- October 14, 2015
Title: “Modern Tintypes of Folk Musicians, by Lisa Elmaleh”
Dates Showing: October 16, 2015 through December 11, 2015
Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Longwall Gallery
Description: Seventeen tintype photographs of contemporary Appalachian folk musicians, primarily from Kentucky. These images were selected by the artist and are part of her series America Folk.
About the Artist: Lisa Elmaleh’s work is an exploration of rural America. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process. Elmaleh is a West Virginia based photographer and educator at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Tierney Fellowship, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently featuring her American Folk work as a solo show at KMR Arts Gallery in Connecticut, and a group show, Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades at the Norton Museum. Elmaleh’s work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, PDN, and Rangefinder, among others.
Artist’s Statement: Since 2010, I have been creating tintypes of musicians who play traditional American music in and around the Appalachian Mountains – West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. I travel out to the homestead of each musician, and spend a full day or more with each musician, documenting their likeness, their instruments, and the landscape that they reside in. Each 8×10 tintype plate is hand coated, exposed in a large format camera, and developed on-site in a small darkroom in the back of my pickup truck.
This music guides me visually – the portraits are traditional, with historical references, as the music is traditional. I am largely influenced by those who came before me – the Appalachian portraits of Doris Ullman, or the agricultural portraits and landscapes of Dorothea Lange, or the portraits of August Sander. I am also influenced by the field recordings and work of Alan Lomax, who actively worked to preserve traditional American music. The tradition of American folk music echoes in the historic nature of the process I am using.
The process of my travels and finding musicians to photograph is organic and collaborative. I find new musicians to photograph through gatherings, festivals, and dances, community centers, or by suggestions of the musicians I have photographed. Each musician I photograph is tied to the Appalachian mountains – some whose families have lived here for many generations, others who have moved to urban areas and returned, and still others who have moved to the region to learn from the older folks who play the music. As a transplant to this region myself, I am an active participant in this community, and am learning music as I travel and photograph. My work is both a documentation of Appalachian heritage music, as well as a celebration of it.
The Artist’s Website: http://lisaelmaleh.com
Other Links about the Artist’s Work:
- June 17, 2015
Title: Grow Appalachia Raised Bed Project
Dates Shown: May through December 2015
Location: South side of Stephenson Hall, just outside the Longwall Gallery
Description: Grow Appalachia shows just how much food can be produced in a 3ft. by 7ft. by raised bed garden. The Grow Appalachia staff are planting a sequence of crops.
2015 Crops: Spring greens, tomatos, and fall greens
Curators: The Grow Appalachia staff and student Shadia Prater
It is possible to grow a great deal of food in a small space with proper variety selection and management. We will also plant cold hardy varieties in the fall with the goal being the production of something tasty and nutritious nine months a year.
Grow Appalachia is working to make Appalachia healthier and more food secure one season, one garden, one family at a time.
- November 24, 2014
Title: Under Investigation – Stories of Cryptids form Appalachia & Kentucky
Dates Shown: November 18, 2014 through February 21, 2016
Location: Lobby of the Frost Building, Berea College Campus
Description: A cryptid is an animal whose existence or continued existence is disputed or unsubstantiated. This small exhibit introduces eight interesting cryptids found in Appalachian and Kentucky folklore and literature: The Pope Lick Monster, Moth Man, Sheepsquatch, Giant Catfish, The Flatwoods Monster, Bigfoot, Little Green Men of Kelly, and Black Panther or Painter Cats.
Curatorial and Design Team: Matt Heil, Caroline Hughes, and Christopher Miller
Contributing Artist: R. LeAndre Flores
Curator Christopher Miller recalls: “When planning this exhibition, we decided to experiment with a teaser campaign. Three weeks in advance we covered the glass display cases with paper leaving a few small openings, put red and blue flashing police lights inside, played an audio loop of barely audible police radio communications, and put up very official looking signs that included the phrases: ‘Danger’ and ‘Possible Biological and Radioactive Contamination.’ I think it was only two hours before I got a call from the campus environmental safety people. We rephrased the signs and put clear disclaimers on them.”
- October 22, 2014
Title: Photography and Writing: Tools for Conservation
Dates Shown: October 20, 2014 – January 30, 2015
Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center
Description: This exhibit showcased the creative work produced during the Summer 1, 2014 course ENG/TAD 266 Photography and Writing: Tools for Conservation. Over the span of two weeks, participants explored the southwest landscape of deserts, mountains, and canyons through photography and creative writing, traveling to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Arches National Park in Utah. Local fieldwork included trips to Indian Fort, Anglin Falls, and Owsley Fork Reservoir.
Since the Civil War, conservationists have helped shape public opinion and federal laws with a unique and powerful tool – the photograph. In today’s world, conservation organizations such as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Greenpeace continue to save species and preserve wild places by arousing the public with powerful visual images reproduced in wall calendars and large format books. Pairing these images with words – poems, essays, or articles on scientific, historical, aesthetic, or spiritual dimensions of nature – has been another important means of preserving the earth.
This course was designed for students interested in photographing and preserving our natural environment. Photographic instruction was centered on camera use, composition, and printmaking through Photoshop and digital story-telling. Students also read a variety of nature writings and experimented with different forms of nature writing related to their photographic images. Classroom sessions included philosophical discussions of the viability of using photography, alone or with writing, to lobby Congress and increase public awareness of conservation issues. Stewardship of the earth’s resources and the role of nature in spiritual and artistic development were central themes throughout the course.
A reception and presentation of the exhibit took place Monday October 20, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Instructors Dr. Libby Jones and Dr. Alan Mills, and students Taylor Ashworth, Atiba Bailey, Nicholas Farr, Ricky Foley, Chloe Forsting, Sara Gallimore, Oksana Grishchuk, Emily Isaacs, Austin Johnson, Tabitha Potter-Cornett, Christine Rider, Anna Joines Skaggs, Kathleen G. Tempesta, Tenzin Tsundu, and Marty Wayland
- July 2, 2013
Title: All the Pretty Horses: Works on Paper by Peter Josyph Celebrating Cormac McCarthy’s Novel
Dates Shown: March 8, 2013 through May 31, 2013
Description: An exhibition of ten works on paper by New York artist Peter Josyph. Josyph drew his inspiration from Cormac McCarthy’s novel All they Pretty Horses. The exhibition opened during the 2013 International Cormac McCarthy Conference, held in Berea, Kentucky.
Curators: Artist Peter Josyph with interpretive elements by Christopher Miller.
Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall, Berea College, 205 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky
- Article: Brosi, George. “Cormac McCarthy a Rare Literary Life” Appalachian Heritage, Winter 2011 Issue (PDF)
- All the Pretty Horses 2013 The International Cormac McCarthy Conference, held in Berea, Kentucky
- Article on the Conference at BCNow!
- The Cormack McCarthy Society Website
- June 21, 2013
Title: “40 Years of Appalachian Heritage: A Literary Quarterly of the Southern Appalachians”
Dates Shown: June 7, 2013 through October 19, 2014
Description: This show explored the impact of one of the region’s first and most significant regional journals after forty years of publication.
Curators: Former Editor George Brosi, LJAC Director Chris Green, Student Curatorial Associate Joey Shephard, and College Curator Christopher Miller.
Location: Longwall Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Bruce-Trades Building, Berea College, 205 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky
Online Version: A limited online version of the exhibit is available.