About the Author
Sherrie Carris received her B.F.A. from the University of Texas, and her M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa 1n 1972. Along with her husband Tom they have owned and operated Carris Pottery for over 30 years.Sherrie's floral pottery has been widely collected including a large carved porcelain planter in the TN governor's mansion. The State of TN bought one of her pieces to give to Patricia Neal. Artist in Residence Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

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Photography Exhibitions

Tennessee art viewers have had the chance to see three interesting photography exhibitions this fall from October to December : New Photography from the KMA Collection, 59th Annual Juried Photography Salon at the Oak Ridge Art Center, and Rosemary Laing: Flight at the Frist. The KMA and Frist exhibitions are still open. The Camera Club of Oak Ridge exhibition at the Oak Ridge Art Center has closed. These exhibitions show three different historical directions in photography. One direction is straight photography. "Straight photography refers to photography that attempts to depict a scene as realistically and objectively as permitted by the medium without the use of manipulation." (handout from the KMA). One direction is to explore the technology and manipulate the technology. The other direction is to use the media combined with, or referenced to another media.

When I have the opportunity the go to an exhibition, I will be posting my thoughts about exhibitions in my blog. I went to the Oak Ridge Art Center to see the photography exhibition of the " 59th Annual Juried Photography Salon presented by the Camera Club of Oak Ridge. The photographers showed such skill and sensitivity that I wanted to go to some of the places in the photographs. As my old photography professor would tell us, it isn't the place but how well the photographer sees the place. My prof was Russell Lee, a member of an outstanding group of WPA photographers. For the most part, the photographs were done in a straight photography direction. There were a few photographs which were manipulated in the darkroom. I really appreciated : "Gilbert" by Bob Stephenson, "Kathy&Rick" by Doug Hubbard, "Bridge to Nowhere" by Joey Stewart, "Blue Door" by Hal Smith, " Biltmore Gardens" by Hal Smith, " Car Capers"and "Me on a Motocycle" by Peggy Turner. I'm sorry I was not able to get any photographs to send along. Don't miss the next years exhibition!

David S. Allee
(American, 1969)
Stadium Light (The Bronx, NY), 2002
Chromogenic print

The Knoxville Museum of Art exhibition "New Photography from the KMA Collection" shows some interesting examples of working the three directions of photography. Do pick up the info pages about the photography exhibition. The information will enhance your appreciation of the work. There are photographs done in a very straight photo style such as " Chengdu Monk" by Mark Abrahamson. There are some artists who do work in a straight style about "places or settings that were invented, or staged by the artist" such as "Untitled (ladies' man)" by Sarah Hobbs. Sarah Hobbs makes prints in large format photography. There are two artists who alter the images by exploring darkroom techniques by Christine Patterson in "Swinging Bridge" or by using digital software as Loretta Lux did in "The Rose Garden". The Lux photographs are done in a straight forward way and then altered with the software. The images are haunting and unnerving in a beautiful way. Joel Whitaker's piece "Essential" is an example of a third direction in photograph which uses a very straight images in a multi-media piece. This exhibition and this collection is very interesting in that the viewer will see the stylistic history and maybe the future of photography. I plan to see it again.

Rosemary Laing
contemporary Australian artist
bulletproofglass (2002)
large-scale color photograph

The "Rosemary Laing : Flight" photograph exhibition at the Frist Center is a series of large-scale color photographs created from 1998-2006. Laing plans the setting very carefully to invent, or create the image she wanted. The Laing series has the same female model in bridal gowns to dresses that could have been used in early Australian colonial days. The woman seems to be defying gravity in a very evocative manner. She appears to be in midair, but you don't know how or why. The images are strong and disturbing and create many questions within the viewer.

After seeing these photographs, as well as the ones in the Student Exhibitions at the KMA, the viewer well want to know what is the artist trying to tell us. The nice thing about art is that there is no "correct" answer and that the answers change from year to year. I will be talking with you about the KMA's " New Directions in American Drawing" exhibition in a couple days.


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