Vermont Center for Photography
49 Flat St., Brattleboro, (802) 251-6051
Outside the concrete mixer drones on, as the new parking garage structure enters its final stages of construction. Inside Vermont Center for Photography (formerly Flat Street Center for Photography), construction on a smaller scale proceeds as we prepare to open for the September Gallery Walk. A fresh coat of paint, a new name, and new neighbors -- In-Sight Photography Project will move in next door. And soon to come, the most eagerly awaited feature of the parking garage -- an elevator and stairs up to Elliot Street. These are big changes for this formerly quiet corner that has been home to Brattleboro's only fine art photography gallery.
Photographer Eric Slayton founded the Flat Street Studio and Gallery in Brattleboro, Vermont as a space for adult photography instruction and gallery exhibition. Flat Street Studio and Gallery became a nonprofit organization in August 2001 and has since been restructured under the name Vermont Center for Photography (VCP). The mission of the Center is to promote the photographic arts through exhibitions and education, and to stimulate dialogue, encourage inquiry and communicate ideas using the photographic medium as its focus.
To accomplish this mission, Vermont Center for Photography has hosted over 40 exhibits, featuring both established and promising new artists. Many local, regional and national photographers have exhibited here over the last four years. Some of the exhibits include: Marion Roth, known for her work with pinhole photography and winner of a Guggenheim fellowship; The Mark Shaw Photographic Archives, a retrospective of his years as the Kennedy family photographer; Kevin Brubiski's exquisite photographs of Nepal, brought into focus by his captivating artist talk describing his travels; Jonathon Moller's somber yet beautiful prints of the victims of Guatemala's 36-year civil war; and most recently, Peter Miller's fasinating chronicle of Vermont Farm Women.
In addition to solo artist and group shows, VCP has hosted benefits for the In-Sight Photography Project, the Marlboro College Students' Show, and Healing Legacies, an exhibit designed to expose the public to the impact of breast cancer. Along with providing a beautiful space for the exhibition of fine photography, the Center has held an assortment of workshops and offers a fully equipped professional darkroom for individual rental. All of these services and more will continue as VCP looks to the future.
Like the new parking garage, VCP is building a structure to grow upon. The Center has restructured as a membership organization. Our goal of promoting the art and craft of photography in Southern Vermont is greatly dependent upon the participation of an active membership. There will be two levels of membership: exhibiting and non-exhibiting. A one-time jury and application process is required for those wishing to become an exhibiting member. Exhibiting members are invitied to show in the annual Members' Open Show in August and the Small Works Show in December. Solo, small group, and invitational feature exhibitions are scheduled at the discretion of the jury committee. All members, exhibiting and non-exhibiting, receive discounts on darkroom rental and workshops.
A variety of workshops will be offered throughout the year to meet the needs of many different levels of skill. Workshops range from one- and two-day classes to eight consecutive weekly sessions. The upcoming Fall 2003 workshops include: Introduction to Black & White Photography, the basics of film processing and printing; Understanding Your Camera, learning how your camera works; and The Photographic Portrait, an introduction to portraiture lighting and style. Other workshops offered include night photography, portraits in the landscape, and photographing children.
Two new features on VCP's calendar of events are exhibiting artist talks and monthly portfolio critiques. Photographers whose work is featured in a solo show will present a talk/discussion about their work. The monthly portfolio sessions provide an opportunity for members to show their works in progress, share resources and ideas, and offer support. Portfolios of work from exhibiting members will be on permanent display at the gallery, and prints may be purchased at any time.
During September, VCP will be exhibiting gelatin silver prints of the Connecticut River valley from hand-poured wet plate collodion negatives, ambrotypes, and photogravure prints from Paul Taylor and Renaissance Press. Renaissance Press is one of the most respected fine art photographic ateliers in the country, working with photogravure, platinum, and collodion techniques. Their body of work includes signature photographers and artists. Paul Taylor, master platemaker and owner of Renaissance Press, began experimenting with the process in 1978 and is today one of few recognized as a master of the technique.
The photogravure process had its beginnings in the mid-19th century, and to this day it remains among the most archival, time-honored and difficult of photographic mediums. It has since been used as a means of reproducing photographs and creating original limited edition prints. Using an intaglio process, photogravures are printed from etched copper plates on fine art papers. The resulting tonal range and richness are without parallel.
"Renaissance Press utilizes a number of photographic processes in our work. Photogravure has been the process of choice in most of our publications. This is due to the versatile nature of the process. To my knowledge, in no other photo process can the abundance of variables inherent in photogravure plate making and printing be used to create a seemingly endless array of final prints unique to the singular vision of the artist." -- Paul Taylor
Stop by during Gallery Walk and meet the artist or visit us during our new expanded hours Wednesday-Saturday, 1:00-6:00 pm.
Copyright 2003, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont