Art Center shows debut March 1

Some artists choose a medium or a way of working, and more or less stick with that. Other artists resist being pinned down to one kind of work. Scott Northrup is one of the latter. He is a film and video maker who also works in assemblage, photography, needlework, installation and other non-traditional media. His various methods and bodies of work inform each other, resulting in a rich and unexpected mix of imagery, ideas and outcomes.

For his upcoming solo show at Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Northrup will present double exposure Polaroids, cross-stitched notes and scanned prints that function as self-portraits, personal landmarks, and mash notes to the American Dream. In his various artworks, he “explores personal and collective memories, actual and constructed experiences and the tangling and untangling of the very loose threads that connect us.” Through the use of found objects and appropriated imagery, which are preloaded with history and meaning, he creates a personal vocabulary that allows him to communicate with others while “filling in the blanks of memory and persona.”

Scott Northrup  is an Assistant Professor at the College for Creative Studies, teaching courses in Video Art and Production. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College for Creative Studies, and his Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research in New York. His work has shown in galleries, museums and alternative spaces including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Max M. Fischer Music Center in Detroit. His experimental films and video installations have been official selections of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Media City Film Festival. He has received state and private grant funding toward video projects with youth support groups and art therapy groups

Names and Faces will be on exhibit at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts March 1 – April 5, with an opening reception March 1 from 7-9 p.m. Admission is free.

Little Self, by Loralei Byatt

I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again (detail) by Scott Northrup

Also opening March 1 is WiFi/LoFi, a show featuring five photographers. It will be included in the opening night reception, as well as an informal gallery talk with the artists on March 2 at 2 p.m.

What makes a beautiful photograph? Does it require expensive equipment and high end cameras? Or does it rely on the eye and the imagination of the photographer? Five area artists will examine these questions. Using iPhones, Holga plastic cameras, cyanotype and other alternative processes, these photographers push the boundaries of their expressive talents to create rich and beautiful artworks that challenge conventional ideas of what photography can be.

Participating artists are:

Loralei Byatt of Detroit has been active in the Detroit art and photography scene for over 25 years. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is included in many private collections around the world. For this show, she has created a series of self-portraits using her iPod Touch called Little Selves. She likes the challenge of using the small size and low resolution to create photos with impact.

Clare Fox of Detroit has studied in Detroit, Poland; and Mexico and is completing her Master of Fine Arts degree at Ohio State University. She is a co-founder of ADORATION, an organization that curates art exhibits and hosts artist residencies. Her work for this exhibit is from a series she calls Superstars, Misfits, and Has-beens. These works document significant pieces of her own clothing in the form of cyanotypes, a simple and direct photographic process. With these photographs, she “presents the afterlife of some of her own beloved garments.”

Andrew Kopietz of Detroit has studied design and photography and has been employed as a freelance photographer, graphic designer, art director and design director since 2005. For the last two years, he has used his defunct iPhone to capture urban landscapes, buildings, sidewalks, and people in order to explore the possibilities of the limited camera.

Hiroko Lancour of Detroit is completing her Master of Fine Arts degree at Wayne State University. Born and raised in Japan, her aesthetic sensibilities are a hybrid between East and West. For this show, she is showing works from a series called Uprooted. These works are photograms of weeds pulled from her yard, made with the cyanotype process. She lays the plants directly on treated fabric or paper and exposes and processes them to create delicate blue and white prints. She is interested in the directness of this old-fashioned process where there is no enlargement or manipulation – the object itself creates the image, in contact with the sensitized paper.

Lisa Steichmann of Ann Arbor earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University and her Master of Fine Arts from Wayne State University. She teaches photography at Washtenaw Community College and University of Michigan School of Art and Design. She  will exhibit a collection of works shot with Holga plastic cameras, and printed with various darkroom processes.

“I am excited by the relationship between the world that surrounds me and the processes of photography—how the eye sees, how I edit the world, how spatiality finds its mark in the two-dimensionality of the photograph,” she says. “For these reasons, I use plastic cameras and their unpredictable, chance-given thicknesses, veils and marred lenses in my image making. The plastic camera releases its ownership of description and brings references to the act of seeing back to the viewer.”

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