2016-17 Photography Department Newsletter
Visiting Artists and Curators
Jennifer Locke at ROCKSBOX/PONTIAC
The workshops and visiting artist program supported by each department allow students to hear from a variety of voices in the world of art and design, and often establish connections that extend well beyond the two years of graduate study.
Last semester we welcomed artists such as Danielle Dean, who delivered a lecture, met with students for individual critiques and accompanied students on a tour of Detroit. We also welcomed artist Gina Osterloh.
Diana Nawi, Associate Curator from the Perez Art Museum, recently visited the studios of our students, and Rebecca Hart (Fiber ’95), current Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art at Denver Art Museum, attended our Graduate Degree Exhibition last year. And Cary Loren, formerly of Destroy All Monsters, also visited the department last year.
This fall, we were joined by Jennifer Locke, who works in installation-based performance art. She collaborated with our students to host three performances at ROCKSBOX/PONTIAC, a temporary studio in Pontiac established by our visiting Photography Artist-in-Residence, Patrick Rock. Watch her performance here.
See more studio life on the department’s Instagram channel.
Current Student Exhibitions and Projects
Sarah Blanchette (’17) Forever 14
Clare Gatto is the co-editor of Refigural magazine, which often features the work of current and former Academy students.
Four of our second-year Academy students curated exhibitions in “Studio 14,” a new exhibition space on campus established this year. Gatto hosted the exhibition Below Your Mind: Lawncare with photographer Liz Roberts. Sarah Blanchette opened Forever 14, Jova Vargas curated the exhibition FOUR WOMEN, and Megan Kelley curated NEW(er) Age.
We ended the semester with a final exhibition of student work at ROCKSBOX/PONTIAC.
Alumni Projects and Exhibitions
Alex Tsocanos DIY Dildos
Ryan Debolski Sun Never Shines (forthcoming)
Brittany Nelson (Photography ’11) received a $50,000 Creative Capital Grant this year for her work, Alternative Process. She also made headlines with her solo exhibition The Year I Make Contact at the Morgan Lehman gallery in Chelsea, New York. Her technique, using the 19th century negative reversal process of Mordançage as well as tintype photography, was covered by The New Yorker, WIRED and Musee magazine. She also opened Brittany Nelson: Monuments to the Conquerors of Space at Sadie Halie Projects and a solo exhibition at David Klein Gallery.
Shieda Soleimani (Photography ’15) was interviewed about her work by VICE magazine, The New York Times and The Huffington Post. She also opened the solo exhibitions Civil Liberties at BOYFRIENDS gallery in Chicago and Medium of Exchange for FotoFocus in Cincinnati. Soleimani’s first UK solo exhibition, To Oblivion, opens at Edel Assanti in January 2017.
Soleimani and Shanna Merola (Photography ’11) opened the joint exhibition Piece it Together about art and protest at the University of Toledo. They spoke with NAT.BRUT about the project and were also named “New Activists” by Interview magazine.
Soleimani and Merola were joined by Alex Tsocanos (Photography ’13) for the exhibition Re:formation, featured in Hyperallergic.
Merola was also recently awarded a MacDowell Fellowship and has been conducting legal witnessing work at several protests through her “Know Your Rights” workshops. Read her contributing articles about the water contamination in Flint on the National Lawyers Guild website.
Christopher Schneider (Photography ’03) was named one of the “Top 10 ArtPrize Highlights” by the Detroit Free Press.
Ben Schonberger (Photography ’13) took his Beautiful Pig exhibition to River House Arts in Toledo, where it was featured in Hyperallergic. The accompanying book was also awarded an honorable mention for The Anamorphosis Prize.
Schonberger also completed a Guest Artist Pavillion Project residency at the Toledo Museum of Art where he produced a series of objects based on objects he photographed for his most recent book, Hammer.
Ryan Debolski’s (Photography ’14) work and time spent in Oman is featured in This is Paper magazine.
Brian Carpenter (Photography ’12) serves as the Gallery Director at the University of Toledo, which has recently exhibited work by several Cranbrook alums including Chris Cox (Photography ’16), Trisha Holt (Photography ’12), Shanna Merola, and Sheida Soleimani. Carpenter has recently co-founded Contemporary Art Toledo, a collaborative partnership with gallerist Paula Baldoni of River House Gallery, in order to provide a showcase in the Toledo area for provocative and groundbreaking contemporary artwork. Carpenter’s photography was recently featured in the web gallery Almost Beautiful Enough, curated by Kyle Croft on the Visual AIDS website.
Last spring, several of our students traveled to the Society for Photographic Education Conference in New York City. Current students and alumni were also invited to present, including Kara Gut (Photography ’16), Brittany Nelson (Photography ’11), Ben Schonberger (Photography ’13), and Alex Tsocanos (Photography ’13).
Last year, Cohen debuted new work in her solo exhibition, Him, at Cranbrook Art Museum. The exhibition drew on Cohen’s continued interest in exhibitionism, subcultures, and acts of belonging through a collaborative research project with a self-described eunuch. Read the review in Hyperallergic.
Cohen is represented by Salon 94 in New York. She is also featured in Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson’s recently-published book Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing.