dean's, Dan and Sonja frame a Warhol.

I even sold a few prints on opening night, so Milwaukee’s embrace was warm and uplifting even if the job-market is not.

These prints had not sold yet as of opening night, hint, hint.

These prints had not sold yet as of opening night, hint, hint.

Sunday night found me at the Waterford home of aforementioned Trittini’s, whose name has been bastardized by me in a vain glorious attempt to pronounce it correctly. If you are in Waterford, I highly suggest a sojourn. Dan (Mr. Trittini) made a glorious (filet mignon?!!) grilled steak salad with fresh spring (!) peas, baby corn and arugula. Heaven. A few bottles of wine later I think we had safely deconstructed contemporary photography and I had succeeded in humiliating myself with one Shawn Records, after merlot-ing and emailing in regards to my last minute entry into Critical Mass. Perhaps somethings are best left unmentioned. I blame Mel, really.

Me and He Who Plucketh Me from Obscurity, Dean Jensen

Me and He Who Plucketh Me from Obscurity, Dean Jensen

Monday morning, sober again, I drove to Madison to meet with the indominatable Andy Adams of Flak Photo. He assuaged my sorrows with a divine grilled turkey sandwich and I enjoyed perusing a solid edit by Mr. Adams of Mark Brautigam‘s work (On Wisconsin) in Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine.

From whence I have headed into the heart of the matter fellas.  I am ensconced in the Wisconsin Dells, camping and mingling, and occasionally taking out the camera to frame a rectangle or two.  Regular posting will resume next week.  I just wanted to make sure that you did not think that a) I had given up on blogging or B)I had been kidnapped by a Brewer or some such animal.  And I will be tardy with responding to emails too, as I (gasp) do not have a wifi enabled device on my person most of the time.  Enjoy the rest of your July!!!!

Rank Strangers in Milwaukee opening this Friday

In my fantasy world, a lack of posting is due to an overabundance of bon-bons and romance novels. In my reality, it is due to the production and preparation for my first solo show, opening this Friday at Dean Jensen Gallery in Milwaukee (details above), and the flurry of last minute assignments one always gets when one is desperately trying to pack for a road trip.

Since leaving grad school in 2005 I have made a concerted effort to have my work exhibited, and it has been a natural progression thus far with each experiencing building on the previous. Mistakes have been made. There have been poor framing choices, and in the beginning a bit of cluelessness regarding how to get that consistently good looking print. (Hint: if exhibiting in a series try and shoot with the same film family, but hey free film is good film too, just try not to mix it up in projects).

We’re exhibiting about 24 pieces in this show, it is HUGE. And I am grateful to all the previous experiences that taught me what I need to do to get this one off in a timely fashion, with beautiful prints that will not shame me into a career in real estate.

I originally intended to do a post about the ins and outs of a gallery show, but I am deciding to open this up to you dear reader. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am an eager listener, and if you have any questions along this topic, please post in the comments below and I’ll be glad to give you my two cents.

Yours Truly at Busboy & Poets Tonight in Chinatown, DC

Along with Ting-Li Wang and Sebastian John, formerly of the NY Times and National Geographic, respectively (am excited to hear about what they are doing now), I’ll be presenting work tonight at Busboys & Poets. I won’t bore you with my own cv, but here is some background on them, and I encourage you to come! I’ll bring some zines to sell if anyone is interested in picking one up. Hope to see you there!

Ting Li Wang

Ting-Li Wang discovered the beauty of photography while studying to become a better writer at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She later continued her path to becoming a photojournalist at Ohio University, in Athens, OH. After internships in Kansas, Michigan, and Virginia, Ting-Li became a staff photographer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA in 1998. Whether it was a single mom with 6 children living in a lead-contaminated housing project in Portsmouth, VA or the devastating earthquake in Turkey in 1999, photographing ordinary people in extraordinary situations became Ting-Li’s passion. She was named National Press Photographer Association’s Region Three Photographer of the Year in 2000.

Ting-Li joined the photo staff at The New York Times the same year. She covered her first national political campaign with Democratic presidential candidates John Edwards and John Kerry in 2004. Photographing Costa Rica, Cuba, Bali and China for the Travel section ranks among her favorite assignments. She visited China the first time in 2004 while shooting a travel piece on emerging eco-tourism near the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in southwestern China.

After working 6 years at The New York Times, Ting-Li joined the faculty at Shantou University’s Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communication in Guangdong Province, China. She taught basic and advanced photojournalism focusing on picture stories reflecting life in rural China. While teaching, Ting-Li continued her pictorial exploration of acrobats and elderly leprosy survivors. She is constantly inspired by the shared humanity of peoples all over the world and the power of photography to transcend differences.

Ting Li will talk about travel photography while working for The NY Times and her teaching experience in China.

Sebastian John

Sebastian is a photo editor at K12. Sebastian immigrated to the United States in 2006, after a brief freelance career with a local California newspaper, joined National Geographic News as News Photo Editor. In India he worked at The Associated Press as the photo editor, and also in many leading Indian media companies in various positions.

A native of Bombay, he divided his childhood between Tanzania, United Arab Emirates and India. After completing his graduate degrees in Geology, and Journalism, and a brief stint in writing, Sebastian has been in involved in visual journalism for the past 12 years. Photographing mostly in his spare time, he likes to explore sub-cultures. One of his projects is the farmers markets in the United States which he began to photograph in late 2007. He explores the food culture in the US, the life around farmers markets, and the thin line between eating healthy and the fad of eating organic food.

To RSVP: Please email

Thursday, July 16, 2009
7 PM – 9PM

Busboys and Poets
Cullen Room
1025 5th Street NW (corner of 5th and K St NW)
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 789-2227

Getting There and Parking
Closest metros: Mt. Vernon Square and Gallery Place-Chinatown (each two blocks away)
There is ample car parking space near the venue.

ASPP members – free
Guests – $5
ASPP DC/South will not provide refreshments but Busboys and Poets has a full-service
restaurant and bar

The Ten Most Expensive Photos Evah


Why must always be ten? Still it’s interesting to note the ten most expensive photographs ever. Al Einstein tops the list. Surprised me. Check it out at mental_floss here.

Healing Powers of the Arts

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece recently (In Search of Science Behind the Healing Powers of Art by Ron Winslow, June 30, 2009, D3) on an organization that is studying the healing effects of artistic endeavors.  Brookline, Massachussett’s Foundation for Arts & Healing is aided by a group of researchers, artists, and health-care professionals to study arts effects to “soothe, transform and inspire . . . and perhaps treat heart disease.”  The article cites the case of a young heart-transplant patient, Julia Strecher, then aged 9, who suffered nightmares after suffering cardiac arrest and necessitating a second transplant.  She found that after writing about her experiences she was able to quell the fear that plagued her nightly.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that my own personal work is a form of art therapy, to navigate the ironies I observed in the world from a young age, to honor the people and ideas that sustained me intellectually and spiritually, to mediate things I have a hard time processing.  To be able to have others acknowledge and appreciate this avocation is a dream, to be able to in part support oneself from it is a gift.

The Foundation for Arts & Healing is seeking quantitative evidence of the efficacy of arts for healing in order to garner more support from the business community.  I hope the pharmaceutical companies and the like get behind this important component to healing, despite the fact, as the Foundation’s founder, Dr. Jeremy Nobel says, “Many of the things we are talking about are free or almost free.”  And it goes without saying that this is the beauty of arts education, that with limited resources one can facilitate communication, creativity, and healing – building skills that will sustain us as individuals and a community.

If any of you Boston area creatives are looking for a volunteer gig, this might be a great organization to check out.

And the Winner Is . . .

Stacey Hasenfratz! Thank you all Stacey, Hin, Liz, TreySande, Tom, Tash, and Caleb! I appreciate your input, criticism, and props of my nascent book publishing endeavor.  Stacey will be receiving a copy of A Better Time, published by Cartiere del Garda, just as soon as she lets me know what her mailing address is.  And just so you know, this was impartially selected by my neighbor, Erika, from a cowboy hat filled with y’alls names, all folded in the exact same way.

One Artist who Ain’t Starving

The Washington Post Business section comes up with an interesting story today on one portrait artist who is grossing 200K a year through painting portraits here in Northwest Washington. Want to jump on that train? Annette Polan spends a lot of time working it, including membership in exclusive clubs, throwing dinner parties with prospective clients, and generally making herself known. You can read about it here (registration required, but still, sadly, free).