Archive for the “PRC Events” Category



Many ideas related to pushing photography beyond the wall were discussed on January 7, 2015. Sharing her projects “WebAffairs”, “The State of Ata”, and “Shelter in Plates”, Chantal Zakari covered themes of the language of the pixel, negotiation of public space, ethics of photography, and responding to sacred images. Joining in the discussion, four presenters talked about using photography to make connections and engage with others.







Chris Yeager showed his images of “The Book of Honk”, portraits of those who take part of the Honk parade. Becoming increasing more engaged with the group over 4 years, Chris makes these portraits juxtaposing the colorful characters and costumes against start white backgrounds.

“It was refreshing to show my project to people who take photography seriously. I appreciated the compliments and even more so the great questions about my intent and where I was taking it. I don’t get enough opportunity to think about those things with other people. I’ll definitely come back and do some more viewing.” – Chris Yeager



Tom Wojciechowski showed two projects. One uses photography to create text with light writing creating complex comments on society.  The other project engages text from gravestones to bring out hidden messages from our everyday world.





Meg Bergstrand has engaged with prisoners gaining an understanding of slang, which she then crafts into logos. Meg engaged the audience as she considers how to use photography to create a book.



Charlie Taylor discussed his work at Wally’s Jazz Club seeking advice on how to continue to connect in this venue to bring it to life in photography.


Whether we make images of people on the street or interact with subcultures our discussions covered how projects change over time as we learn more about our subjects, the public and ourselves. We were asked to consider how to bring photography project full circle from making the image to giving back.

Check out the full Flickr site Here:

-Lydia A. Harris

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The theme for December’s Nights at the PRC, Identity and Portraiture, drew a broad range of presenters and lively participation from an audience of over 30 fellow photographers. Caleb Cole, the host for the evening, presented photos from his series “Other People’s Clothes,”  which is the product of his exploration of private moments of expectation and a visual expression of his experiences stepping into the shoes of the types of people he sees on a daily basis. Caleb also presented work from his new series “Blue Boys,” currently on view at Gallery Kayafas, which continues his exploration of how to visually express identity and personal experiences. Throughout the evening, six presenters shared their work related to the theme of Identity and Portraiture. Some photographers focused on traditional portraiture, while others presented work that questions how we identify ourselves or others through appearance, physical objects or location.

– Alyssa Minahan

Portrait & Identity Night

The evening’s host Caleb Cole.

Portrait & Identity Night

Presenter Renee Ricciardi.

Portrait & Identity Night

Caleb Cole commenting on a presenters work.

Below are some quotes from presenters about their experiences at December’s Nights at the PRC:

I came with specific questions regarding the presentation of my work and went home with some really good suggestions from Caleb and the group.” – Kathleen Gerdon Archer.  Kathleen is an honors graduate of Montsserat College College of Art with a BA in Painting, which has a had a profound influence on her photographic work. Her latest solo show was at The Carnery Gallery at Regis College in Weston, MA, with other solos shows at The Kingston Gallery, The Copley Society of Art and the Griffin Museum. Her work has also appeared in group shows at The Danforth Museum and Endicott College.

Nights at the PRC are a great opportunity to meet other photographers, get feedback and new ideas. This one was lots of fun, and it was a nice bonus to see Caleb’s recent work.” – Daniel Jackson. Daniel Jackson’s work has appeared in solo shows at the MIT Museum and Newton Free Library, as well as in group shows at the Griffin Museum, PhotoPlace Gallery and the PRC. His work is in the permanent collection of the MIT Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

For me, Nights at the PRC are one of the most important functions of the year.” – Skip Schiel. A participatory photographer, photographing while engaging in struggles for justice, peace, right treatment of the environment, and enlightenment, Skip Schiel makes photos for publications, exhibits, slide shows, and individual use. His current projects include a photographic examination of conditions in Palestine & Israel, searching for the seeds of the new Detroit miracle, and Twilight, an exploration of light. Since 1990, Skip has taught at the Cambridge Center of Adult Education, ranging from basic photography to digital darkroom and photographic field workshops concentrating on light in photography. He has also taught photography at the Landscape Institute formerly at Harvard, the Quaker Palestine Youth Program in Palestine, filmmaking for 10 years at Boston College, and various workshops at Quaker gatherings.

 “I had been wanting to talk about my photographs that deal with the concept of identity for a long time. The PRC offers an excellent platform for photographers to show their work and discuss it with a group of local artists. I had never shown this identity series to anyone, but after the night at the PRC I was able to gather opinions, ideas, and useful feedback about the work.” – Renee Ricciardi. Renée Ricciardi is a Boston based artist and photographer. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is the 2013 Morton Godine Travel Fellowship recipient. Renée is currently working on a personal assignment photographing apiaries, beekeepers, and organic food in cities across Italy.

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By Danielle Ashley Burke, PRC Workshop Assistant

Sequencing and editing a portfolio is one of the most important, daunting, and occasionally confusing things a photographer can do. From novice to professional everyone must make portfolio selections at some point, which is one reason it is great to get first hand information from a professional who has been doing so for decades. For me, signing up to be the workshop assistant for Ernesto Bazan’s Sequencing and Editing Workshop through the PRC could not have come at a better time. I had just graduated from photography school and was eager to get a fresh set of eyes on my work.

(c) Danielle Ashley Burke

The nine of us in the course were told ahead of time to bring 30 images to be critiqued (whether it be 30 from one series, or 30 images we considered to be our best work). Ernesto was able to give each person a great amount of time going over each and every image. He promised to be critical but constructive in order to help us improve and he definitely delivered.

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By Phillip Jones

It’s impossible to live in a large city and not, at least to some degree, fall under its spell.  For some of us this fascination goes further and we find ourselves tramping down uncharted avenues searching for the city’s hidden secrets. Photographers, in particular, feel this tug.  Urban landscapes become the prime subject of their visual explorations.  In fact, the way we’ve come to perceive certain cities has been shaped by the artistic vision of the photographers that document them.  Paris has its Atgets, New York its Abbotts, Tokyo its Moriyamas, and so on. The cities keep growing and evolving, however, and each new generation of photographers naturally observe their surroundings with fresh eyes that replenish our understanding of the here and now.

Last night the PRC held its Urban Landscape Night here in the photogenic city of Boston as part of its ongoing Nights at the PRC program.  We looked at the portfolios of five urban photographers whose experience ranged from recent graduate to seasoned professional, but all of whom were dedicated and competent artists. Glenn Ruga, the PRC’s executive director, and I kicked off the evening with introductions, some observations about the urban landscape in general, and then we dove right into the presentations.  Each photographer had 20 minutes to present 20 images.  Three chose to lay their prints out on tables and two projected their work digitally.  I was asked to give the “official” feedback although the audience wasn’t shy about contributing input of their own.

(c) Randall Armor

Our first presenter was Randall Armor, who is a successful professional photographer, having shot commercial and editorial assignments for Lotus, Fidelity, Boston Magazine, and many others.  He is currently the director of the photography program for Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.  This level of technical achievement and sophistication was evident in his many-faceted presentation.  His work had several subcategories including black-and-white street photography, nocturnal time-lapse photographs of moving trains, and complex incidental compositions utilizing signage, windows and reflections.  It was as if he’d curated a group show of urban photography but just happened to have taken all of the shots himself.  The work featured some real gems, and it’s a pleasure to see this skilled pro take a break from commercial assignments in order to follow his own paths of artistic inquiry, each of which seems rich with potential.

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Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, marked the third annual New England Portfolio Reviews (“NEPR”). Organized by the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Photographic Resource Center, this two-day event brought together photographers with experts from the New England photography community for portfolio reviews. With a broad spectrum of reviewers from which to choose—educators, printers, gallerists, publishers, and curators—artists had the opportunity to get valuable feedback from a variety of perspectives. In response to feedback from last year’s NEPR, the Griffin Museum and PRC sponsored a “Preflight Panel” this year (May 14). Attendees learned about how to prepare for portfolio reviews and what to anticipate. Panelists included Eunice Hurd, Director of the Robert Klein Gallery, educator Neal Rantoul, the Griffin Museum’s Executive Director Paula Tognarelli, and myself.

Saturday morning portfolio reviews
(Photo courtesy of Randall Armor)

NEPR distinguishes itself as the only regional portfolio review event. For artists it offers the unique opportunity to receive constructive feedback on projects in a collegial and supportive environment. It also provides further exposure–getting work out there that hasn’t been seen or discussed before. For reviewers, like myself, NEPR is a way to see new work and meet new artists. It’s also how I stay informed about trends in photography. I love many aspects of being a Curator, but portfolio reviews are “gravy” because they offer me the opportunity to support artists and see new work. A review is a dialogue, and, as a reviewer, I try to facilitate the creative process by listening, asking questions, and helping an artist clarify his/her artistic vision and direction. I try to make the act of courage that inspires an artist to place new work in front of a curator, worthwhile.

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by Barbara Ayotte

Benedict Fernandez

Benedict Fernandez at his Almanac Gallery in Hoboken, NJ. Photograph by Elliott Ruga

On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon this spring, PRC Executive Director Glenn Ruga, his brother Elliott, and I visited the Almanac Gallery on Garden Street in Hoboken, NJ, owned by Benedict “Ben” Fernandez and his wife, Siiri.  Originally Ben’s parents’ home, the small gallery feels more like a museum, marking significant milestones in documentary photography. Ben is most known for his “protest” photography, particularly his famous and intimate portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. (A portfolio of this work will be sold at the upcoming PRC event “Treasures from the PRC Vault” on May 7.)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photograph by Benedict Fernandez

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photograph by Benedict Fernandez. One of 12 images included in Countdown to Eternity portfolio.

Ben was seated on a couch in a small, sparse room dominated by a wall of posters marking the first photography expos at Arles that Ben helped to organize, the ICP lectures of The Concerned Photographer series featuring the icons of twentieth century photography including Cornell Capa and Ben, and posters of rallies with Martin Luther King, Jr.  Photos of Ben with Lisette Model, Richard Avedon, Susan Meiselas and Capa dotted the other walls, near shelves of boxed prints and portfolios.

Minutes after we walked in, Siiri was ready to reminisce about the amazing influence and breadth of Ben’s career, of which Ben prefers to call “photo-anthropology” as opposed to photojournalism. Siiri started by taking out his famous Martin Luther King, Jr. portfolio “Countdown to Eternity,” commissioned by Kodak. The exhibition based on this portfolio has been shown in 18 cities and is still traveling. We didn’t know that there was also a second portfolio, commissioned by Leica. Only five copies of the Leica version were created and are valued at $25,000. The Kodak version sold at the George Eastman House Auction for between $5.000 and 7,000. (Ben and Siiri could not remember the exact price.)

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By Fran Gardino, Volunteer Workshop Assistant

I guess you could call me middle-of-the-road with regard to promoting my fine art photo work.  I have self-published three photo books, designed and posted an evolving website and participated in a seemingly endless series of local art shows.  I’ve also had two portfolio reviews and licensed several of my photos for relatively small fees. Like many in the audience, I decided that it’s about time for a boost and an update.  The PRC’s “Finding Your Audience” workshop with Mary Virginia Swanson — or Swanee, as she likes to be called — was just the ticket.

A multi-media presentation and Mary Virginia Swanson? Count me in.

A number of years ago, I attended a photo lecture given by an aging Doc Edgerton at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  During his lecture, Doc mentioned that despite his many years on the case, there were still plenty of strobe photography opportunities waiting out there, in particular, the photographing of complex wing movements of a large variety of hummingbirds in South America.  Even in his old age, Doc was still seeking lifetime challenges and inspiring all of us in the audience to do the same.

Similarly, Swanee, although much younger than Doc was at the time of his MFA lecture, showed an intense video slide presentation that was both inspirational and full of challenges, useful concepts and practical hints.  Her presentation was specifically designed for those of us that feel the need to exhibit our work in galleries, museums, etc., sell, and self-publish our best photos in printed books and on the web.

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By Meredith Hoobler, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

Exhibition planning, design, and execution is one of those tasks that simultaneously makes curators want to pull their hair out and jump around like a little girl who just received her first doll. It is complicated yet surprisingly simple, and its success depends on a few very important skills. Over the months I have worked at the Photographic Resource Center, I have been constantly working with Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis, the Program & Exhibition Manager. Working on so many different projects at the PRC it has been easy for me to pick up the important aspects of exhibition development, through Erin discussing her tasks with me, and my own observations.

Everything fell into place for me personally when I interviewed Erin for a profile article. Sitting down with her at an isolated location away from work really allowed us to converse about her thoughts about the upcoming exhibit, The Space in Between: Daniel Feldman, Stefanie Klavens, and Lynn Saville. This one exhibit taught me in only two short months about approximately a yearlong journey that ends with an opening night.

First and foremost, you need substance. You need to get that spark, light bulb, or flash of an idea, usually triggered by seeing an artist’s work. Once you have the idea, brainstorming steps in. What other artists could pair or complement this one, should it be a solo show, which works are the most influential, powerful, or able to be applied to your theme? This step’s time period is infinite and depends on individual timelines, a boss or department’s deadline, or the organization where the show is to be installed and exhibited. Erin explained the difference in timelines to me based on institution size. Smaller nonprofits such as the PRC have much less time in planning. A year is ideal, but usually the curator and small support staff have under a year to complete the exhibition process. A larger museum typically requires years of planning and research done by a much larger staff of professionals and interns.

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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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By Liz Ellenwood, Workshop Assistant

Lets go back to the basics, I mean the real basics. You’ve got a cardboard box sitting in front of you. What do you do with it? Put stuff in it? Maybe break it down and recycle it? Let your cat play in it? How about you make it into a camera? Sounds ridiculous with the digital age that we are in. Why on earth would you spend the time and frustration of dealing with light leaks, over/under exposed images, darkrooms, etc. while you could be out clicking away on your digital camera not worrying about any of these things? Spend a day with Jesseca Ferguson creating pinhole cameras and that question will quickly disappear from your mind and be replaced by “what digital camera?”

I was introduced to Jesseca’s work a little over a year ago and find myself still captivated by it. Her work reminds me of the Pictorialist movement in the early 1900s and how photographers of that time depicted a romanticized world through soft focus, very dreamlike images. After reading about Jesseca and her work, I was awe-struck: she uses a pinhole camera! These stunning, ethereal images were created with literally a light-tight box with a tiny hole poked in the center. Needless to say when I saw that she was giving a workshop on “Pinhole Madness” at the Photographic Resource Center, I wanted to be a part of it.

At the Wednesday night pinhole presentation by Jesseca

The workshop was broken up into two days. The first was Jesseca’s presentation on pinhole photography in the PRC gallery. She showed slides of so many terrific artists: John Wood, Steven Pippin, Eric Renner, Pinky Bass, Barbara Ess, the list goes on and on. Jesseca spoke of how Eric Renner thought of the pinhole camera as a “sophisticated light leak” and how terrific it is because “a pinhole camera is the only camera that comes packed with food.” To explore this thought of food and pinhole, Jesseca brought a tin full of cookies that she purchased somewhere in Chinatown – apparently Chinatown is the place to go for pinhole cameras, big tins filled with food – and we were instructed of our first step of making a pinhole camera: eat all of the cookies. No complaints here!

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