ARTISTS AND CONTRIBUTORS
Rebecca Memoli - Curator/Editor
Rebecca Memoli is a Chicago based photographer and curator. She received her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in 2006 and stayed in New York City for eight years after. In that time she co-founded The Blood Dumpster Artist Collective in Brooklyn, NY. She has curated seven group exhibitions. Her work has been shown in several group art exhibitions throughout the US and in Chile. She has had three solo exhibitions including one at the New York Public Library, Mulberry Branch. In 2017 Memoli received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College. She currently works as a Teaching Artist at Lillstreet Art Center and Chicago Public School’s Gallery 37 Advanced Art Program.
Samantha Belden - Artist
Samantha Belden is an artist based in Chicago, IL. Belden received her Bachelor of Arts in Photography with a concentration in Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2016. Her art practice is concerned with ideas of familial intimacy and history, preservation, and aging. She has been the recipient of the Pieter Ombregt Scholarship, Matt Hanner Artistic Excellence Scholarship, an Anderson Ranch Summer Workshop Scholarship, and is a 2016 LAUNCHInvitational Artist Resident through Chicago Artist Coalition. Belden is a recent Artist-in-Residence at The Overlook Place.
Nydia Blas - Artist
Nydia Blas is a visual artist living in Ithaca, New York with her two children . She holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, and received her M.F.A. from Syracuse University in the school ofVisual and Performing Arts. She currently serves as the Acting Executive Director of Southside Community Center, Inc. Blas delicately weaves stories concerning circumstance,value, and power and uses her work to create a physical and allegorical space presented through a Black feminine lens. She is drawn to matters of sexuality and intimacy and calls upon her lived experience as a girl, woman, and mother. The result is an environment that is dependent upon the belief that in order to maintain resiliency, a magical outlook is necessary.
Blane Bussey - Artist
Blane Bussey is best known for photographing Atlanta's LGBTQ community in unexpected, public places. He began by photographing Atlanta's drag queens in public places from the Atlanta Zoo to Publix to explore queer identity in mainstream society. From those photographic projects, he began to develop closer friendships with the subjects of his work. He took inspiration from photographers like Nan Goldin to photograph the people in his life in a diaristic way. He examines magic, mysticism, and chaos in queer life through the use of film, and sometimes, tarot cards.
Sarah Hiatt - Artist
Sarah Hiatt is a photographer whose work focuses on the growth, loss, and uncertainty throughout childhood. Her work has been exhibited in various locations in the US and internationally. She is a recent graduate from Columbia College, receiving her MFA in Photography.
Audrey Jane Black - Writer
Audrey Jane Black is an artist, activist, and scholar. Her background is in visual arts and journalism. She is a doctoral student of Communication at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also earning a graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. Audrey’s research is in media and critical cultural studies, with an emphasis on identity and representation. Audrey currently assistant-teaches the undergraduate courses Visual Communication and Gender, Sex & Representation.
Kansas City - Open House
The Memory Limited is a short film combining old home movies with contemporary documentary footage. By oscillating between past and present, it becomes a meditation on love, memory, and the march of time. I came to the project with the hopes of creating a film that can examine my own life, and by doing so, provide some insight into the ways in which we view relationships - be they familial, romantic, or otherwise.
This series challenges the tyranny of my own privilege in constructing a familial narrative of grief after my father’s suicide. With my intent to refashion the past, I found myself unwittingly in the present—confronting my own biases in the act of remembering. This series is an attempt to confront and reconcile individual loss with a disremembered collective pain.
I created compositions from stills of family home videos filmed by my mother between the years 1987-1989—chronicling our earliest transition into family. I collected images rich with associated memories of people, spaces, color, objects, etc. Using acetone solvent, I transferred the imagery to create distinct compositions that more accurately reflect the nonlinear complexity—and fallibility—of shared memory and loss.
Juan Giraldo is a documentary photographer currently based in NY Metro area.
Born in Mazinales, Colombia—he was raised in Paterson, New Jersey. An environmental portrait and interior photographer also working on long-term documentary projects—Juan's work explores the personal interior spaces of working people, (in particular the employees of Great Lakes Reload and his family in Paterson, New Jersey), the textures of a working life and the banal indicators of domesticity that shaped his view of the world, both as a first generation immigrant and laborer. In addition to this work, Giraldo continues to photograph his family as part of an ongoing project in which he looks at his relationship with his parents.
Giraldo received a BFA in Photography from William Paterson University. Later in 2015, he completed an MFA in Photography from Columbia College.
The images submitted to The Feeling Is Mutual were generated using experimental machine-augmented drawing, and are part of my 2018 MFA thesis exhibition at the University of Kansas. In 2017 I viewed Lara Foto Generator, a neural network tool repurposed by Dutch artists to create half-drawings/half-photos. I worked with a software developer to hack pix2pix software with three steps: 1) We train the software to recognize images of my sister and nieces by inputting photo sets alongside corresponding line drawings of each photo. 2) I input new line drawings to the trained software. 3) The software analyzes the drawings and applies to them photographic information derived from and based on what it learned from the original photographs. The output images result from a testy back and forth conversation between me and the machine, imperfectly shaping my drawings through the images of the important women who shaped me.
This is How We Walk on the Moon is an exploration of my relationship with my sister, and the similarities between our bond and the sisterhood I witness between my nieces. Influenced by Juliet Mitchell’s psychoanalysis piece, Siblings, I’m interested in the construction of the self through lateral relationships, particularly the challenging and empowering connections between young women.
Hold my hand and hold your breath. I am learning as I pretend to know what I am doing. I am so tired but worry more about you than myself. I am restless in this domesticated life. I long for more for you and myself. Things seemed easy when it was only the pitter-patter of your little feet. Life can be so unkind. I see the way the light hits your face as you cry out for warmth, I see how it hits your face and shows the lines of wisdom, through the good and the bad. We are the quite and unspoken, yet we scream the loudest.
Rest your tired eyes. I will cover you in warmth. We will move past this and carve out our own light against the darkest skies. As the words, Are you Okay fade from our lives.
Having grown up in the Georgia countryside, I spent a great deal of my childhood helping my grandparents in the family garden and watching my grandmother inevitably can and preserve the fruits and vegetables grown there. That experience created an appreciation for, not only family, but also seasons, farmland and the preservation process.
Over the past few years, our family has suffered the loss of my aunt, grandmother, grandfather, father, and brother. As a result, I watched the garden my grandparents tended wither, and the home that held so many beautiful memories molder until it became a carcass the vultures had picked clean. I witnessed as odd decisions were discussed and made regarding the distribution of possessions. Which grandson would acquire which golf clubs, and who would inherit the dartboard, for example? As is typical after a loved one’s death, our family busied itself engaging in the process of dividing up the valuables and not-so valuables after each loss. We grieved, we mourned, we cried, and we sorted piles and piles of things.
In an effort to understand their relationship, McElroy asked her mother to photograph the reasons that she loves her using a Kodak Fun Saver. Her mother was instructed to take one photograph per reason and to use all of the film. She was also instructed not to explain any of the photographs. McElroy had to reach her own conclusions regarding the images.
I find myself erasing the line that I drew between “high” art and “folk” art. Instead of accusing my childhood for what I perceived as a lack of artistic presence, I am rediscovering my heritage and the basis of my creative identity through photographing my grandmother in her own routine. Artistry has emerged from the place of my childhood, even though I never witnessed it in the moment. The images of my grandmother formulate a notion of her identity; similar to the one that I see reflected back at me. Her portrait symbolizes a legacy of the life she grew and the one that she dedicated to my mother and then the life my mother gave to me. Through her daily rituals, her chores, and her schedule, artistry emerges gracefully from the only way she knows how to live. So, what are the boundaries between art and life and why does one find that they need to write out these definitions? I find that my grandmother, my childhood, and my heritage are living between them.
Local Project Long Island City
Mickey Aloisio is an American artist based in Queens, NY. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology. His work has been exhibited in a number of group shows with his first solo show in December 2018 at the Leslie Lohman Prince St. Project Space in New York. Aloisio’s work addresses sexuality, vulnerability, and identity with an expressive and sincere approach.
'Family', to me, are about the ones whom I feel most gravitated towards. Their presence and love is something I continue to long for, regardless if we are at a near or far distance from each other. And, what I familiarize myself with the most from these connections is that each and every 'relative' feeds me in a variety of ways, an angular triangle.
Throughout my life, photography has always been the common denominator. Depth, symmetry, and subtlety are overwhelming
obsessions in my aesthetic approach to photography through which I look to explore areas of social and antisocial American life. I can easily relate those interests to the grid layout of my childhood neighborhood in suburban Long Island. This photographic series serves as a documented record of the subtle changes observed in my childhood home throughout and after my father’s battle with Brain Cancer.
This Is Home Now, 2017 – 2018
Julia Dunham is a conceptual photographer and artist working in New York City. She received her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in 2015.
Her work has been displayed at Field Projects, Greenpoint Gallery, The Nave Gallery Annex as well as several zines and publications such as Yo-New York and The Hand Magazine. When she’s not taking photos, Julia is a full time lab manager at My Own Color Lab, a traditional c-print darkroom and fine art printing service in Manhattan.
Olivia Hunter grew up in Virginia directly outside of Washington, DC. She received a
BFA in Photography and Imaging at NYU Tisch (where she also received the Creative Excellence Award in 2014). She worked for Steven Meisel’s Studio and Archive, Art + Commerce, and Human Rights Watch. She is now a student pursuing her MFA at the School of Visual Arts.
In her early teens, she was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Her work often focuses on using visual metaphors to represent struggles with mental illness, rituals, and compulsions.
I have been able to detach myself from the personal and objectify an experience through my film work. I use this as a method to cope, while also laying a framework for others to relate. 5 x 7 (Far Away) is more directly a film about my family and its collapse.
Colombian-born artist Loretta Lomanto has a BFA degree from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin as well as an MFA from Parsons The New School. Her work has been featured in many group exhibitions including BRIC: Up for Debate, Soho20: Backlash, and BHQF: The Last Brucennial, Rochester Contemporary Art Center: 6x6x201, as well as benefit exhibitions at AIR and Arts@Renaissance. Special installations of her work have been curated at the Governors Island Art Fair and cloyingParlor: Her History Dilemma. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
This photo series titled "Abandoned" explores the front of various homes as representing family and the doorway into one’s upbringing. The majority of the homes have been abandoned, broken down or destroyed.
Susan Joy Ripperberger
Documenting our family road trips, I found that my daughter and I were always separate in pictures; she would take a picture of me, or I would take one of her with the changing scenery for a backdrop. Sometimes in restaurants along the way, a waitress would snap us together, but mostly we were represented apart. I started cutting the separate printed photos and gluing them together. Eventually, the photos became more sculptural: woven memories, often with multiple images. I called these family memories “put-togethers,” showing that we were put together on purpose and by choice.
I have spent the last fifteen years of my life living in major cities such as New York and Beijing, yet have recently been returning to make photographs in Michigan, where I grew up. I have been seeking out places and people there that at first seem strange, as time and many places and experiences have brought me far away from them. However, they are also familiar, as childhood memories bring me back to a place of uncanny familiarity.
Ji Yeon Yu is an emerging visual artist from Busan, South Korea and currently lives in Long Island City, New York. She recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Photography at Pratt Institute on May 2018. As an emerging artist and photographer, she has exhibited two solo and four group exhibitions in New York.
Also, she published a photo-book, HIVE MIND, with Pratt Photography seniors and Conveyor Editions in May, 2018. She always pushes herself to achieve her best on both in photography and fine arts.
Bonnie Astor is a painter, photographer and mixed media artist. She makes her subjects come alive by infusing them with her passion for color,texture and pattern. Using these techniques Ms. Astor melds the subjects to their cultures. The viewer is able to experience global commonalities and global connections.
Nicole Bull (b. 1992, Pennsylvania) is a Brooklyn based artist working mainly in photography and video. She holds an MFA from ICP-Bard and a BA in anthropology and studio art from the University of Vermont. Her solo exhibitions include Before You Go at the ICP Bard MFA studios in Long Island City, NY (2018) and here for you at the Frances Colburn Gallery in Burlington, VT (2015). She recently curated a group show To Know a Stranger at Baxter St at CCNY. Recent group exhibitions include Close to Reality at the International Center for Photography in New York, NY (2018), SHIM Invitational 5at Art Helix in Brooklyn, NY (2017), the annual postcard exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY (2017), Eyes// Vermont at New City Galerie in Burlington, VT (2016) and 1236# at Frances Coburn Gallery in Burlington, VT (2015).
Kenneth Guthrie obtained his BFA in Studio Art with a Photography emphasis from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2016. He is entering his second year as an MFA in Photography candidate at Columbia College Chicago and works as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP).
These are short samples of journal entries I created over the past year or so, reflecting on times in my life where I felt the absolute happiest -- with my friends. They mean everything to me, and I consider them family in the highest regard. In these journal entries, I give a synopsis of the day I spent with the people I took the photos of and cover different bases on why and how important they are in my life, and how much I appreciate them. I hope that through very succinct and expressive recounts, I am able to empathize with the people viewing them and remind them of times when friends or family have impacted their lives.
Axel Jenson is a Singaporean-American photographer currently based in Brooklyn. Their work is concerned with the visual representation of queer, transgender and nonbinary people along with explorations of their Portugese-Eurasian cultural heritage. Axel studies Photography at Pratt Institute.
Sunny Leerasanthanah was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and lives and works in New York City, where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University.
She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Photography from Ithaca College, with minors in Art History and English. Her interests lie in non-profit arts management, arts programming for marginalized patrons, learning programs at museums, queer theory, publishing, photography and artist career development.
Rebecca Major is a New York-based artist, born in Budapest, Hungary, who grew up in the experimental theater group, Squat Theatre, where she was a frequent performer. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and received her MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Her work has been exhibited at The Grace Space, New York, and The Cynthia Broan Gallery, New York, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, and the Mai Mano House of Hungarian Photography, Budapest, among others. She is currently developing new artworks and pursuing an MA in Art History degree at Hunter College, where she also received a curatorial studies certificate this year.
I created this project as a glimpse into my own experience into fatherhood. The portions in color represent the bombastic, high tension emotions I felt as my daughter cried inconsolably. The memories a blur, but the frustration endured resonates till this day. By contrast, the black and white images show a somber, in-focus tone where I can study her face. I can etch the moment as a memory despite the lack of color.
I hold less than a handful of memories of my father who abandoned me at a very young age. I hold even fewer photographs of him. Memories of my Father investigates the duality of memories and photographs. How a photograph encapsulates memories and how memories reside in photographs. I am interested in how a memory of a photograph can hold more charge than the actual photograph and how they are also able to construct lies.
I have collected other people’s memories of photographs they have with their fathers and paired these next to my own family photos. The obvious lack of men in my photos creates a dialogue with these remembered fathers. I am investigating if being raised in an exclusively matriarchal structure has left me with a father figure sized gap to fill and memories left unmade.
Sara J. Winston is a New York-based artist currently living and working in the Hudson Valley. Using photography, writing, and print media, her work explores representations of sickness, wellness, healthcare, and the ways in which chronic illness is managed both within and outside of medical contexts.
She is currently working on a multi-volume project investigating autoimmune disease, looking closely at the "genetic & environmental factors" that are believed to be the cause of her body's illness. Two previously published volumes of this work include the books A Lick and a Promise published by Candor Arts in 2017, and Homesick published by Zatara Press in 2015 .
Winston earned her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2014. Her work has been exhibitted nationally and internationally and is held in public collections including Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and University of Michigan’s Artist Book Collection.