Tag Archives: Art Institute

Justin Kaneps

Justin Kaneps may be at the starting line of his photography career, having just received his BFA from The Art Institute in Boston, but he is in no way a beginner.  He embodies those great qualities that makes a photographer succeed: curiosity, affability, compassion, and intelligence.  He is an involved photographer, looking for the next opportunity, the next adventure, and each new door that opens allows for another layer of knowledge.  Justin has been exhibiting in the Boston area and it doesn’t hurt that he also holds an Eagle Scout Award, something that seems perfectly appropriate to his person.
I am featuring work from Justin’s in-progress project, In Our Veins, that explores a natural resource: coal, and it’s affects on the communities that surround it’s production.
Images from In Our Veins

The interdependency between our American coal industry and its surrounding communities is deep and complex. While embracing the realities and myths surrounding coal production revel the socioeconomic impact on Appalachian communities that mine it. Pointing out the realities of a rural environment in constant transition, my work explores coal as a problematic but longstanding staple in Appalachian culture and economy.


In spite of awareness about the impact of coal, some know little about the lives of those who produce it and live in the effects. With profound compassion and respect I provide some insight into their world. I explore the evidence of an American ideological past and the nostalgia that exists within the way of life and traditions encompassing coal. An underlying connection exists to my subjects through the air we breathe and the resources we take from the land.


Photographer #421: Luo Dan

Luo Dan, 1968, China, is a documentary photographer based in Chengdu. He graduated from the Sichuan Fine Art Institute in 1992. He works as a freelance photographer after having been employed as a photojournalist between 1997 and 2005. For his latest series Simple Song he traveled to the mountains of the Yunnan province. Using the collodion wet plate process he captured the people of this region where the way of life has remained intact for hundreds of years. His series North, South is the result of extensive travelling throughout China. The large body of work raises questions about the large economic changes in China. On various levels the images show the effects on the Chinese population, from the new wealth, consumerism to extreme poverty. Two years earlier he also traveled across China for his series China Route 318. All three projects have been released as monographs. His work has been exhibited extensively, mainly in China. The following images come from the series Simple Song, North, South and China Route 318.

Website: www.luodanphoto.com

Walker Pickering: Nearly West

Walker Pickering is about to open an exhibition of a project that he has been working on for close to three years. Nearly West will open at the B. Hollyman Gallery in Austin on May 3rd and run through June 1st. The opening reception is on May 7th.

I first featured Walker’s work on LENSCRATCH last year, where I wrote: Walker’s new series, Nearly West, reflects a visual resonance through color, design, and pacing. There is a stillness, yet a symphony in his work, where the sounds of water, crickets, wind, and nothingness wash away brilliant colors, leaving the traces of his visual memories.

This series is inspired by the open road and the temporary relation it provides. Walker captures rural roads, urban and natural landscapes, and traces of the people who live there in a way that transcends the banality of these everyday markers. The images are distinct in mood, each with a balancing peacefulness.

Walker received his MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design, and currently teaches photography at the Art Institute of Austin. He has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions, and has been a photographer for the Texas House of Representatives, as well as darkroom printer for photographer and screenwriter, Bill Wittliff.

Images from Nearly West