The Columns

“Scanner as Camera” Opens at Staniar Gallery

— by on January 7th, 2008

An exhibition of works by eight contemporary artists who use the flatbed scanner as a digital camera will open in Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery on Monday, January 7, 2008 and will remain on view until Friday, February 15.

“Scanner as Camera” was co-curated by Assistant Professor of Art Ruth Adams, at the University of Kentucky, in conjunction with Washington and Lee University Assistant Professor of Art Christa Kreeger Bowden. The eight artists in the exhibition use this experimental, computer-generated photographic medium in diverse ways but share the common denominator of the scanner’s eccentric and unique visual means of recording and interpreting objects and images.

A joint lecture by Adams and Bowden will take place in Wilson Hall on Thursday evening, Jan. 10, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the gallery and Wilson Hall atrium. The public is invited to attend the opening lecture and reception and to visit the exhibit while it is on view.

The artists in “Scanner as Camera,” who are based in various regions of the United States, include Ruth Adams, Stephen Althouse, Christa Kreeger Bowden, Darryl Curran, Valerie Mendoza, J. Seeley, Rhona Shand and Maggie Taylor. Each artist uses the medium in a different way and with distinct intention and subject matter.

Bowden and Taylor, for example, at times begin with 19th century photography such as ambrotypes or tintypes, which are then scanned and digitally manipulated. Taylor’s resulting artworks have an almost fantastical narrative content, while Bowden’s work, whose most recent series has tracked the chance finding of small dead birds and insects, conveys a kind of luminous melancholy. Darryl Curran considers the photographic rendering of three-dimensional space through the placement of objects on the scanner’s bed in front of or behind each other. Rhona Shand fuses illustration with photography by scanning both her drawings and photographs.

All of the artists in the exhibition combine and manipulate images in various ways through the sophisticated use of the scanner, digital imaging and digital printing. J. Seeley, for example, “pokes things around with a chopstick” to improve the composition, while Valeria Mendoza digitally manipulates the scanned self-portraits re-enacting her insomnia into a kind of periodic table of sleepless nights.

Staniar Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary and art historical works in all media by regionally, nationally and internationally recognized artists. Its central purposes is to serve as a teaching space, presenting multi-disciplinary topics through art and dialogue. Located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Washington and Lee’s campus, the gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the academic year. For additional information please call (540) 886-8861.

Image credit:

Christa Kreeger Bowden
Antheraea polyphemus, 21st century
2007
40″ x 40″
pigmented ink jet print from scan