Scholarship & Creative Work
March 2012—Melanie was invited to lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago during the exhibition They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1900–1950.
October 2011—Melanie was featured in the cover story in the Spring edition of Sculpture Review on African American women sculptors.
October 2009—On Saturday, October 24th, 2009, Melanie presented a lecture on social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin‘s life and work. Following this presentation she joined Milton Rogovin in a book signing and a birthday celebration.
Paul Baker Prindle
Fall 2011—Paul Baker Prindle’s photographic series "Mementi Mori" seeks to illuminate the sublime in places where intolerance and sex meet murder.
2010—Randall had 2 watercolor paintings accepted into the annual juried competition, Watercolor Wisconsin 2009, at the Wustum Musesum of Fine Art in Racine, WI. The exhibit ran from Dec '09-April 2010.
2009—"This past May, I was one of six American artists to be invited to the 2009 All China Wood-Fire Festival.
This four-week experience culminated in two exhibitions, one at the Jia Pingwa Gallery of Xian University of Architecture and Technology and another at the XYZ Gallery in the 798 Arts District of Beijing.
For decades I have created ceramic art that reflects East Asian methods and aesthetics while maintaining a sensibility that is undeniably Western. I have always been intrigued by this cross-fertilization and it has been very exciting to experience first- hand the richness of these eastern cultures."
August 2011—Bob Tarrell and Steve Burnham’s exhibit “Shared Terrain” has traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibit is on view from August 8-September 23. There is a closing reception on Friday, September 23 from 6-8 pm.
Bob has been invited to participate in the exhibit, “One & Only: Gifts Made by Hand” at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and ARTspace, Sheboygan, WI from October 22, 2011-January 8, 2012.
November 2010—Alan Luft had a solo photography exhibit in Berlin at Photoplatz Gallery in October-November 2010.
Reviewer Joe Wehry wrote about the exhibit, "One gets the sense that the photographer, at least for an instant, had touched the subject’s life, and theirs, his. Consequently, the personal became universal and I had the feeling while seeing the photos that I, too, knew these people. In a world of Facebook where the personal is no longer intimate, Luft’s personal portraits are a welcomed change of pace."
How did you get invited to have an exhibition at the Photoplatz gallery?
I had a desire to exhibit in Berlin for a long time. However, the city has a very competitive and vibrant art scene. In fact some have argued that the center of the art world has shifted from New York City to Berlin. Initially it was quite difficult to make connections to the art community there, especially living here in the USA. My German friend told me that I'd have to network informally through gallery and museum events, or at openings. I did this and made some contacts, which resulted in being offered a one-person exhibition at a smaller gallery in Mitte. This district of Berlin is very popular right now, with many galleries and cultural activities, but somehow the Mitte gallery space did not feel right, so I declined and started to look elsewhere. At this point a friend asked if I knew of the Photoplatz Gallery, originally the old art studio of Yva, aka, Else Neulaender-Simon. I called the director of Photoplatz, presented my portfolio, and had an instant connection, not only with the space but Joachim as well. He then offered me a one-person show and said that he'd like to sponsor me as the gallery's representative in the upcoming European Month of Photography.
Is there anything to be said about the Photoplatz Gallery? Is it well known?
As I mentioned earlier, the gallery space had once been the art studio of Yva. She was a very important figure in the European avant-garde during the Weimar years. I hadn't known that it was her old studio. When Joachim told me this, I felt very excited to exhibit there. When I was a young man starting out in art school, Yva was one of my favorites, I just loved her work. Photoplatz is essentially a non-profit gallery. Joachim and his family are art patrons. They have restored Yva's studio and have an extensive collection of her work, along with other artists. The family also had a friendship with Helmut Newton, Yva's most famous apprentice. Although Yva had a very successful art career, her story is one that ends in tragedy. Else Neulaender-Simon was Jewish, and eventually stripped of her studio by the Nazis. She died at Auschwitz in 1942.
The "Here on Earth," Jean Feraca interview, made reference to the European Month of Photography. What is it, and where is it being held?
The European Month of Photography is a major festival for artists who work
in photography. It will be held in Berlin, Bratislava, Luxemburg, Moscow,
Paris, Rome, and Vienna. I'm very excited to be included in the festival
on-line and print catalogs.
How would you describe your work that will be on exhibit? Why have you been doing this project for the last 25 years?
The work on exhibit comes from film negatives, and are black and white silver gelatin prints. I use film because I love the richness and clarity of the print from a medium format negative. Film really captures best the sense of a 3- dimensional space, the light, and the depth of the physical world. The digital camera and print, I would argue, is still not equipped to depict the reality of physical space. Digital prints still look flat and commercial to me, like a poster. These concepts certainly relate to my motivation in doing the project for the last 25 years. I love portraiture, but I'm fascinated by the technical magic of a lush print. I'm also curious how people one hundred years from now will view the person in the portrait. I like the notion of sending photographs into the future, they become visual history, and I think this is quite radical in concept. The resulting document helps us to understand identity, and in my case, what it is to be German.
I was raised
in rural Wisconsin on a farm. German was spoken in the home especially
between my parents and grandparents. This German speaking farming
community was also very insulated which put me on the path to seek out diversity. If you want to explore the German archetype and how it is being redefined, then Berlin is the place to be. The city is now very international and multicultural. It has one of the world's largest LGBT communities. The fastest growing Jewish population outside of Israel, is in Germany and
Berlin. I find it ironic then, considering the dark and tragic period of 1933 to 1945, how Berlin has transformed itself.
How do you choose your subjects?
I meet most of my subjects from word-of-mouth connections, but I also like to encounter individuals through chance by walking the city. I've been hiking the same paths for 25 years, and I keep finding new ones. This process is not scientific, but organic in nature.
—by Adam Brown '11
Alan would like to thank the Edgewood College Art Department, Edgewood College School of Arts and Sciences, and Edgewood College for funding this expedition.
May 2010—Jean Feraca, host of Wisconsin Public Radio's Here on Earth, has selected her recent radio interview with Alan Luft and Paul Prindle as her pick of the week.
Alan Luft is Associate Professor of Art at Edgewood College. His solo photography exhibition will be held in Oct./ Nov. 2010 in Berlin at Photoplatz Gallery.
Paul Baker Prindle is adjunct faculty in Art and director of the DeRicci Art Gallery at Edgewood.
Alan Luft and Paul Baker Prindle were also featured in the recent exhibition: "Trace: Wisconsin Portrait Makers." The Art Department and The School of Arts and Sciences sponsored this exhibition of six Wisconsin artists (J.Shimon and J. Lindemann, Tom Jones, Alan Luft, Paul Baker Prindle, and Jake Naughton) at The Project Lodge located at 817 E. Johnson.