BPC Meeting, 17 September 2018

Jeff Steen leads a discussion about artists giving themselves permission to try new things.

17 September 2018 Meeting of the
Brandywine Photo Collective
at the home of Jeff Steen.
Summary by Danny Schweers.

Present were Ken Francis, Jane Koester, Jim Lawson, Lynn Maniscalco, Gerry Meekins, Jeffrey Rubin, Danny Schweers, and Jeff Steen.

FUTURE MEETINGS: Third Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

UPCOMING BPC EXHIBIT at Cab Calloway School of the Arts, January-February, 2019 — Jeffrey Rubin has arranged for our “Performances” exhibit to be on display again in Wilmington, at this school’s Fine Arts Gallery.

UPCOMING BPC MEMBERS’ EXHIBIT at the Grand Opera House, March, 2019. The theme will be “Visions”. Lynn Maniscalco has arranged the date, but someone else needs to manage the exhibit. That management means making sure our members publicize the exhibit, hang it, and take it down; provide food for the reception; label the work and prepare other text and graphics; set out take-away cards describing our organization; etc… These various tasks associated with the show at the Grand could be split up among the participating members, one task for everyone, but some one person needs to have overall responsibility.

NEWS:

  • Walter Borders and Danny Schweers both have work on display at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, in their annual Members’ Show.
  • The 86th Wilmington International Exhibition of Photography will accept entries starting November 1, 2018, with an exhibit in April, 2019.
  • Danny Schweers will have a solo show at the Buzz Ware Village Center in Arden in March, 2020, and will move that show to the Washington Printmakers Gallery in D.C. in April.

NEW WORK:

  • Ken Francis showed us images of mandalas — slices of color images repeated around a circle to produce fascinating abstracts. Also, photos Ken took of some of the Tuskegee Airmen were used to create a sculpture.
  • Gerry Meekins shared several black and white images on Epson Hot Press paper of churches, most of the churches bright white. He talked about focus stacking, high dynamic range, and correcting parallax. He also had a sweeping image of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

DISCUSSION:

Jeff Steen led a discussion about how we, as photographers, can give ourselves permission to explore new avenues of image making, to do something new, to become more childlike, noting that this is something many artists do only when their work becomes mature, striking off in new directions.

As an example, he referred to Jim Lawson’s recent series of toned B&W closeups of vegetation. As another example, he referred to Jane Koester’s recent series of colorful close-up abstracts of flowers.

Jeff then showed us 6x7cm B&W contact prints laid out in rows and grids, photos of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He contrasted these rows and grids with what he called “stand-alone photos”. The discussion touched on the relation between art and the ideas that generate it.

We also discussed how well art can communicate ideas independent of text and explanation. The Transcendentalists, like Thoreau, believed spiritual inspiration could be found in physical nature, and in art. A question is how well artists can communicate specific insights thru their art without having to explain their art in words.