September 23 – October 27, 2017
3 Photographers’ Unique Approach to Image-Making – Dee Breger, Suran Song and Eleanor Sweeney
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 23, 4 – 6 pm
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: Tues – Fri 12 – 5 pm, Sat 12 – 4 pm
Dee Breger’s images stand at the intersection of art, science, education and technology. The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) she worked with could magnify a specimen over 300,000 times. The structures seen in her images are preserved, while their aesthetic presentation is manipulated through an array of graphics techniques. She says: “In using a research laboratory’s high-tech visualizing instrument to produce revelatory – and relevant – art, my goal is to offer arresting pictures of the microworld that inspire a sense of wonder at its elegance, astonishment at its diversity, and delight in the stories it has to tell. As a scientist grounded in the disciplines of research, I seek to maintain the integrity – the truth – of the specimens. As an artist, I want my images to speak to the viewer’s heart.”
Dee Breger received a degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin and began her career as a scientific illustrator at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, switching to electron microscopy soon after. She founded Lamont/Columbia’s first professional SEM and X-ray microanalysis facility, which she directed for 22 years. Her work has been exhibited around the world and was featured in the BBC documentary “Hidden Visions.” Her book “Journeys into Microspace: The Art of the Scanning Electron Microscope” was featured in the New York Times magazine. Besides specializing in the technology, scientific application, and artistry of the SEM, Breger also led or participated in several Earth science programs on over 30 field expeditions, with a specialization in Antarctic oceanography. From 2004 to 2009 she served as Director of Microscopy at Drexel University. She retired from academia in 2009 to return to her first love: art. She launched Micrographic Arts that year in Saratoga Springs, NY, where she lived until her death, working as a consultant and artist. Dee Breger passed away in September of 2016 after a battle with leukemia. More information about Dee Breger can be found at www.micrographicarts.com,and her TED Ed talk, “Visualizing Hidden Worlds Inside Your Body,” can be seen at https://ed.ted.com/lessons/visualizing-hidden-worlds-inside-your-body-dee-breger.
Sanskrit and the civics of politics, as well as a routine practice of Yoga, are both strong influences for Suran Song. Her work encompasses printmaking, painting, installation, sculpture, photography, video and performance art. A recent project “There’s More to Life Than Increasing Its Speed! We need each other here!” contains a series of limited edition c-prints depicting flower mandalas projected on to the hands of participants held in various mudras (symbolic hand gestures), while practicing yogic breathing. The work is inspired by her routine practice of Yoga and the Sanskrit Pushpam Veda mantra, a Vedic hymn that expresses water as the basis of the universe and is used at the time of offering flowers to the deities at the very end of the Pujas (a prayer ritual performed to honor one or more deities). Song conceived of the project as a means for participants to practice fasting from cell phones and other screens by returning to their breath and presence, and to experience colors often used in yogic therapy to transmit uplifting and healing vibrations. She says: “I am interested in engaging with the public by making experiential art that transcends the viewer. Working in a multitude of disciplines further allows me to continually test the boundaries of the senses, the embrace of Sanskrit and the breath, all core elements that inform my artistic path.”
Suran Song earned her BFA from University of The Arts in Philadelphia, PA and her MFA from Parsons School of Design, New York, NY. She has received awards and residencies from the Queens Council for the Arts and the New York Artist and Community Council: The Laundromat Project. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including The Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts, Milwaukee, WI; Chashama Windows Project, Harlem, NY; Art in Odd Places, New York, NY; The Walk Exchange, London, England & New York, NY; Southview Co-operative, Queens, NY; Shirin Gallery, Chelsea, NY, NY; Queens Museum, Queens, NY. Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC; The Experimental Space, Long Island City, NY; and Fabio Scalia Art Space, Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being a multi-media artist and performer, she is a student of Sanskrit, and a yoga instructor with an International Teacher’s Certification in Himalayan Yoga. She lives and works in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. More information about Suran Song and her work can be found at www.suransong.com and also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn2P7snwycY, where she is a featured artist in a brief video describing her work.
Photographer Eleanor Sweeney makes digital transfers on metal, paper, wood and fabric, as well as traditional photographic prints. Her eye is often drawn to small, ordinary things, which she likes to manipulate a bit. She says: “I have been making photographs for a long time, starting out with classic black and white images. Gradually I became interested in color, doing a little hand coloring and working with colored slides. For many years, I made Polaroid transfers, and later began to teach myself to make transfers using digital photographs. This way I can play around with color and shape in the computer. All the photographs in this show are reflections in silver Mylar. I place a sheet of Plexiglas covered by a piece of Mylar against a tree or wall or something, set up the tripod to the side, and photograph what is reflected. The Mylar is not very tight, so it ripples in the slightest breeze, creating the wavy abstract result in the photograph. Some of the photographs are printed on paper, while others are transferred onto metal or wood.”
Eleanor Sweeney, born in Cincinnati, Ohio 1937, earned a BA in Russian from Middlebury College in 1959. She studied photography at North Country Community College from 1974-1976, and took various photography workshops around the country. In 1997 she co-founded Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake, NY. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the Northeast, and featured in solo exhibitions at Adirondack Artists Guild and Pendragon Theatre, both in Saranac Lake; St Louis Artists Guild; Visitor Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb, NY; Geonomics Center at Middlebury College, VT; and For ArtSake in Malone, NY. Recent group exhibitions include “Catching Water,” Bluseed Studios, Saranac Lake and “Imagined Landscapes,” Lake Placid Center for the Arts. She is the recipient of three NY decentralization grants, and was awarded Best In Show at Frederic Remington “Members’ Show” (2017) and First Place in Photography in “Central Adk Art Show” at View Old Forge, NY (2017). She lives and work in Saranac Lake, NY.
This exhibition is funded in part by The Community Exchange Foundation, Adirondack Studios and the New York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Courthouse Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm, and all other times by appointment. The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets, Lake George, NY.