Alternate Paths Exhibit – Coronavirus Update #2

Well folks, we are just a day away from what was to be the closing reception for the Alternate Paths group exhibit (scheduled for this Friday, May 1st), but since we are still under the New York State on Pause executive order, it isn’t happening. Not tomorrow anyway…

Not gonna lie, I am feeling bummed that no one can see the work in person. But, to help share it virtually, in addition to the 7+ minute video tour I shared in the last blog post,  I’ve made a few mini videos spotlighting the work of each artist in the show. They definitely don’t do the work justice, but they are better than nothing! And if you’ve been following me on instagram, you’ve probably already seen them (albeit, chopped into pieces)…but here are links to all the full videos for reference:

Now that we’re at the end of our 7th week of self isolation, with non-essential businesses still closed, people are starting to feel the crunch, and artists are particularly hard hit, as educational institutions where we teach and take classes, galleries where we exhibit, studios where we make work, etc., are all closed. But many of us are still making work at home and selling our work online as best we can (more on what I’ve been doing in the next post!).

As a reminder, all of the works in this exhibit (except for the pieces by Bill Bates), are for sale. If you’re interested in helping us out by making a purchase, you can:

PS: we are still in talks with the folks running the Nu Movement Studio gallery to discuss extending the show so that ‘when things finally open back up’ (will this ever happen??), we can have a small reception before we de-install. Another idea is to do a ‘live’ virtual reception that you can see via video afterward…..Stay tuned!

Alternate Paths Exhibit – Coronavirus Update

Friday, April 3, was supposed to have been the opening reception for the Alternate Paths group exhibit…..but no.  As with the rest of the world, our community has been impacted by coronavirus, and though we are not exactly on lock down here in Rochester, NY, the ‘New York State On Pause’ executive order has required all non-essential businesses to close, and has prohibited public gatherings where social distancing measures aren’t possible. Thus, no opening reception.

The Alternate Paths promotional postcard

The show was installed a couple weeks back, on Saturday, March 14, which was just days before things started closing down locally. (Seems like ages ago now though….) We actually briefly debated if we should put the show up or not; the crisis was just emerging which made everything feel up in the air, but the studio was still open. So we decided to go for it.

Everyone pitched in and the show went up pretty easily in just over an hour. Considering we had work by five different artists, of all different sizes, and that we hadn’t seen each other’s work before we got to the gallery to install the show (thus it wasn’t pre-sequenced), this was a feat. And if you’ve ever installed a show before you can appreciate this!

Special thanks go out to Danielle at the studio who helped with tools and hanging, so we were all able to split up and take different walls. Here are a few photos showing us installing the show, the gallery lighting and the space.

As soon as the exhibit was up, in anticipation of the fact that we might have to postpone or even cancel the opening reception, I did a Facebook Live video of the show, and then made a short iphone video to share on Youtube (7:22 min).  We were all in agreement that if it made sense to cancel we’d cancel, but we still wanted to have a way to share the work.

In the end, the studio closed about a week later, and though the show is up now til May 1st, there’s no way to see it in person. We are still hopeful things will improve so our ‘closing reception’ (scheduled for that Friday, May 1st) will give us the chance to celebrate the work together, in person, with all of you.  We are also talking about possibly extending the show a little longer, and I’m working on making more videos to highlight the work of each artist. Stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, hope you are all staying safe and healthy out there!

Save the Date! “Alternate Paths” Opens Friday, April 3

I’m super excited to announce the upcoming exhibit Alternate Paths, a group show featuring new work by photographers Pat Bacon (photogravures), Marianne Pojman (fiber prints toned with tea, coffee and sepia), Bill Bates (lith prints), Jon Merritt (cyanotypes) and me (kallitypes). It will open at the Nu Movement Studio with a reception on Friday, April 3, 2020, and will close with a (2nd) reception on Friday, May 1, 2020.

For this exhibit, I asked a few of my friends whose work I admire if they would be interested in doing a group show…we started talking about the concept in the fall of 2019, and after they all expressed interest, I went back into the darkroom to make some new negatives and test my old chemistry. I was pleasantly surprised that all of my silver nitrate, ferric oxalate, developer, fixer and toner was still good, after it had sat all summer with no love!  So I was able to get right to work with a new group of images, this time focusing on doors, windows, architectural details, and because I can’t help it, more botanicals! Here are a few draft prints that I’ve been working on:

A few of my recent works

Have you been to the Nu Movement Studio before? It’s a great little space that is typically filled with yoga and other fitness classes by day/night, which uses their wall space to support local artists. Exhibits are installed roughly a month before the opening reception, so artists get exposure for a two-month span through folks attending classes and events, and through the two receptions that the gallery allows the artists to run.

A couple views of the Nu Movement Studio with different exhibits

They don’t charge to use the space, don’t take any commissions on sales, and they assist the artists with printing of statements and labels and with the installation of the show.  They have receptions for their exhibits on the first Friday of each month, usually from around 6 to 9  pm. It’s a pretty rare opportunity for artists, and one that is greatly appreciated! Here’s some info on where they are located:

I’m hoping to share another post as we get closer to the exhibit, but for now, just a little teaser to get you to mark your calendars!


Using Photography to Foster Community

About 5 years ago, a small group of co-workers and I put up a photo exhibit in a big empty room (the ‘Purple Room’) at our work, featuring a theme of “Nature”. Our goal was just to highlight work by the few of us that regularly take photos, and add some visual interest to a big empty space. We thought it would be a one-time thing, something fun to do since there was lots of wall space left unadorned after a building expansion.

But the space was large, and there were initially only 6 of us who knew we had work that fit the theme, so in the spirit of wanting to fill the space, we invited everyone in the company who might also have a nature photo to join us. We were pleasantly surprised when a number of other employees submitted work, and together we showed something like 30 images! Little did we know, but we started something GOOD!

Our first exhibit, focused on Nature

We followed the “Nature” show with one featuring Architecture, and another group of employees joined us! It felt like we had hit on something that was really resonating, building morale, and providing another reason to get together once in a while and celebrate each other.

Attendance at our exhibits is always great!

A year later, we had had 3 exhibits and there was a buzz around the building when the shows would open, and a curiosity among everyone as to what theme would come next. It was an exciting time!

Then, some of my co-workers nominated me for an award for the work I did to establish regular exhibits, including building a photo committee, reviewing all the submitted photos, ordering prints, helping folks with matting and framing, making tags and promoting the show internally using our own in-house social media. Basically, creating something everyone could participate in, in some way, either as a photographer or a viewer.  And after back to back nominations (two years in a row), I was honored to win the annual IDI Billing Solutions IDIology Award!

Me with my IDIology award

Fast forward through the years, and as our building was renovated, IDI’s leadership team decided to carve out a dedicated gallery space, with a proper rail-hanging system and spot lighting, just so we could continue showing our work! On top of that, almost half of all employees have participated in at least one exhibit, and we’ve exhibited a variety of themes, including Travel, Animals, People, Black & Whites, Action Shots and Seasons. The gallery is even featured on the company website as one of the perks of working at IDI!!

A couple shots from recent exhibits in our new gallery space (at left, “Animals”, at right, “Black and Whites”)

Then last year, we were asked to expand our exhibits to another wall which is part of IDI’s entry area and visible to all visitors. We’re using this space to focus on individual employees, calling it an ‘Artist Spotlight’. So at any point in time, we have two exhibits going on, the greater gallery group show and the mini individual show! And now that we’ve had numerous exhibits, fellow employees have started to develop bodies of work, noting the themes they are most drawn to, and improving their skills by taking more and more photos.

Me with my mini Employee/Artist spotlight exhibit at work (November 2019 to January 2020)

And just last week, we installed our 9th exhibit, featuring Macro images, and it looks fantastic! Leading up to it, groups of us met at lunch time to talk about taking macro images and to play with macro lens attachments for our phones, and most of us ended up making new work just for this theme. (Themes are suggested by and voted on by all employees….)

A group of us at the soft opening of our 9th exhibit, “Macros”

I am grateful for my fellow committee members, without whom these exhibits wouldn’t happen, and hugely thankful for the support of our company; I feel lucky to work at IDI, and for these experiences which are so fulfilling, allowing us to get to know each other better. Photography has provided us a way develop a sense of community  and a connection beyond the regular comradery of just working on projects together. And I look forward to the next years as we continue to come up with new themes and encourage even more employees to get involved!