Gowanus Open Studios

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Gowanus is a largely industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, and like many post-industrial urban enclaves, as heavy manufacturing has dwindled, art spaces and creative studios have taken over the raw lofts and former factory floors, and they will all open their doors to the public on October 19 & 20.

I’ve always believed that community is critical to a fulfilling artistic practice, but I think it’s especially true for photography. We so often work in solitude, behind cameras and in front of screens. As someone who is devoted to photography but never went to art school, sharing work, troubleshooting the process, and learning new methods and approaches with a rotating cast of talented artists who understand the fundamental challenges and rewards of the medium has always been invaluable to me.

I’ll be showing work along with other members of the Gowanus Darkroom, one of over 400 studios participating in the event. I’ve been volunteering there for the past few months, and it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. I left the community photo studio that I managed in Providence when I moved to New York, and while I’ve occasionally stepped back into a darkroom in the 7 years since then, I’d forgotten how at home I feel in a shared photo space.  I haven’t shown any new photography in years, and I’m proud of what I’ve produced in the short time that I’ve been working in the darkroom again. I’m learning to print in color, something I never imagined I’d have the support and the resources to do, and it’s been a fascinating new challenge for me as a photographer. I’m not as confident with my color prints as I am in black and white, but I’m confident that I’m moving in the right direction, and that the images I’m shooting in color are still an honest representation of what’s been on my mind, visually and photographically, and of my first real attempts at an entirely new process.

The pieces I’ve selected to show were all taken in the last 5 months, and were photographed on medium format film, both 6×4.5 and 6×6. I’ve been inspired lately not by any overarching narrative, but an interest in the random, structural geography that makes up what we see and how it’s organized by lines, light, color, shape, and size. It’s a rudimentary principle, but one that inspires me to make photographs, and that’s a worthy cause unto itself. There are images from rural Wisconsin, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and upstate New York of street fairs, sprawling sculptural architecture, grain mills, and wood shops. It’s work made with support from an amazing community of photographers, and I’m excited to share it with you.

The Gowanus Darkroom is located at 119 8th Street, Studio 212 in Brooklyn, NY. Open Studio hours are Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-8pm. For more info visit artsgowanus.com