Sara Macel received her B.F.A. in Photography and Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003, and her MFA. in Photography, Video, & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York; Jen Bekman Gallery, New York; and Kris Graves Projects, New York. She has received numerous awards, including winner in the 2011 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward competition, Top 50 Photographer in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Award, finalist in FotoVisura Spotlight Awards, best in show at Photobook 2012! at Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY and was recently named a winner in the New York Photo Festival Invitational for her self-published monograph May the Road Rise to Meet You. The book will also be on display in fall 2012 exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco. Her work is in various private collections, including the Harry Ransom Center and the Center of Photography at Woodstock. Sara currently teaches photography at Rockland Community College.
The Olympic games have officially ended and for Los Angeles photographer, Tracy Fleischman Morgenthau, it was a happy accident that work and life has her living in London for a number of months. Tracy had a front row seat to witness the cultural impact that the games had on the city and people of London. She has created a project titled, Olympic Culture, and these are images hot off the press.
Tracy has always been fascinated by the connection between social change and culture. She received a degree in History from UC Berkeley, and an MA in American Studies at UT, Austin, where she worked as a fellow at the Harry Ransom Center, curating exhibitions and working with the collections. For the past several years, in addition to working as a fine art photographer, Tracy has worked as a media and campaign strategist for leading NGO’s and documentary filmmakers creating campaigns for groups such as Women’s Voices Women Vote and the Media Consortium, and films like Trouble the Water and People Speak!
the athletes and the games themselves were amazing, I found myself drawn to the
culture surrounding the games. On the streets, in the stands, in the
stores and even underground, excitement about the Olympic games swept through
already been observing local culture, noting and photographing the subtle but
significant differences between British and American culture. With the
arrival of the 2012 games, I found myself looking at something new – Olympic Culture.
2012 Olympic games manifested off the playing field. London attire, energy and
even the way strangers on the subway related to one another shifted with the
arrival of the Olympic games. People opened up, excited to connect and share in
a collective experience. The Olympics gave locals and visitors alike the
permission to take pride in their nations– with people from around the world
literally wrapping themselves in their national flag (or a sponsor branded t-shirt). It is this unique and
celebratory moment that I worked to capture while taking photographs in the two
weeks between the 2012 opening and closing Olympic ceremonies.
I’ve shared Dona Schwartz’s terrific project, In the Kitchen, in my classes for a number of years, so I was happy to see Dona receive an honorable mention for her new project, On the Nest. Dona’s work is about space and time; she examines the “interactions among and within the physical, social, and emotional spaces we inhabit”. She also recognizes the fleeting and evolving periods of childhood, parenting, and being part of a family. The image below, Christina and Mark, 14 months, from On the Nest was the Third Prize Winner in the 2011 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize competition, awarded by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Dona lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She earned her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communications is an artist, scholar, and educator. Amongst her many academic publications are two photographic ethnographies, Waucoma Twilight: Generations of the Farm (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992) and Contesting the Super Bowl (Routledge, 1997). Her new photographic monograph, In the Kitchen, was published by Kehrer Verlag.
Her work has been internationally published and exhibited at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, London, Blue Sky Gallery, the Milwaukee Art Museum, The Stephen Bulger Gallery, the Pingyao International Photography Festival, and in numerous juried exhibitions in the United States. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, George Eastman House, the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, the Harry Ransom Center, the Portland Art Museum, the Kinsey Institute, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago’s Midwest Photographers Project.
ON THE NEST: In our lives we experience multiple transitions, and in these moments of change we renegotiate our sense of self. Events like communions, weddings, baby showers, and retirement parties formally mark the new roles and statuses we take on. We cross other thresholds without rituals or celebrations—even though divorce is a momentous life transition there is no script for marking its passage. I am intrigued by the ways in which we move from one life phase to the next, and I am working programmatically to represent complex processes of changing identity.
In On the Nest I use environmental portraiture to examine two moments of change that bookend parents’ lives—the transition to parenthood with a first child’s birth, and the transition to life without day-to-day responsibility for parenting when young adults leave their childhood homes. I photograph expectant parents in nurseries or other spaces they have made ready for their newborns, and I photograph empty nesters in the rooms left vacant by their grown children. The nursery is a canvas on which parents paint in broad strokes their imagined picture of the future. Creating the space is itself a celebratory ritual, and for many parents-to-be the nursery is a showplace—and a sacred space—to be shared.
Teenagers’ abandoned bedrooms tell different stories. The transition to life as an empty nester lacks formal ritual observance. There is no finite gestation period and the new beginning it heralds may be more sobering. In some vacated rooms, abandoned childhood toys compete for shelf space with high school trophies, providing a time-lapse history of nurturance, growth, and development. In others, boxes containing once treasured items await their final disposition. Unused beds become temporary worktables. A sewing room is born. By showing expectant parents alongside their empty nester counterparts I invite viewers to reflect on their own experiences of change and the trajectories we trace in the course of a lifetime.
An interesting article from the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin.