Monday, September 30, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Work!

Deadline: November 19, 2013
Exhibition: January 2 – February 1
Opening Reception: January 3

The genre of landscape photography is as varied as the earth itself. Untouched wilderness offers as much rich photographic material as manicured parks and farms. From mountains to coastlines, desert to tundra, our relationship with the land is complex and personal. For Mainland, The Kiernan Gallery seeks photographs that examine the wide variety in climate, topography, and development on our planet.   
For this exhibition, juror Stella Kramer will select up to 25 images for display in the main gallery, and up to an additional 35 to be included in the online gallery. All images will be reproduced in an exhibition catalogue available for purchase. A Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice will also be announced.

All photographic media are encouraged.

About the Juror
Stella Kramer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor and creative strategist who works one-on-one with photographers to help them strengthen their creative eye, put together the strongest portfolios and websites that reflect their work, and set a course to reach their professional goals.
Her work involves in-depth critiques and positive encouragement, while working with photographers to tell their story, look at their work in a new way, and shape their portfolio and website to attract interest from potential clients.
Stella has worked on many of the major news events in recent history, serving as the photo editor for The New York Times series “Portraits of Grief” memorializing those who lost their lives in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Her work as part of the that team won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the 2002 Infinity Award for Public Service from the International Center of Photography.  She was also part of the team at The New York Times that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.
As a photo editor Stella has worked at The New York Times, People, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and other top magazines.  
Stella has curated photography for the South Street Seaport Museum and the Museum of the City of New York, and for the Griffin Museum of Photography and Fraction magazine online. She also lectures, reviews portfolios all over the country and teaches at SVA in New York and in Caracas, Venezuela.
Her blog, Stellazine, is about all things photography and features both commentary and interviews with photographers of all genres who discuss the creative process. 

For more information and to see submission guidelines visit:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Deb Schwedhelm

This month we are exhibiting the work of Deb Schwedhelm in conjunction with our current show, Eye on the Street. We were first introduced to Schwedhelm’s work when she showed in our exhibition, Family Dynamics. She has also exhibited in The Unreal and Open Water. We fell in love with her ethereal photographs and curated From the Sea, a solo exhibition. 

Deb at the opening reception for From the Sea

You spent years as an Air Force Nurse. What was the impetus to finally pursue photography full time?

From a very young age, I was fascinated by photography, obsessing over old photographs I discovered in my parent's dresser drawers. In my 20s, I clearly remember saying, "One day I'm going to go to photography school and be a photographer." I believe that photography has always been a part of me, part of my soul. Photography is what I was meant to do in life; it just took me a little while to figure that out.  

I was a Registered Nurse in the Air Force for 10 years. Without any art education or training, I was afraid to take a leap into the unknown. The impetus that finally allowed me... pushed me to pursue photography, you ask? To be honest, it was a house catastrophe. We lived in a military house that had rats in an inaccessible part of the attic, followed by a house invasion of thousands of maggots and flies (dropping from our ceiling vents). For our hardship, my family received two months of rent money back. I asked my husband what he thought about me using this unexpected gift of money to pursue photography and he said, "Go for it". In January 2006, I purchased a DSLR and lens and began teaching myself photography and I've never looked back. It truly has been a dream come true!!

Sky, Tampa, 2012

With your military background, you must have relocated many times. What role, if any, does environment play in your process?

Having the privilege to relocate every few years has played a huge role in the evolution of my photography. It has allowed me to take breaks, breaks that I probably would not have taken otherwise. These breaks have most definitely fostered reflection and growth as an artist. Additionally, with each move comes new community, climate, environment, landscape, culture -- all opportunities for exploration and discovery, both personally and photographically. I believe that each location has something special to offer and it is my goal to embrace that.  

 Ryder 3, Tampa, 2012

Your children play a large role as subjects for your work. What was the evolution from snapshots of them (the ones that all parents have) to subjects for high art?

I'm not exactly sure how to answer this question. I have always just made them. At first, my children helped me learn photography. At that time, they kind of just put up with me as I was constantly asking to photograph them as part of my learning process. As the years went on, I began to photograph them less and less, to the point that I was barely photographing them at all. No holidays, no birthdays, nothing expect formal portraits once or twice a year. In recent years, I realized how important it was for me to get back to capturing the everyday of my children and my family. I think it's through that self-realization along with the military move to Tampa that allowed for my recent From the Sea fine art series. It has truly been a journey of discovery, growth and truth on so many levels.

Elizabeth, Clitherall, 2013

There is an otherworldly quality to this series. Using black and white to create voids and deep spaces, with figures disappearing and reappearing, the imagery is ethereal. Describe your process. How much planning goes into a shoot? What is it like when you are behind the camera?

My process in the water is no different than my process out of the water. I arrive to a photography session with a few ideas but ultimately, it's a relationship between myself AND the client. My photographs are very much a collaboration, but in the end I am the one deciding which photographs become part of the series.

Heather, Crystal Springs, 2012

Outside of photography, where else do you find inspiration?

It seems that every parent says that they are inspired by their children, but I truly am. I also find so much inspiration in music and dance. I joke that I'm going to be a dancer in my next life (although I'm not really joking) and anyone who knows me knows how much I love the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance". From the dancers to the choreographers, there is so much inspiration in the dedication, determination, passion, creativity, hard work and the beauty of the dance itself. Last but not least, I am inspired by life. I am fascinated and inspired by people's life stories.

 Skyler, Tampa, 2012

You have had a tremendous amount of success with this work. Last year you won the portfolio prize from PhotoNOLA review, this year you are a Critical Mass finalist, and you have several upcoming solo exhibitions. What does success in art mean to you?

As with any profession, I believe that success is setting realistic short and long term goals and working hard to achieve them. Success in art is very personal and evolving, especially as artists grow and change over time. I also feel that success in art stems from believing in yourself and the work that you produce.

Ellie, Clitherall, 2013

From the Sea is on view at The Kiernan Gallery through September 28.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eye on the Street Winners: Justine Knight

Juror’s Choice winner Justine Knight has always loved photography, favoring works by noted street photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier. Her admiration for their work and genre led her to begin exploring her own artistic abilities. A few years ago Knight became more invested in her photography and it is only in the last year that she has begun to explore the world of street photography.

Juror's Choice, Memorial

Photographing on the street forces the photographer to make sense out of chaos, often in an urban environment. With elements of documentary, landscape, and portraiture rolled into one, Knight finds that, “Street photography for me is about challenging myself to make an interesting image out of an uncontrollable scene. I am drawn to the energy and life of the city streets.”


Knight’s photographs incorporate strong graphic elements: harsh diagonals, textures, and line. Using them to add a foundation and narrative to her images, Knight often pairs these striking visuals with a single human figure. Attracted to shapes, shadows, lines, and textures, Knight heads approaches street photography in search of the environment first, waiting and watching for the moment of perfect interplay between the people and their surroundings.

Many people think of street photography as the grainy black and white photographs from the 1950’s. Some might think of Joel Meyerowitz’s groundbreaking color work from the ‘70’s. Over the years, street photography has become increasingly popular due to the accessibility of both cameras and ability to view work online from around the world. Knight believes that, “the genre of street photography has broadened both its audience and definition. This brings new perspectives on the art but there is also the downside of those on the street being more aware of photographers all around them.” Knight has crafted compelling images of subjects unaware that they are being photographed. In the process, she has honed her craft and learned to trust her own decisions and abilities. “For myself, as someone who just started on my photography journey, I would define success as gaining confidence in my own artistic vision.”

Opera House

Eye on the Street is on view through September 28, 2013. To view more work from the exhibition, visit

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eye on the Street Winners: Darran Roper

Director’s Choice winner Darran Roper has a keen eye for detail and observation. His winning image, Without Others #2, is an excellent street portrait that takes in a moment, a held gaze, for a fraction of a second. A fleeting glance, a celebratory pose, moments that others may take for granted are captured by Roper to create his simple, yet intriguing images of life on the street.
Without Others #2
Roper resides in Reading, England where he is a web developer/programmer by trade; Roper has an affinity for the design side of developing that is not shared by many of his colleagues. He finds the ability to solve problems creatively, relying not just on logic alone, influences his photography. Street photography requires the ability to see and make sense of harmonious compositions in an instant. This attention to minutiae compelled Roper to bring his camera along on his daily excursions and begin to explore the realm of street photography. 
I started taking pictures in public of anything that interested me. This led to me learning about street photography and the unbelievably expansive genre that had been there all this time. […] It isn’t easy to be receptive to [life] unfolding, but that is the very reason why it is such a worthwhile exploit.
As he became more familiar with the genre, Roper concluded that this was the style in which he wanted to express himself. The excitement that anything could be a great photograph limited only by his eye, timing, and judgment. His artistic satisfaction comes from documenting the world’s stage as it occurs; finding that perfect image or situation, and being, “moved by something, to be able to watch and predict what might happen, but not to dictate it.” He finds success in continuing to produce work to be proud of while simultaneously pushing in a new direction.
Complete with a Purse
As an artist, Roper strives for the same successes that many others do, It is rewarding to have others view and appreciate the photographs, to have them accepted into exhibitions and competitions encourages him to pursue photography.  And someday, “Having enough good work to publish a book. Well, that would be what any photographer might hope for.”
The Way Out
Eye on the Street is on view through September 28, 2013. To view more work from the exhibition, visit

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blue Mitchell

The Kiernan Gallery is pleased to have Blue Mitchell as juror for our upcoming exhibition, Grayscale. Blue is an active photographer, publisher, curator, educator, and a general photography wunderkind. Blue granted us an interview about his personal work and various other projects. 

As Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Diffusion, your curatorial vision focuses on unconventional photographic processes. How do you think this will influence your selections for Grayscale?

I'm not sure the unconventional part really applies here, but what I can say is if you look through any Diffusion you'll see a significant amount of black and white or monochromatic work. My love of the traditional silver print will certainly play a large role in this call. No matter the methods of arriving at "grayscale" images, I will be drawn to the work that has the most interesting compositions, use of tones, and of course content. Shooting for "grayscale" forces the artist to see differently, to understand tones and create images that we do not see with our own eyes.

A Father's Gift

Your online gallery, Plates to Pixels bridges the gap between antiquarian and digital photography. What was the motivation for starting this gallery and what are its goals?

When I first launched the gallery in 2007 I was concerned with the dichotomy between the digital photographer and the analog photographer (and of course those who work in both worlds like myself). I've always felt the divide was superficial and that eventually we'd all realize there's a plethora of tools available to photographers. Plates has been my way of bringing these seemingly different worlds together. Now as the gallery and perceptions have evolved it has become a venue to showcase work that really speaks to me in one way or another. I also find it is a fluid promotional tool for the emerging photographers I showcase. The site continually evolves, for instance Diffusion was born from it. There's been many facelifts to the sight but the core value and quality of work has remained the same. I've had l the opportunity to review work and several festivals and reviews over the past few years and I've found a large percentage of my featured artists at these events. I also strive to keep the call for art submissions free of charge so we do not alienate anyone.

Argus Returns

How have your experiences as a curator and publisher influenced you as an artist?

Positive and negative, my personal work has mostly suffered due to lack of time and energy though since I spend some much of my creative energy on other projects. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s allowed me more time to contemplate purpose. Seeing so much amazing work on a continual basis has been completely inspiring and has really benefited my own artistic voice. This is primarily due to the insight I have now in knowing what other photographers are doing, what they're producing, and what ideas are being addressed. Losing this naivety is good because it is likely I will know if other artists are addressing similar themes or styles. It can be negative because the innocence of not comparing my work to another is almost impossible. Just recently I was swearing under my breath at a photographer for producing an amazingly beautiful new series that's dealing with very similar subject matter and style as myself. I forgave them and will be inviting them to be a part of Diffusion or Plates at some point in the near future.

Overall, it's been a positive and rewarding experience (curating) for me on a personal level, even when creating my own unique voice has seemed extremely challenging.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Your personal work has an interesting relationship between the past and the present by blending historical techniques and subject matter with present-day compositions. How do you straddle the line between referencing the past while still keeping the work contemporary?

I actually find it quite hard not to reference the past, at least in the case of art. The way I work typically requires a lot of process whether it’s before, during, or after image capture. Outside of process and subject, I'm also a designer and I tend to lean on my design sensibilities when creating a body of work. This may be where the contemporary aspects show themselves but to be honest I don't really know. I'm a work in progress, continually learning and evolving. I can say, I love modern photography that references it's roots in some manner, or moreover links us to art history. Most of my favorite photographers have a sort of timelessness to them and that's what I would like to accomplish with my personal work.

The Golden Egg

Monochromatic images have a timeless quality about them, but recently, the photography world has been trending towards color work. How do you see black and white fitting into the contemporary art world?

Great segue! If you look at the masters of photography, the most accomplished work that has been revered for years, is traditionally the silver gelatin print. Although there has been a shift to color I strongly believe that the traditional monochromatic print will always be a strong influence in the fine art realm. My personal belief is that this is about seeing. Most of us see in color, we relate to the world around us based on color references. So when we as viewers approach a black and white photograph it becomes an entirely different experience with the environment. Our normal perceptions of place and subject are stripped away. Tones become the hints to understanding and relating. The simplicity and quietness allow us to rethink, review, and reevaluate things we may normally take for granted. I'm certainly biased in this subject, but I do believe that photographers that have a understanding, vast or minimal, of good black and white photography tend to make better color photographs too. This could be a gross generalization but I believe this is because they understand how color value works.

Creating Galaxies

Finally, what does success in art mean to you?
Success is obviously a relative term, but for me it's the same as success in life. Is it rewarding? Does it enrich your life? Does it help you find your bliss?  Often, in the art world, success tends to be based on trends, popularity, and sales. Success is often looked at as a term for being accepted and revered by peers and others, but for me is much more simple. I'm just happy if I enjoy what I'm doing. I feel it's even more successful if its touched someone else's soul in some way. Art for me, is not about mass appeal. I recently read an interview with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and I think he says it well when asked about his reactions to reviews.

“ an artist it's an incredibly dangerous time to pay attention, too much, to what other people think. Because it inevitably leads to either homogenous, crowd-pleasing, meandering work, or it leads to something that's just as insincere...”

The deadline to submit to Grayscale is September 19. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Don't Take Pictures

Yesterday, The Kiernan Gallery launched Don't Take Pictures, a biannual print & tablet-ready magazine!

Issue 1
60 pages, published 9/9/2013
Don’t Take Pictures is a biannual print & tablet-ready magazine edited and curated by The Kiernan Gallery.

The magazine's title, Don't Take Pictures, is a reference to the language of photography. The term "taking pictures" is slowly being replaced with "making photographs." In this magazine we are showcasing the work of photographers who strive to make art rather than simply take pictures.

Each issue features six artists who have previously exhibited in The Kiernan Gallery in addition to book reviews, interviews, and content about the business of art. 

Our premier issue includes the work of Aëla Labbé, Joshua Meier, Robert Moran, John Grant, Andrew Seguin, and Joe Johnson. Also included, a review of S. Gayle Stevens' monograph,Calligraphy, an interview with the design firm Union Jack Creative, and an article on getting started in the fine art industry. 

In addition to the magazine itself, each month one of the six featured artists will have one of their images for sale exclusively through The Kiernan Gallery. Each image is roughly 6"x9", signed, numbered in an edition no higher than five, and has a sale price no higher than $200. These prints can be purchased through magazine’s website. The full amount of the sale goes to the artist. It is my hope that by offering these affordable art pieces, in addition to the featured portfolios and reviews, that our readers gain a deeper understanding of the work and process, and will be encouraged to begin or add to their art collection.

This Month's Print:
Tails Away
Andrew Seguin
6×9, Edition of 5, signed and numbered
Archival inkjet print from cyanotype original

Available from

It is my hope that this magazine will serve as a resource and inspiration for the movers and shakers in the industry, other artists, and those who are just discovering their interest in photography. We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to a successful launch.

Don't Take Pictures is available in print for $15 and/or as a free tablet-ready digital download from MagCloud.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Announcement: New Call for Work!

Deadline: October 24
Exhibition: December 4 - 28
Opening Reception: December 6

For many, the spirit of adventure plays an enormous role in their passion for photography. Whether travelling within your native land or abroad, leaving home with a camera puts a more critical set of eyes on our surroundings. Photographs of exotic landscapes and cultures, and the people and places encountered along the way broaden our understanding of the world we live in. For Voyages, The Kiernan Gallery seeks images of your explorations away from home.   
For this exhibition, juror Christy Karpinski will select up to 25 images for display in the main gallery, and up to an additional 35 to be included in the online gallery. All images will be reproduced in an exhibition catalogue available for purchase. A Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice will also be announced.
All photographic media are encouraged.

About the Juror

Christy Karpinski is the founder and editor of F-Stop Magazine, an online photography magazine that promotes contemporary photography from established and emerging photographers from around the world with the intent to inspire and support a community of artists. Christy has an MFA in photography as well as background in Women’s Studies and Sociology. She teaches photography at Columbia College Chicago. 

For more information and to see submission guidelines