Join us on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. for our Art in Context Lecture: Kalamazoo: a Place, a River and Home by Mary Whalen, Photographer and teaching artist at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and EFA/Education for the Arts.
Reception to follow; light refreshments with wine/beer bar
Free and open to the public
Mary Whalen’s photographic work is a testament to her ongoing evolution as a visual artist. This journey continually incorporates and expounds upon exploring techniques, some of which harken back to the 1800’s and the creation of photography. Through time, these techniques have been paired with new ideas and creative concepts that have added immense depth to her body of work.
Whalen will discuss this evolution and body of work, which serves as a personal history of an artist, educator, and member of her community and brings viewers into that life and place.
Whalen’s Kalamazoo River photographic project, which is represented by Kalamazoo River 2013 (in the Framing Moments exhibition) is part of a series of wet plate collodion tintypes documenting the Kalamazoo River at various access points. The series offers a view of the Kalamazoo River and environment from the lush botanical growth of black willow, may apple and box elder that holds the banks to the post industrial detritus of the last century when Kalamazoo was the second largest paper producer in the country. The wet plate process and the high resolution that it allows presents detailed views of the landscape along the river that the day-to-day passersby often overlook.
Whalen is chairperson of the photography and digital media program in the Kirk Newman Art School at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts where she teaches several classes. She is also a teaching artist in the Education For the Arts program in the Kalamazoo Area Schools System.