City Life Without the Light

Thierry Cohen wants us to see the connections with nature we’re missing every day. (Or those of us who live in big cities).

Social Media Workshop Recap

For those of you who missed last night’s workshop, here are some of the highlights from presenters Scott James andAndrew Lawrence. You can find the full presentation here.


“No one can care until they know.”

Regardless of your strategy, number of social networks, or future plans to post, your followers and fans cannot be invested in your work without an abundance of information out there. Share your work!

Looking Up

Seth gave me a tip about this fascinating Nasa-run blog, Astonomy Picture of the Day. Take a look at this stunning image from earlier last week:

The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation
Credit & Copyright: Nick Pavelchak

Explanation: The North America nebula on the sky can do what the North America continent on Earth cannot — form stars. Specifically, in analogy to the Earth-confined continent, the bright part that appears as Central America and Mexico is actually a hot bed of gas, dust, and newly formed stars known as the Cygnus Wall. The above image shows the star forming wall lit and eroded by bright young stars, and partly hidden by the dark dust they have created. The part of the North America nebula (NGC 7000) shown spans about 15 light years and lies about 1,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus).

Here’s the link for your daily dose of what’s out there.

Beth Yarnelle Edwards: “Suburban Dreams” at OMCA

Beth Yarnelle Edwards is the second photographer to be awarded a solo show for the new California Photography exhibition series.

Beth’s series began in 1997 as she started shooting the intimacies and intricacies of family life in Silicon Valley. Her images, though posed, reflect intriguing and everyday truths about her subjects.

Beth’s images often incorporate the feeling of iconic portrait subjects. In her own words, “I have these icons in my thinking process, but when it all comes together, it’s magic.”

“Suburban Dreams” was recently featured in San Francisco Magazine, as shown above, and in the Oakland Tribune

To see more of Beth’s work, check out her site.

“Underwater” with 81 Bees Photo Collective

Wednesday, November 14th, we are hosting an exhibition by local photo collective 81 Bees. “Underwater” is a sister show to the exhibition on view at PhotoBooth, the Mission-based tintype studio, photography vendor, gallery, and all-around photo nerd watering hole. Here’s our interview with two 81Bees photographers.

Kim Sikora: 81 Bees seems to encompass a wide expanse of photographers. Some with a commercial practice, some in other photography-related positions… Can you explain how the collective was originally formed?

81 Bees photographer Clare Coppel: 81Bees Collective formed in June of 2008. 81Bees is made up of students from City College’s Advanced Black & White Darkroom Class and more people have joined over time.

81 Bees photographer Bob Nishihira: The advanced black and white class at CCSF is called Photo 81B. Four years ago, a number of students from that class decided to form the 81 Bees Collective soon after the semester had ended.

KS: How do you handle membership? Does your group continually grow, or are you interested in more consistent, long-term members?

81B CC: Our group is always changing and adding people. Some participate more than others, it’s very open ended.

81B BN: At first the only members were from the original class. Later, subsequent “graduates” from Photo 81B joined. Eventually, any CCSF photo student could join, usually by invitation. There is no membership cap at this time.

KS: As a group, what are your goals?

81B CC: Our goals are to create photography, share ideas and socialize. Sharing ideas is a big part of the creative process and for effective work flow. Not everyone is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Each person is their own individual artist, with a collective there is community aspect that is really valuable and fun. Have other people to depend on and depending on you can be very motivational.

81B BN: Our goals are to have fellowship with other photography lovers, to share ideas, to advance photo skills, and to receive recognition for our photography.

KS: Is there any desire for unity of vision across the collective? Why or why not?

81B CC: We like the variety, yet we do many things together.

81B BN: We actually like the variety of work within our group. When we have a show, not everyone will enter photos. Some will decide that it isn’t compatible with their style or interest. The group’s variety encourages each one to explore new directions.

KS: Thinking about your work within the context of the collective, what are your thoughts on individual artistic vision vs. the group’s artistic identity?

81B CC: I think everyone has their own vision 1st and then we find common ground with in the group. It’s a balancing act because anytime one works with groups of people the group becomes its own entity, however each person is an individual and has different ideas to consider.

81B BN: The group identity is not content driven. Technical skill and professional presentation are the common threads that bind the collective’s identity. This loose group identity allows each individual to travel his/her own path of creativity without constraints.

KS: In your opinion, what’s the strongest argument for joining or forming an art collective?

81B CC: The chance to share ideas, inspire and network. Also food. Food is very important to us.

81B BN: The art collective motivates one to create, to produce. (Two heads are better than one, three better than two, etc.)

KS: In your involvement in 81 Bees, hat has your biggest success been?

81B CC: Maintaining the group over 4 years. The group communicates online. There are sometimes a lot of emails to keep up with. One great thing about a collective is that different areas of responsibility are taken care of by different people. It takes a village… A lot of coordinating is us reaching a time based goal together everyone is pretty self motivated.

81B BN: Gaining and maintaining friendships.

Stop by for the opening exhibition Wednesday November 14th, from 7-830pm. And keep an eye out for future shows and a possible photography book from 81 Bees photo collective.

A few member websites:

Yelena Zhavoronkova
Susanna Troxler
Bob Nishihira


ArtSpan’s Fall Open Studios

Over the weekend of October 19-21, our gallery hosted five local photographers, and hundreds of local art enthusiasts for ArtSpan’s Fall Open Studios. This was our inaugural show in the new space, and was met with the support and enthusiasm of our community. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see us!

In case you missed it, here are a few words on our participating artists.

 Images © Audrey Heller Images © Audrey Heller  Photograph by Kimberly Sikora Photograph by Kimberly Sikora


Audrey’s website

Audrey Heller’s photography is distinctly theatrical, full of filmic snapshots of miniaturized worlds. Her images are vibrant and often quite funny, in their portrayal of the trials her characters face in a world so different from themselves. Her recent book, “Overlooked Undertakings,” is a compilation of this work.

 Images © Daniel Grisales Images © Daniel Grisales  Photograph by Daniel Grisales Photograph by Daniel Grisales


Daniel’s website

Daniel Grisales has traveled the United States exploring urban structures and the natural landscapes of Idaho and Washington state. His work is driven by his views on population overflow, as it depicts a dimensional section of isolation, and his vision of that Utopian stillness. Daniel’s cross-processing, and bright, unnaturally colored world reflect this wishful, dreamlike escape.

 Photograph by Kimberly Sikora Photograph by Kimberly Sikora


Gabriel Aguilar’s series “Gabograms” was conceived after exploring the creation of images without negatives. His title is an indirect homage to ManRay’s body of work “Rayograms”. Within each image, Gabriel uses negative space, shadows and highlights to create a framework for viewing– allowing an almost scientific exploration of each subject. His natural specimens, each found during morning hikes, are both unabashedly contemplative, and open for narrative interpretation.

 Images © Kimberly Sikora Images © Kimberly Sikora  Photograph by Gabriel Aguilar Photograph by Gabriel Aguilar


Kimberly’s website

Kimberly Sikora’s photography explores her feelings of familiarity and seclusion, as the two intersect within everyday life. Her photos span months and years, and many homes in different cities. Together, they form a portrait of her continuing separation from the very environments she endears. Her images arise as a consequence of her sadness, as they also make new room for perception, sharing the “small pains” of her experience, and an enduring nostalgia for the present.

 Images © Seth Dickerman Images © Seth Dickerman  Photograph by Kimberly Sikora Photograph by Kimberly Sikora


Seth’s website

Seth Dickerman’s work explores states of change: change between stillness and motion, and night and day. His photographs illustrate the metamorphic nature of earth, fire, water and air.

Here are a few shots from the weekend from Daniel.

A Tour of 1141 Howard Street

The boxes are unpacked, the workstations are up and running, and the sunlight pours in every morning (cue uplifting piano interlude).

Seth’s work, and the new home of the pigment printer.

 The new darkroom The new darkroom

Our next big project is the addition of new magnetic gallery walls. This will prove to be an incredible improvement to those of using the Print on Demand service. Clean, white walls will surround each digital darkroom providing the proper darkness for each workspace, and empty, white wall space to examine finished prints on the outside.

Jon McNeal and Heidi McDowell at ArtZone461

Our Artist-in-Residence, Jon McNeal, has photography on view in “Territories,” a two-person show at Art Zone 461. Jon’s work is featured alongside Heidi McDowell’s paintings- the first in a series of “couples” shows at Art Zone.

“Territories” is an interesting expression of West Coast grandeur, as seen by both artists. Owing to my East Coast upbringing, the imagery of Jon and Heidi’s limitless orchards and brooding seas, feels like the kind of big nature you can only find on the very brink of the Pacific.

After walking through the show I noticed a number of markers in Heidi’s paintings, inclusions of photographic “flaws” that are entirely intentional. Lens fringe, glare, and lens based depth of field views all reference her process.

For me, it was an unexpected combination, to be drawn into the weight and color of her landscapes, and become aware of the photographic indicators that, were they in a digital image, would have been edited out.

The cyan and magenta fringe served her compositions well, alongside sun glare and motion blurs in other shot-through-the-window works. All of these things seem so much a part of how we view photographs most often, that her imagery would have seemed more bare without them.

 Jon sharing a few stories. Jon sharing a few stories.

Be sure to catch their show at Art Zone 461, before it closes, on view through October 14.

Richard Barnes, as Alexander Gardner

Photographer Richard Barnes brings our lab all manner of intriguing photography to print. His newest project is an exploration of antique processes and their historical and contemporary context.

Barnes has been photographing Civil War re-enactors using wet plate photography. What happens when you merge this antique process with civil war re-enactors? A number of his images include modern dress, and signifiers like pickup trucks and camera equipment. Barnes calls these interactions, “the slippage of time.”

In his own words, from his recent article on PetaPixel, Barnes explains,

“My particular interest in photographing reenactments is not to cover them as a contemporary photojournalist might, with a digital camera and a motor drive, but rather to put myself in the shoes of Alexander Gardner and attempt to make images that have the look and feel of what it would have been like to actually be in the field at the time of battle. To achieve this, I am using a large format camera and the same wet plate process employed by Matthew Brady and his associates.

Ultimately I seek to go beyond the nostalgia of recreating the look of images from another era, but rather my aim is to explore a creative tension that addresses the artifice of the reenactment in juxtaposition to the evidence of contemporary life, occurring within and at the periphery of the photographic frame.”

Take a look at the article on PetaPixel.