The Arc | Illumination, Ritual, Reflection

Exhibit dates: April 5th- May 18th, 2019

Opening reception: April 5th, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk: TBA

Location: Main Gallery

The Arc is a multi-media presentation of work created by artist Jen Ervin, a Redux Studio Artist alumna (2011-2013). This collection bridges polaroid with experimental filmmaking to create a rhythmic exploration of place. Ervin’s project was born out of time spent with her family near Ark Lodge, their historic family cabin set deep in the woods of South Carolina, and continued over a period of six years. The polaroids are installed in an asymmetrical grid alluding to a narrative with no beginning, middle or end, yet offers continuum. Despite their smallness, these polaroids seem to contain the intangible. With their imperfections and changeability, they evoke a vulnerability relatable to the human condition and the evolution of memory. Ervin’s films offer an extension of the experience to the viewer, drawing in on universal archetypes and a sense of timelessness.  

Illumination, Ritual, Reflection, curated by Jen Ervin, is an exhibition that brings to focus the provocative work of nine contemporary photographers: Rebecca Drolen, Noelle McCleaf, Jordanna Kalman, Richard McCabe, Neal Casal, Ashley Gates, John Lusk Hathaway, Michael McCraw andJesse Koechling. This photographic exhibition continues a historical dialogue regarding creativity and how it can elucidate the relationship between the self and the ever shifting landscape (societal, ecological, and psychic). It places emphasis on the external form (the object) — how it is used to transcribe meaning or inspire investigation to revitalize concepts of narrative, scale and beauty. Through a variety of approaches, these artists are able to convey the impalpable, provoke critical awareness (of self or world), spark curiosity, and initiate connectivity. Overall, this exhibition demonstrates the momentum of the spirit and how art serves to enrich our lives through illuminations, rituals and reflections.

Jen Ervin (b. New Jersey) is a painter, graphic designer and photographer. She holds an MFA from Boston University. Ervin actively exhibits her work in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Her polaroid work is featured in numerous international publications including Time Lightbox, and Feature Shoot, Fotopolis, Grain de Photographe, Ain’t Bad, Lenscratch and Don’t Take Pictures. Ervin was a Critical Mass Top 50 Finalist in 2018. Ervin’s first book, The Arc, published by Ain’t Bad, was released in March 2019. She currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Francis and their three daughters.

Jordanna Kalman (b. New York) is a photographer living and working in New York. Her work explores themes of loneliness, femininity and individuality. In her latest series, Little Romances, Kalman treats her photographs as objects, transforming them into new narratives that describe the complexities of womanhood. Kalman holds an MA in photography fro the London College of Communication and a BFA in photography form Purchase College. Kalman actively exhibits her work nationally and internationally. In addition to her practice, Kalman runs the online photography gallery, Streit House Space and the Instagram residency program, Streit Lab.

Richard McCabe (b. England) is a curator, photographer and writer based in New Orleans. He holds an MFA in Studio Art from Florida State University. Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art since 2010, he has organized and curated over thirty exhibitions including: Seeing Beyond the Ordinary, The Rising, Eudora Welty: Photographs from the 1930s – 40s, Self-Processing: Instant Photography and New Southern Photography. McCabe’s recent work includes an extensive collection of polaroids presented in two series, Landstar (historical documentation of American South) and Color Studies (experimentation of abstractions/scale).  He actively exhibits his work in galleries and museums throughout the United States, and his first book of polaroids, Land Star was published by Ain’t Bad in 2017. Recent publications of McCabe’s critical writings on photography include: the New York and TimesTime, National Public Radio(NPR).

Noelle McCleaf (b. Virginia) is a photographer exploring themes of memory, relationship and identity in the southern landscape.  Her series, Evie Lou and Laura Jane chronicles the under-represented stories and experiences between aging medicine women: her mother Evie (a healer and survivalist) and her mother’s best friend, Laura Jane (a medical intuitive of the Blackfoot tribe).

McCleaf received her MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and her BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, both in photography. Her work has been shown in national and international exhibitions including the Camden Image Gallery in London, The Ringling Museum, The Pensacoloa Museum and The Center for Fine Art Photography. Publications include, Blink Magazine, Fraction Magazine, Lenscratch and Feature Shoot.

Rebecca Drolen (b. Indianna) is an artist and educator currently living in Arkansas. She holds an MFA in photography from Indiana University and actively exhibits her work both nationally and internationally. Drolen’s photographs are concerned with how individuals visually assemble their identity—and she is particularly preoccupied with hair in her series, Hair Pieces, work that examines the surreal relationship between hair and its place through built spaces, assemblage, performance and photographs. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: The Huffington Post, Oxford American’s Eyes on the South, The Light Factory, the CICA Museum in Korea and the Theory of Clouds Gallery in Japan. Currently, Drolen is Assistant Professor of/Area Head of Photography at the University of Arkansas.

Ashley Gates (b. Mississippi) is a photographer currently living in Florida. Her ongoing series Small, Strange Things documents the dream-like experience of confronting childhood memory in the American South. Using a Polaroid Land Camera and discontinued black and white instant film, Gates aims to capture the psychic landscape of a place both remembered and imagined as home.  Her photographs documenting the American South have been exhibited nationally; most recently at the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, and Aperture Foundation. Her book of found Polaroids, We Didn’t See Each Other After That, was exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum and selected as one of Photo-eye’s Best Photobooks, 2016

Michael McCraw (b. Florida) is a photographer currently living and working in Mobile, Alabama. His work Love of Life, is an on-going project that began and 2003. With a documentary approach, McCraw explores the ideas of family and place by creating visual short stories that weave together various fragments of his experience with handwritten words and pictures of his young family. McCraw’s work and has been exhibited in galleries and museums, regionally and internationally. Publications of his work include: Oranbeg Press, Interleaves, Empty Stretch, Strant Magazine and The American Guide.

Jesse Koechling (b. Illinois) is a visual artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. Koechling’s work draws inspiration from the solitude, in nature and the darkroom. His series, Noncorpa, places a strong emphasis on the exploration of the artistic process; each work representing disembodied moments woven together through the action of printing/tearing/marking/drawing to create meaningful relics (cherished objects) that thoughtfully reference history and nature to embrace the unknown. Koechling’s work has been exhibited nationally; publications and awards include: Terra Firma Magazine, Light Leaked, Shots Magazine, Fotofilmic, and the Hariban Award (Shortlist).

John Lusk Hathaway (b. Tennessee) received his MFA from East Tennessee State University in 2012. His series, One Foot in Eden, is a thoughtfully executed body of work that provokes further thought and contemplation on the complicated relationship between the singular self and the wild. John was nominated for the 2014 Baum Award and was the recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission the same year. He was a finalist in Review Santa Fe and a semi-finalist in the Duke Honickman First Book Prize in 2012.  In 2018, John was included in the landmark exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and About The New South at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. He is an adjunct professor of photography at The College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Neal Casal (b. New Jersey) is a guitarist, songwriter, and photographer. For the past twenty years, Casal has spent the majority of his time on the road as a touring musician, documenting his experiences on/off stage with a Leica M-6 and Tri-X film. Casal’s camerawork seeks to find the poetic in the seemingly mundane, often revealing the solitary aspects of the creative process while in a blur of constant travel. His photos have appeared on album covers for The Hard Working Americans, Gospelbeach, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, and Ryan Adams and The Cardinals. In 2008, Casal had a solo exhibition in Tokyo and Gallery Bauhaus. In 2010, Abrams Image published his first book, A View Of Other Windows. Publications of Casal’s photography include, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Spin, Harp, and USA Today. He currently lives in Ventura, California.

View the Press Release HERE