February 13, 2015
Light Work in Syracuse offers SUNY Oswego some pieces of contemporary photography work for a showing, including a couple of which come from Paul Pearce, one of the university’s former photography professors.
OSWEGO, N.Y. – For the first half of February, SUNY Oswego housed a small portion of photography from Light Work in Syracuse, including two pieces from its own former photography professor, Paul Pearce.
The collection, entitled “Searching: Photography from the Collection of Light Work,” was curated by the Student Art Exhibition Committee, and features a variety of artists from Light Work’s collection of photography over the last 42 years, including multiple past and present members of the faculty of SUNY Oswego like Julieve Jubin, John Banasiak, and Paul Pearce among others.
The exhibition officially opened on Jan. 31 on the second floor of Penfield Library where Tyler Art Gallery has been relocated until the completion of renovations, but the reception was held from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 6. The collection was removed on Feb. 15.
The idea for the exhibit came from the mind of Michael Flanagan, director of the Tyler Art Gallery for the last two years.
“It was an idea I suggested to them because I know that sometimes they don’t have an awareness of how to organize an exhibit or approach exhibit companies,” Flanagan said. “And, part of the reasoning was that Light Work was very nearby and part of their mission was getting their photographs out, but I knew also that their collection was online and that it would be a fairly simple way for a group of people to work on an exhibit. They could get together in groups and look at the website or get together and talk.”
The idea may have come from Flanagan, but the students on the Student Art Exhibit Committee chose the pieces from the exhibit that were shown. None of the faculty board of the gallery made any changes to the pieces chosen by the committee, said Flanagan.
Megan Terry was one of the leaders of the committee.
“All we did was pick pieces that we felt best visually represented the concept of searching and metaphorically represented what the artist was searching for, whether it be the manner in which the artist ‘found’ the image or ‘found’ meaning in the process of acquiring the image,” Terry said.
A couple of Paul Pearce’s pieces fit the concept that the students wanted to work with.
Pearce said “Shiny Black Shoes” and “Park’s Drawer” were from the second grant he did at Light Work and these were the two chosen for this exhibit.
Terry was also one of the people responsible for overseeing the people who came to see the exhibit. This year was her first time working that part of showing, but her third working with the gallery.
“For this exhibition since it’s so different and the pieces aren’t visually related to one another I’ve had to explain how the concept is the unifying aspect of the pieces,” Terry said. “Since I was one of the four people who hand-picked the work to go into the show and I wrote all the labels that had descriptions of the art, I was able to answer questions about the show extensively and I enjoyed that.”
Terry said this was one of her favorite exhibitions to discuss that she has helped with.
“I’m always more than happy to answer questions about current exhibitions but this one in particular was fun to talk about because of my knowledge, and I feel like that’s important from my experience,” Terry said. “If you’re knowledgeable about the work in the show the guests that come into the gallery respond to the work a little better because they are able to ask questions and gain a better understanding instead of just guessing what some of the art means.”