Gallery

Mikael Kennedy Comes to First Light

Photo by Mikael Kennedy
First Light Studios will host an artist’s reception this Friday, Feb. 8, from 6-9:30 p.m. for photographer Mikael Kennedy, whose work will be featured through sugaring season. A Randolph native, Kennedy (RUHS ‘97), now lives and works in New York City, and is the author of the internationally acclaimed Polaroid travel blog, Passport to Trespass.

Kennedy’s development as an artist of note has been hard fought. He writes in his blog: “In 2002, I was 23 years old. David Lamb and I were leaving the blood bank in Seattle where we went twice a week to make $45 selling our blood. We’d ride the bus through the dark and grey days, home to the house on Keystone where David would sit in the basement recording folk songs into a broken tape recorder while his wife, my little brother, and I wandered the city taking pictures.

“We were broke. I sold my blood to buy expired Polaroid film where I could find it, and when that didn’t work I would steal it. I had started carrying an old Polaroid SX70 camera with me everywhere I went back in 1999. We had no jobs, we had no plan, we had piled six of us and a dog into a van and had driven straight across from Massachusetts to Washington for no reason other than to find a new place to live…

“And so that is what this is, it’s 10 years of no plan, of wandering around with a Polaroid camera. Some of these are the people who I walked with and some are the people whose paths I crossed. The times when things seemed most desperate are when I felt most alive; like waking up shivering on piles of life jackets in the hull of a boat next to Sohrob and thinking it was the most wonderful place to be, because I felt alive, and that was what mattered. Since I was a teenager watching my older brother ride freight trains around the country I have always said the only reason to live is for what I would call a ‘life lived;’ a life full of experiences either good or bad. So we’d win by taking the wrong way, we would wander, gather these experiences one by one and build something out of them.”

Kennedy’s Polaroid work is represented by the Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art Gallery of New York City. His photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, Nylon, Dazed & Confused, Blown (UK), Cosmoplotian, GQ.com, Esquire.com, TimeMagazine.com, and Newsweek.com. He won “Cover of the Year” in Munich at the 2011 BCP Awards for EB Magazine featuring a photograph from his series “The Odysseus.”

First Light’s First Annual Holiday Show!

We are delighted to announce our First Light Studios Holiday Show and Party, opening this Friday (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) and Saturday (1 to 4 p.m.)

Works whimsical and inspiring comprise First Light Studios’ Christmas Show, opening this weekend. Gathered here is 19th- and 20th-century folk art fit for holiday giving.

These pieces are grouped with original works by area craftspeople and fine artists, creating a festive holiday display.

Included are the amazing, and very affordable, folk art boxes of Braintree’s Brian Jones, photography by Ethan Hubbard of Chelsea, and fine art by Karen Petersen of Braintree and Jim Sardonis of Randolph. James Whitehead of Randolph is represented with sculpture welded from old tools, and the quintessential holiday gift, maple syrup by Braintree’s Jan Gray, will be sold in all sizes, grades B and fancy. Finally, art by Paul Calter and Bob Eddy are also included.

Come lift a glass of good cheer, join in songs and merriment of the season, and give thanks for the abundant blessings we all share.

First Light Studios is located on the corner of Pleasant Street and Randolph Avenue in Randolph; with the entrance to the second floor on Pleasant Street. For directions, click here.

There truly is something here for every budget! We hope you will join us.

Artist’s Talks at First Light

"Buddhist Monk. Bagan, Myanmar (Burma). 2008" By Seth Butler

First Light Studios is pleased to announce two up-coming artist’s talks by photographer Seth Butler.

BURMA: THE MIDDLE WAY

Butler, whose show “Tattered” is currently on display at the First Light gallery, will discuss his overall approach to photography in the vein of the social landscape. Along with thoughts on Buddhism in the current political climate of Myanmar (Burma), Butler’s talk will include topics of working with photography in long-form narrative, finding photographic subjects, overall composition, color harmony and methods for working with available light. Along with Momenta Workshops, Butler has co-instructed and lead photography workshops to Myanmar (Burma) on several occasion during the last three years.

This artist talk will take place Saturday, September 25 at 2 p.m. in the gallery.

PHOTOGRAPHY AS A CATALYST FOR POSITIVE CHANGE

A discussion of Butler’s influences in the history of the photographic medium. This will include a review of noted documentary photographers and their work in the interest of creating a dialog for positive social change. Butler will also discuss his recent teaching work in the interest of pairing photographers with non-profit organizations to create an expanding marketplace in the context of a shrinking journalism & editorial news market.

This artist talk will take place Sunday, October 3 at 2 p.m. in the gallery.

And, of course, don’t miss ‘Tattered’

Tattered is Seth Butler’s documentary photo essay investigating the principle identity, misuse, commodification and desecration of the American flag in the context of the U.S. Flag Code. From Ground Zero to Iwo Jima to the surface of the moon, the American flag stands as the most ubiquitous, evocative, and complex symbol of America’s self–image. World events have recently led to a surge in public display—and desecration—of the flag, and redoubled interest in the nation’s psychology. If we are searching for who we are, America, we can find no better point of focus than our own Stars and Stripes.

The exhibition benefits The Veteran’s Place Inc., a transitional housing facility combined with assistive services for Homeless Veterans within Central Vermont. Twenty percent of all gross sales from the exhibition and one hundred percent of proceeds from a print raffle will be donated to he Veteran’s Place Inc.

Seth Butler’s “Tattered”

"Flag Draped on Shoulder, New York, NY, 2007" by Seth Butler is one of the photographs featured in the new show, "Tattered", at First Light Studios in Randolph. It opens Friday, Sept. 10.

“Tattered,” a photo essay about the American Flag by Barnard photographer Seth Butler, opens at Randolph’s First Light Studios Friday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.

Butler has worked on “Tattered” since 2002, when he received a BFA in photography from Montseratt College of Art in Beverly, Mass. While pursuing this project, Butler has become an accomplished freelance photographer and has worked for the world-renowned National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry.

For this exhibit, the artist links images of the flag with sections of the United States Flag Code. The code is lengthy, and its contents are not widely known. With each image in this exhibit, the viewer is invited to consider a portion of the code paired with a particular use of the flag.

In one instance, a woman wears a blouse emblazoned with the flag, and Butler juxtaposes it with a passage from the code that reads, “no part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform…the flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” The artist thereby invites the viewer into an intimate view of governmental policy surrounding the flag, and how that corresponds with popular cultural understanding, and flag use in America today.

Butler was born in 1979 in Beverly, Mass. and raised in Barnard. As a boy, he found an acute interest in photography inspired by his grandfather, Curtis Tuttle, who spent hours in the darkroom making pictures for the family. At the age of 12, Butler was given his first camera, and by 13, he was mixing chemistry, processing film and printing his first pictures. At Montseratt College of Art, he undertook formal study of photography, gaining a broad appreciation for the medium through its history of decisive moments, as well as learning to trust his intuition as a documentary photographer.

“Tattered,” will be on exhibit at First Light through October 3, with a number of gallery events scheduled. On September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there will be an artist talk from 2-4 p.m. On September 25, from 2-4 p.m., Butler will present an imaged artist talk entitled, “Myanmar (Burma) The Middle Way.” Finally, on October 23, Butler will lead a discussion concerning “Photography as a Catalyst for Positive Social Change.”

First Light Studios is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 pm., Sundays from 1-4 p.m., and by appointment. For more information go online to www.firstlightstudios.net and www.sethbutler.com/tattered.

same same, but different

Bringing home the rice; Ban NaKaang, Laos, 2008

Coming January 29, 2010:

First Light Studios presents “Same Same, but Different”, a solo photography exhibit of the work of Lance Terry, a Randolph native who has traveled extensively in southeast Asia. From 5:30 ’til 8:30 Friday night, sixty of Lance’s prints will be on display and available for purchase by donation to benefit earthquake relief in Haiti.

To see an online gallery and order prints, follow this link: firstlight.zenfolio.com/lanceterry

Below is the article from Thursday’s Herald of Randolph.

A Compassionate Eye

A unique photographic exhibit this weekend by Randolph native Lance Terry will turn his own Southeast Asian humanitarian quest into an opportunity to help vicims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Terry’s striking images, taken during travels in Laos in 2008, will be on display at First Light Studios on Pleasant Street this Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday Jan. 30.

The more than 60 photographs in the exhibit will be given away in exchange for donations to Haitian relief. “Purchasers” can donate whatever amount they wish.

“First Light Gallery has provided all the printing and exhibition costs, so that 100% of each donation will go directly to immediate relief work in Haiti,” Terry explained.

The exhibit’s title is “Same Same But Different.”

Mekong leap; Don Khon, Laos, 2008

Terry, a Randolph native and RUHS graduate, received his degree in photojournalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Broadcasting and Telecommunication at Arizona State University in 1995. His mentor, photojournalism department chair Frank Hoy, “saw something in me and my work I didn’t know or trust when I started out,” Terry said. “He really took me under his wing, encouraged me, boosting my confidence.”

In the 15 years since university, Terry has pursued a bit of everything. He was a substitute teacher at RUHS; a reporter for The Herald of Randolph; a picture framer on Maui; a freelance photojournalist and wedding photographer in Arizona and Mexico; a waiter in Manhattan, Jackson, Wyoming, Kansas City, Cheltenham, England, and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. He worked for a non-profit outside Washington, D.C., and edited a food magazine in England.

Through all these changes, Terry kept chronicling life through his lens, so that his photographs are a remarkable record of his personal journey.

Off to Alaska

“Four years ago, I decided to ‘throw it all up’ and move to Alaska,” he relates. “I wanted my life to be less about work and where I lived and what car I drove, and more about doing what I really wanted to do.” For four years, that was pretty much back-country skiing, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, camping and fishing. The photography remained a constant.

In 2008, Terry left Alaska for three months and traveled to Southeast Asia. The photo-journalism side of him wanted to photograph Laos.

“Laos (pronounced lao by native speakers) is the most heavily bombed country on the planet,” he explained. “More bombs were dropped on Laos by the U.S. during our secret war there from 1964 to 1973 than during all of World War II by every nation in the European, Pacific and African theaters combined. I wanted to go to see the country and to give something back.”

Terry admits, too, that there were deeper, personal reasons motivating his trip to Laos.

“My younger brother, Jake, committed suicide in early 2008. After he was gone, I came to the realization that living for myself wasn’t enough. It wasn’t fulfilling.

“After Jake was gone, I needed to make a positive difference in the life of one person. A life for a life.”

Federal stimulus checks were handed out in 2008, and Terry was determined to use that money for good. He flew to Hanoi, traveled by bus and boat for three days deep into Laos, and then walked five miles through mud-slick jungle and rice paddy to the village of Ben Na Kaang.

Giving Back

There he met a six-year-old orphaned boy, Sahn, being raised by his grandparents. Just $180 is needed to take care of Sahn for one year. Terry gave that sum to Sahn’s family. When he left, he promised he would return a year later.

“I spent the next year raising money by selling photographs from the first trip,” Terry said. Taking the profits from the prints he sold, $815, he did return. In 2009, he stayed for two months and volunteered, at the villagers’ request, to teach English to the children.

Once again, Sahn’s family was given the gift of one year’s support. With the remainder, Terry sought to help the village with the education of their young. Supplies were purchased for the school; the good work of the teachers was recognized with a grant of one month’s salary, $40, to each; and finally, a grant equaling 80% of a year’s tuition was given to the parents of each child in the school.

“For the education I’ve received, I couldn’t be more thankful. I want to give that gift back in every way I can,” Terry said.

A skiing accident in April 2008 left Terry’s right femur snapped in two places. Surgery in Alaska permitted his second trip to southeast Asia last summer, but by fall, it was evident his leg wasn’t healing properly. Repeat surgery at Dartmouth on December 30 has meant long hours of bed rest at his father’s Braintree Hill home.

Three weeks ago, Terry’s current work was viewed by Herald photographer Bob Eddy. Quickly, plans were made for a show at Eddy’s First Light Studios in Randolph.

In response to the earthquake in Haiti, First Light and Terry are donating the prints of the exhibit to those motivated to make a contribution toward Haitian relief.

“We hope that the turnout for the opening is huge, because we want to give all the prints away,” smiled Bob Eddy.

The show will be open two days only, Friday, Jan. 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 2.

Before the opening, Terry’s works may be viewed online at www.FirstLight.zenfolio.com/lanceterry.