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Fran Forman: ‘Escape Artist’ at The Garner Center

Evasive Dream FFCircus Escape

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,
dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” –   Edgar Allen Poe

Blurring the line between photography and painting, Fran Forman’s work invites the viewer to enter into a world of magic and mystery, the whimsy of the unconscious. It asks us: what realities exist beyond the traditional limits of gravity, linear time, social convention? Fran’s work opens portals into extraordinary worlds, crafted from fragments of reality, melding seemingly disparate objects into a cohesive whole.

Fran studied art and sociology at Brandeis University, received an MSW in psychiatric social work, and then an MFA from Boston University. She is a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis, a recipient of several grants and Artist Residencies, and teaches digital collage at various colleges in Boston.

Her works are held in esteemed collections around the country, including The Smithsonian Art & Space Museum, MFA Houston and MFA Boston.

Fran is represented by Pucker Gallery (Boston), AfterImage Gallery (Dallas), Susan Spiritus Gallery (Newport Beach, California), High Noon Art and Culture (Beijing), and Photo Méthode (Austin,Texas).

Fran Forman – April 7, 2015 through May 1, 2015
Opening Reception and Book Signing:  April 9th 5-7pm

Brian Christopher Sargent: Notes From the Underground

from the series "Notes from the Underground" Notes from the Underground by Brooklyn-based photographer Brian Christopher Sargent details the chaotic and strangely intimate experience of New York City’s public transit day in and day out. Shot with an iPhone, Brian’s work is keenly interested in the subtleties of human interaction, often overlooked or ignored during the congestion of rush hour: lovers’ hands clasping desperately, a woman crying, a tired traveler whisked off in reverie at the end of the work day.

One morning a few years ago I saw a young woman with light brown hair step into my car. A few stops later as we made our way over the bridge I saw tears streaming down this woman’s face. While she wept in stiff jawed silence a barrel-chested black man to her right, in the most delicate and understated manner, produced a folded white handkerchief from his breast pocket and offered it to her without saying a word, somehow managing to show solidarity while maintaining a respectful distance from the emotional proximity of this total stranger’s grief. I hope these photographs share a little of that bearing – a humble acknowledgement of all that goes unspoken when we all ride together.

Born in Rochester NY, Brian Christopher Sargent earned a BFA in drawing and photography from SUNY Purchase. Upon graduating he pursued an internship at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, volunteering in the library’s rare book department. After hours Brian played drums with the staff of the Visual Studies Workshop, trading rock steady beats for access to VSW’s darkrooms. His work has appeared in numerous group shows in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Sante Fe over the last 10 years.

This exhibition runs February 24 through April 3 at The Garner Center for Photographic Exhibitions. In light of the historic winter, messy commutes and overall difficult February we are continuing to experience, we have decided to celebrate this show with an exciting Spring Closing Reception, Friday, March 27, 5-7PM.

Luis Brens | ‘Mis Momentos en Cuba’ at The Garner Center

Exhibition Runs: January 5, 2015 through February 14, 2015
Artist Reception: Wednesday, January 14th, 5pm – 7pm

LUISBRENSHIREZ1 Boston based photographer, professor and mixed media artist, Luis Brens, captures the vibrant street life of Cuba in this intimate essay on the rhythms of the street. Avenues lined in weathered architecture provide a backdrop for the pictures as we discover classic cars, youth culture and flamboyant personalities engaging us at every turn.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Luis moved to Boston in 1990 and earned a BFA in Photography and Printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He works as both a professor and commercial photographer and his work has been featured in Vogue, Boston Common and Boston Magazine. Luis currently teaches at both Northeastern University and The New England School of Photography.LUISBRENSHIREZ2

 Meet the artist on Wednesday, January 14th 5pm -7pm!

The Garner Center is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The gallery is located at 537 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston on the second floor of the New England School of Photography.

Holiday Park: Photographs by Dayna Rochell

DR3Welcome to Holiday Park, where old world and new world values marry in a photographic investigation of one of America’s oldest pass times…the RV vacation.

Photographer Dayna Rochell’s project assertively asks questions about lifestyle, comparing tradition with counter culture through a curious lens revealing hints of domestication in a transient community. In true American fashion, the pictures criticize and celebrate the ever-changing landscape of the American Family.

Dayna Rochell was born in California. After earning her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, she came east to complete her MFA at Boston’s Museum School. She has been exhibited on both coasts as well as abroad and in 2014 won the Karsh Prize in Photography.



Exhibition Run: 11/11 – 12/19

Opening Reception: Thursday November 20th 5-7pm

Gallery Hours:  M / W/ R / F 9-5, Saturday, 10-4

The Asian Series: Photographs by Phyllis Crowley

Exhibition Runs
: Monday, October 6th through November 7th, 2014
Artist Reception: Thursday, October 16th, 5pm – 7pm


The Asian Series: Photographs by Phyllis Crowley

High in the mountains of rural China the clouds descend, envelop the land and a photograph is made. The Asian Series quietly unfolds artist Phyllis Crowley‘s long-standing interest in interfaces that insert themselves between the subject and the viewer, obscuring and distorting, hiding and revealing. These dusky dirges denote an intimate connection to the landscape in moments of transformation. The photographs insinuate smudged outlines of memories, hinting as the familiar while remaining at times obscure. The glowing line movements in each frame liken themselves to jazz notes hanging heavy in the air, gorgeous streaks of light that enliven the soul.

Phyllis Crowley grew up in New York city, learning the love and craft of photography from her father. She references Minor White, Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind as serious influences on her work. She graduated from Vassar College, lives in New Haven CT, and has taught photography at Norwalk Community College, University of Bridgeport and the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven.

Over the last 25 years, while making a living as a commercial freelance photographer, Phyllis’ art work has been widely exhibited in various galleries in New York City and extensively throughout New England as both solo and group artist.

 Meet the artist on Thursday, October 16th 5pm -7pm!

Three Amigos: John Rizzo, Fred Sway, and Neal Rantoul

Exhibition Run: Monday, April 7 – May 23, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 12, 2014, 3:30-5:30pm

After more than thirty years of diverse photographic careers, three old friends: John Rizzo, Fred Sway and Neal Rantoul come together to exhibit works that are diverse in interest but united in a common bond of their love for photographic vision. The work represents each photographers’ unique take on our world, rich in color and texture, rendered with consummate skill and mastery of the medium.


John Rizzo

John Rizzo’s images of balconies, doorways and apartments from his neighborhood in Alba, Italy are abstracts of color, texture and design. Fred Sway’s rendition of porches and yards in rural Massachusetts transforms the mundane and ordinary into exceptional still lifes of color and form. And finally, Neal Rantoul’s never-before-shown images of a cliff face in a fjord of northern Iceland convey a sense of diminished human scale in the face of powerful and aw inspiring natural force.

Neal Rantoul is a career artist and educator. Recently retired from 30 years as head of the Photo Program at Northeastern University in Boston; he is devoting his efforts full time to making new pictures and bringing earlier work to a national and international audience. With over 50 one-person exhibitions over the length of his career, Rantoul has exhibited new works within the last year at both Panopticon Gallery and The Danforth Museum.


Neal Rantoul

John Rizzo started his career in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied and taught photography. His early work as a documentary photographer earned him a Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities Photography Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Project Grant. Eventually John found his way to Portland, Oregon where he opened a studio and enjoyed a successful career as an Advertising and Editorial Photographer. John founded Ars Nova Gallery and was a cofounder and the artistic director of Obscura Gallery, two critically acclaimed galleries in the burgeoning Portland, Oregon art scene.


Fred Sway

Fred Sway is former director of New England School of Photography and Boston University Photo Services. He completed a Master’s Degree in Photography under Aaron Siskind at the Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago. His most recent exhibitions include the Griffin Museum of Photography.





Celestial Navigation: Keith Johnson

Exhibition Run: Monday, February 24 – April 4, 2014
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5-7pm

Salter Nova webCelestial Navigation is a large-scale photographic investigation that began as a response to a painting by Rebecca Salter at British Art Center and grew into a suite of gridded images about the night sky. Photographer Keith Johnson’s interest turned towards what happens when a photograph of ordinary, regular, every day stuff takes on a different meaning, looks different and even becomes something else: an image.

“My take is that the longer involvement allows for serendipity and image to enter into the experience both mine and the viewers. These pictures are about an AHA! Moment. I would see some surface and look at it for a while intrigued when the roof or the chrysanthemums or the snow sort of tugged on my coat tail and said “Hey you, pay attention.” I found myself saying, “OK I get it. And got to work.”

The images on view detail extended and in depth investigations of singular subjects transformed through seeing. Letting go of narrative, these visually enveloping grids construct new realities to entice the mind and the eye.

Keith Johnson received his MFA from RISD studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind following a year at Visual Studies Workshop with Nathan Lyons. Ten years of teaching led to a move to the business side of photography after completing an MBA. He supports his fine art making as a sales consultant in the northeast and is on the summer faculty at Penland School of Crafts, VSW, and Maine Media Workshop, and thesis mentor at SVA in NY and AIB in Boston.

Recent solo shows include Griffin Museum, Winchester, MA; CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY; FotoFest, Houston, TX; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; New England School of Photography, Boston, MA; Panopticon Gallery,  Boston, MA; Nelson Hancock Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Wall Space Gallery, Seattle, WA, and Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT.

Collections include RISD, George Eastman House, and Center for Creative Photography.  He is a recipient of two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowships and Residencies at Light Work and Visual Studies Workshop, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT.

Suzanne Revy: To Venerate the Simple Days

ImageTo Venerate the Simple Days is a magical visual essay crafted by photographer Suzanne Revy on the joys of family and the explorations of summer.

Her images capture the sheer bliss of long days, imaginative play, and freedom within the landscape. Her use of a toy camera draws out a surprisingly melancholic mood at times, revealing memories and continued traditions within a family when school is over and obligations fall away. Experiencing this work is akin to gazing upon a field of fireflies at dusk, a rare and ephemeral experience to warm the heart.

Suzanne Revy received her B.F.A in photography from Pratt Institute. She was the Photo Editor of U.S. News & World Reports for nearly a decade before becoming Acting Picture Editor at Yankee Magazine in the late 90’s. For the last 10 years Suzanne has focused on her career as an artist: she has been exhibited locally and nationally as such venues as the Danforth Musuem, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Photoplace Gallery, and Texas Photographic Society. Suzanne is Represented by Panopticon Gallery, Boston MA.

Catching Up: Gretjen Helene

p2p-logo2011 Garner Center Featured Artist Gretjen Helene is one of 18 exhibiting artists participating in From Paper to Pixels, a collaboration between traditional and new media artists to create unique, interactive experiences:

‘Of the Egg In the Heart’ has been reinvigorated through this collaborative process with my new friend, Jamie Kosoy of Brooklyn, New York. We spent time online and in person through August exploring the capabilities and limitations of both the tangible and in-tangible mediums we both brought to the work. Together we took the original conceptual and structural basis of this piece and brought the figures inside to life. By incorporating real-time video/projection media we want to bring you, the viewer, into the intimate interior of the eggshell to meet another person inside. Your experience depends on your interaction and her reaction might give you startle.

Opening Reception: November 21, 5-7pm
Exhibition Open through January 17, 2014
Suffolk University Gallery, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA


Things You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer AND YOURSELF: Henry + Mac

Guest blog from Henry + Mac, a Boston based wedding photography business owned by ’11 NESOP graduate Dana Curran (Tavares) and her husband Zak. You can find their work featured in publications like Brooklyn Bride, Style Me Pretty, The Wedding Chicks, Intimate Weddings, and Classic Bride or check out their Facebook page.

Figuring out who should document your wedding day can be a pretty stressful ordeal. Photographers book 1-2 years in advance – meaning it’s usually your 2nd commitment (if not first) after picking your venue.  There are literally thousands of options in the New England area alone. Figuring out where to begin can be overwhelming to say the least.

My wife and I are in a unique position because not only are we wedding photographers, but we just got married ourselves this September and got a whole new education on the hiring process. So we’re going to give you a little insight from our vantage point, the side of the vendor and the side a couple who just experienced it.

We’re often asked our advice for picking a photographer; what should a couple ask?  Who did YOU hire?  How did you decide?  If you keep up with popular blogs you’ll read over and over again questions like, “ How many images do you deliver,” or “ what equipment do you use,” or,” do you have insurance?”

Ugh. Look we get why that idea is out there.  These questions are important to understand before entering into any agreement.  The wedding machine will push this on you constantly. It’s nothing against that line of thinking it’s just, well, is that what’s really important?

So, this will not be that sort of list.

Any professional photographer worth a damn should be able to deliver you plenty of professional images, have insurance and all that. You’re inviting someone in to one of the most important days of your life so far; that’s a big deal.  If you ask vanilla questions, you’ll get a vanilla photographer.

We also included questions we think you should ask yourself. In the roller coaster of wedding planning they’ll hopefully give you a better idea of what you want your day to feel like, and what you want your experience to feel like with your photographers, you know, the ACTUAL important stuff.

  1. ASK YOURSELF: DO YOU WANT A BUSINESS TRANSACTION or PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP? We each have our own priorities and a vision for our big day that are often drastically different from one another. Both are great options just be honest about which you are looking for upfront.  Really think about this.  The rest of your communication from then on will hinge on this decision.  If you have a personal relationship it DOES NOT mean you don’t get the same professional treatment. Make sure you get what’s included in your package, discuss what that means, and set expectations. Make sure you understand the contract and your usage rights.   But also make sure that if you want something more personal out of the relationship your photographer has the depth and connection to do so.
  2. ASK THEM: Hourly vs. full day coverage. The toughest thing when talking to photographers is comparing apples to apples. Some charge by the hour, some full day. Some deliver edited photos, some don’t.  While every photographer builds his/her business differently for very personal and legitimate reasons, you just need to make sure it fits your vision.
  3. ASK YOURSELF: WHAT’S OUR BUDGET?  Yes, we’d all love to fly Jonas Peterson in from Australia to flawlessly capture our day and make us look like movie stars.  Unfortunately, we can’t all afford it.  Sometimes, a budget is a budget.  Be realistic, do your research to find out what the market bears, know what’s important to you, and try to set your expectations accordingly.  Find a few photographers you’re drawn to on a few different levels – talk to them – find out who fits you best – then go with your gut.  Find the happy place between the disappointment of an unattainable figure and the disappointment of choosing based solely on numbers.  There’s a match for you at every budget level.
  4.  ASK THEM: WHY DO YOU THIS / HOW’D YOU GET INTO THIS? Ask some questions about how they got into their business, what motivates them to do this? What’s important to them?  What are they looking for in you and other couples?  Why is always the heart of the matter.  This is usually something a photographer volunteers anyway and comes up naturally in our conversation but if this matters to you, ASK.  We think this is a vital question to discuss.
  5. ASK YOURSELF: DO YOU TRUST THEM? Can I let go and allow this person be the professional?  Can I trust them to do their job?  Not just that they’ll deliver what you’ve agreed to, but that you also feel comfortable trusting their creative process.  Do I trust them with this enormous responsibility?
  6. ASK THEM: HOW WILL WE PLAN FOR THE DAY TOGETHER? WHAT DOES A DAY WORKING WITH YOU LOOK LIKE?  When the right one answers these questions you should find yourself nodding along, having revelations, ‘Yes! That’s exactly what we were thinking!”  Timeline meetings, phone calls, a site visit. Be on the same page 30 days out so when you see them on that day, they just do their thing so you can do yours.
  7. ASK YOURSELF: DO YOU LIKE THEM? The last question you should always ask is of yourself. It should go something like, “ Do I like hanging out with these people? Would I love having them around on my wedding day?” Any other answer besides, “Hell YES,” should warrant serious reconsideration of hiring that person. We spend more time with the bride and groom than anyone else on their wedding day. If you want to enjoy every minute of a day that always flies too fast, you must be comfortable with your photographer.  It’s the only way you will look back on your photos and truly feel like a piece of you is reflected, that your story was told.  That, to us, is everything.




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