Archive for the “Meet Our Interns” Category

By Kaleigh Rusgrove, PRC Intern

Kaleigh Rusgrove, “Siren” from the series “Make Believe,” 2013

My photographic journey began at thirteen when I started taking pictures for fun with a small Olympus point and shoot I found lying around my house. Looking for a place to show these snapshots of flowers and my converse sneakers, I turned to quickly growing social media sites, in which I found a digital home for these random and often pointless shots I was accumulating.

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When I was younger I frequently found myself peering down the unlit staircase that led to the basement in my childhood home. My dad had set up his own darkroom down there, and the smell of chemicals emerging from the depths of this off-limits world always caught my attention. In the following years my dad sold or gave away most of his darkroom equipment, unfortunately, and it wasn’t until my junior year of college that my interest in photography was born.

What sparked this sudden interest, well, I still can’t say for sure. I grew up playing sports but have always had an artistic side; maybe photography was just the means by which my creative self could be revealed. I graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a double major in Environmental Policy and Economics, but since I took my first picture three years ago, photography has grown on me every single day. As I try to figure out what I want to do with my post-grad life over the next few months, I at least know that I want photography to be a part of it. This summer at the PRC I am greatly looking forward to learning more about the photography industry and get a better understanding about how things work behind the scenes.

While I enjoy shooting in digital format – and in the past few months, film as well – one of the ongoing bodies of work for which I have an affinity is more of an alternative process. I had an old Canon Rebel converted to cut visible light and capture only infrared (IR) light. I am captivated by how immensely different landscapes become in the absence of visible light. Almost all vegetation reflects IR, so during sunny days plant life is rendered a soft, dreamy white. Additionally, similar surfaces typically reflect IR light equally, causing normal variations in color to appear almost uniform.

My interest in infrared photography is just as much physiological as it is aesthetic. Despite the natural wonders that the human brain in capable of, it is only trained to be able to see things a certain way. Light enters through our eyes upside-down and a series of impulses from the brain flips the image and defines color and shape, creating what we know as “sight.” While we are not technically capable of seeing infrared light, I feel like photographing in IR gives a new meaning to the term “vision.” It allows us to see the unseen and unlock a hidden dimension that we previously perceived to be pure imagination. For me, infrared photography represents a fresh way of looking at the world, and it is something that I am continually looking to explore further.

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Living in small towns all my life, my exposure to galleries and arts administration was limited. After receiving my BFA in Photography from Montana State University, I made the long trek east to continue my education in the Photo MFA program at the Art Institute of Boston. Through AIB, I found this amazing internship with the PRC and it has opened my eyes to a new world of photography and art.

From the beginning, I have been eager to learn all the aspects of working at a nonprofit photographic resource center. The internship started in the fall with a rush working on the annual PRC Auction. From online galleries, social networking, artist correspondence, and installation, I was able to experience all the anxieties and thrills of organizing such a massive event. Even more rewarding than setting up was being able to see the huge variety of work from a countless number of talented photographers.

Once the dust and debris from the auction began to settle, the rest of the semester seemed to fly by. I continued to stay busy working on an array of different projects, each one pushing me towards a more complete view of the PRC. As the semester began to wind down, my enthusiasm to learn increased. To satisfy my thirst for understanding, I agreed to stay on for a second semester.

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As a young girl, I spent my weekends in my grandfather’s darkroom.  Both a professor of photography and amateur photographer, my grandfather instilled in me the basic knowledge of camera and darkroom processes.  In high school, I competed in a number of state and regional art competitions.  The positive responses I received for my photographs, and the loving support from my family encouraged me to pursue a degree in photography.

In 2012, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and art history from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  My most successful body of work, Noise, explores the urban landscape in response to societies surreal alienation and my search for connection within it.  These images speak at once to the present and the past.  Taken with a small format camera and high-speed film, the enlarged grain enhances the contemporary experience, as I perceive it, distorted and indifferent.

In the summer of 2011, I completed a curatorial internship at the Danforth Museum of Art.  While at the Danforth, I worked primarily on the preparation of the New England Photography Biennial.  That same year, I curated my first student photography exhibition at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  From these experiences I realized my passion lay in arts administration and exhibition studies with a concentration in photography.  I hope my internship at the PRC will provide me with knowledge of each career path and keep me actively involved in the photographic community.

You can view more of my work on my website: www.mariahazoti.com

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 By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

Since opening in 1971, the Panopticon Gallery has become one of the oldest fine art photography galleries in the United States specializing in contemporary, modern, and vintage photography.  Their goal is to represent established and emerging photographers who are focused on developing and expanding their careers. They also regularly assist collectors in buying, selling, and locating photographs along with supporting local educational institutions. On October 25th, I had the privilege of attending the Panopticon Gallery’s Fall Photography Salon, where photographers represented by gallery owner Jason Landry were able to show off their most recent work. The artists-Lindsey Beal, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Stella Johnson, Roger Farrington, Alexander Harding, and Bill Franson-all had very different ideas, making each of their portfolios unique.  Throughout the night, I was able to talk with and interview each photographer and learn more about his or her artistic style.  My goal was to learn what each of their portfolios was about, if there was a message they were trying to convey, and what inspired them to create their personal style of photography.

Interestingly enough, both Heidi Kirkpatrick and Lindsey Beal have incorporated themes involving contemporary and historical women’s issues, feminism, and sexuality into their work. Their images highlight the delicate shapes and gentle curves of the female body through unique photographic methods such as transparent imagery on film, sculpture, and 3D mixed media objects. But while the overarching themes of Beal and Kirkpatrick’s work are similar, vast differences set them apart from one another. Kirkpatrick’s work depicts the world experienced by women, along with exploring various areas of the female body in detail, such as faces, arms, legs, breasts, hands, and hair. The subjects in her images range from infants to full grown women, symbolizing the different stages of female’s life.  In a non-traditional approach to photography, Kirkpatrick has transferred these vintage images onto three-dimensional objects including wooden blocks, ceramic spheres, and even mahjong tiles. When I inquired as to why she had chosen such a unique way to display her work, she said that she wanted to give both the objects and photographs a second life. “Only part of their story is being told,” she stated, “The rest is out of reach.” This idea caused me to view the items in a new light, and not as old things, but symbols of another era. What purpose did these objects serve before they were altered? Who are the women in these photographs? What stories do they have to tell? The answers to these questions are, unfortunately, lost with time, but through her creative process, Kirkpatrick has indeed given them a ‘new life.’

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By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

What do we think of when we hear the word “auction”? Is it the booming voice of the auctioneer over the microphone? Or maybe it’s the bidders battling over who has the highest bid? What about all the interesting items being bid upon? Since the day I began my internship at the PRC in September, all I heard people talking about was the auction. In the months before, there was so much to do.  Artists would come to the PRC, dropping off large, square packages that I knew were filled with brilliant works of art. When I unwrapped each package, I felt like I was holding a fortune in my hands. They were all so different, so unique. When the night of the auction finally came, I was excited, but also a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I was going to be an art handler, which meant I was going to hold pieces up for the bidders to see during the live auction.

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After a summer abroad in Italy studying Venetian Renaissance art, I am extremely eager to return to the PRC for another internship this fall. My experience abroad and photography practice this summer in Rome, Verona, Venice, Padua, Bologna, Florence, Monte Grappa, Milan, Cinque Terre, and Bassano made me excited to continue interning.

Balcony in Venice

After contemplating for a long time about what exactly I wanted to tackle in the fall semester, I couldn’t find an internship that better meets my interests. I wanted a hands-on experience where I was not running to get coffee but participating in daily activities, given important responsibilities, and asked my opinion. Because I interned at the PRC in the spring, the staff invited me back for a new position working almost exclusively with Program & Exhibition Manager Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis. This year, I will focus on the PRC 2012 Benefit Auction and various upcoming shows.

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I am a recent graduate of Endicott College with an interest in studio art and museum education.  I received a BFA with a concentration in studio art in May 2012. For my senior thesis, I explored the link between creative arts therapy and mental illness. Because I have suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, I wanted others to be able to share in my thoughts and emotions during that difficult period of my life, as well as provide a voice for others who suffer like me.

I also take a keen interest in historical and vintage photography, especially portraiture. Black and white moments captured in time tell such captivating stories of other generations that often seem foreign to many of us. When I look at the faded gray and sepia expressions on the faces of those from another era, I find myself wondering, “What was going on in their minds when this photo was taken? What did they do next? What stories did they have to tell?”

I am also greatly interested in fashion photography from the early to mid 2oth century. Photographer Richard Avedon, who captures the timeless beauty of women from the 1940s and ‘50s, is someone I greatly admire. Through his work, Avedon dispels the stereotype that women are fragile and delicate. His ability to capture both their external and internal strength is a quality that I find very powerful. He encourages the viewer to look beyond the designer clothing, hair, and makeup and into the model’s true self. Even though I am captivated by the styles and trends exhibited in Avedon’s photographs, I feel that his greatest success lies in his portrayal of women who are often underestimated and misunderstood.

In the future, I plan to attend graduate school for museum studies and/or museum education. My ultimate goal is to work in a museum with historical significance, such as the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. or the Museum of Natural History in New York City. While interning at the PRC, I hope to gain knowledge and experience that will help me succeed professionally in the future. I hope to learn more about photography through the resources that the PRC has to offer, including the 2012 Benefit Auction, the Aaron Siskind Library, nights and workshops at the PRC, and by interacting with new people and gaining more insight into photography. My goal is to learn more about exhibiting art and the different ways that people can express themselves.

 

Richard Avedon, “Dovima and Sacha, Café des Deux Magots, Paris,” August 1955

 

Richard Avedon, “Dovima with Elephants, Cirque d’hiver, Paris,” August 1955

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When I was twelve, my father brought home an old Macintosh computer from work and instructed me to destroy it. Eager to discover its inner workings, I took to the computer with a hammer and an aggressive curiosity. Later I positioned and posed the dismembered computer parts into sculptural pieces of art to photograph. This was my first experience of destruction as a form of creation. I learned I was able to radically change the meaning and purpose of an already complete object through concept and creativity. Through art I became able to control my world by putting things together in new and interesting ways. Since then I have grown and evolved as an artist and continue to search out new and meaningful ways to express myself.

Today I am still focused on the idea of technology and our relationships with it and how it affects our relationships with each other. The society I have been raised in is more connected than any other culture in history. People can instantly share ideas and emotions with me and it has changed the way I live and communicate. It is an amazing time to be alive. So much good can come from our cultural advancements, but like most things good there is a darker side to technology. I am excited yet fearful of the future and it is this fear that motivates me to continue exploration into the unknown.

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My photographs materialize mainly out of happenstance, decisively wandering while looking to capture and connect the mind’s dots.  These narrative works portray repetitious themes of time, home, and growth.  Recently, I have extended my interests to roles of the self, producing scenes both altered and naturally occurring, challenging the viewer’s notions of self placement.

The concept of realizing a moment instantaneously as I had experienced it, was foremost the notion which pushed me away from painting and into photography.  Painting as a medium was never fast enough for me and I quickly became frustrated, creating under or over-worked pieces, all poor attempts at illustrating what I thought was important to see and remember.  Through film photography, I partake in this tangible, immediate medium, which extends its tools of film type and process to produce imagery consistent with my concepts.

After working for nearly a decade within post-production for small to large businesses, Stephanie hopes to broaden her experiences and knowledge for a career change into arts administration.  With her internship at the PRC, she hopes to learn hands on operational practices from this successful non-profit arts center.  She will focus on the Connections Network and preparations for the PRC’s annual art auction this fall.

In addition to preparing for a new career in arts administration, Stephanie is also the Managing Director for local artist collective Rifrákt.  A nomadic group of 8 local artists, spanning works from illustration to photography to lithography, Rifrákt aims to foster artistic growth and engage surrounding communities amongst the arts.

www.stephaniegoode.com / /  www.rifrakt.com

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