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News Release

Payne Gallery to Exhibit Eclectic Styles of Video and Photographic Art

Bethlehem, Pa., January 22, 2009—Payne Gallery at Moravian College will exhibit the show, “Re-Generate, Re-Image, Re-Focus: New Directions in Photography,” from January 29 to March 1. The exhibit will showcase works from a  number of artists including Priscilla Briggs, Sherman Finch, Mary Goodwin, Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand, Wil Lindsay, John Mannion, Scott McMahon, Lydia Panas, Christopher Saah, and Bill Sullivan. The exhibit is curated by Krista Steinke, assistant professor of art, who teaches photography, video, and digital media at Moravian College.

The public is welcome to attend an opening reception on Thursday, January 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the gallery. Professor Steinke will introduce the exhibition and a number of the participating artists will be available to discuss their works.

“Through process, technique, concepts, and methodology, artists are constantly redefining the photographic medium,”  explained Steinke. “This group exhibition explores contemporary visions and new frontiers in photo-based work including video, new media, and a variety of unique approaches to the over 150-year-old medium. From traditional black-and-white printing to digital technology to moving imagery, artists today have countless processes to choose from in creating photo-based work. The artists included in this exhibition deliberately incorporate their ‘process’ as an integral part of understanding or giving meaning to the work. These processes may be imbedded in the making of the work or require viewers’ interaction to generate the imagery. In this eclectic group exhibition, the represented artists are individual in their approaches, while arbitrary relationships are created among work that shares common concepts and themes.

Collaborative team Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand’s ethereal photography and video include playful performances using everyday objects to create visual metaphors that transmute the common into visceral abstractions. Lydia Panas also uses remnants from the everyday (such as dryer lint, hair, and chocolate) to create a collection of images that comment on time passing.

Scott McMahon employs fireflies to create images of glowing, minute worlds where the insects illuminate the structures of surreal landscapes. Using digital compositing, Christopher Saah also presents the viewer with optically rendered environments that explore perceptions of what is “real” and what is “imaginary.”

John Mannion’s beautifully decayed Polaroid imagery reveals the relationship between Limerick Power, one of the Northeast’s largest nuclear power plants, and the adjacent abandoned canal lock community known as Frick’s Locke. Location is also the subject of Mary Goodwin’s color photographs. By turning her car into a camera obscura, she layers personal memories with the New Mexico landscape, creating incredible mental and physical dramas about displacement.

Color photography is further represented in the works of Priscilla Briggs and Bill Sullivan. Priscilla Briggs comments on American capitalism by creating postcard-sized pictures depicting consumer goods as fetishized objects of desire. Bill Sullivan follows seven rules that he imposes on his situational photography in order to create group portraits of people in elevators.
Wil Lindsay and Sherman Finch both require the viewer to use his or her senses to generate imagery. Wil Lindsay’s work calls upon the viewer to breathe upon his prints to reveal a flickering image based on memory recall. Using audio as a means to trigger imagery, Sherman Finch’s work, based on Japanese garden philosophy, explores the relationship between sound and image, exploiting technology as a synthetic substitute for an aesthetic experience.

Payne Gallery is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus of Moravian College, in Historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Gallery is open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and 6:30 p.m.– 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.  It is closed Mondays, major holidays, and during school breaks. Admission and parking are free, and the Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Bethlehem is sixty miles north of Philadelphia and ninety miles west of New York City.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.