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This summer, two of John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step AlumniKathy Beal  and April Hartford completed cornerstone projects in Santa Fe, and their success was enhanced by their support of each other.

The second week in June, Kathy Beal debuted her new active wear line, “Embodywear Fashions – Fit For Your Inner Goddess”, on the runways of Santa Fe Fashion Week. Her assistant for the event – April Hartford. Kathy reflected “it was getting close to show time, and I’d been so focused on getting the

Kathy reflected “it was getting close to show time, and I’d been so focused on getting the new product in and the website launched, that I neglected to look for an assistant to help me out during the three-day show. So I sent a last minute text to April, and she replied almost immediately – absolutely, I’ll be there! Really, I couldn’t have pulled it off without her help.” One benefit for April – she got to be one of the first to try on Kathy’s new fashions! Here

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In mid-July, April Hartford was busy preparing for her opening “Transgender, One Person’s Journey” an exhibition of not only her incredible photographs portraying her journey, but some of the best educational materials available today for the transgender community. Shortly before her opening, she went to Kathy’s studio to put together a few outfits to wear during the exhibition and Embodywear Fashions quickly became a sponsor for April’s exhibit.

April shared, “Kathy has been instrumental in both feedback of my images and exhibition set up. One issue I face with such a personal story being laid out for all to see is a sense of protection. Wearing outfits designed by such a special friend helps ground me when at my studio. Though our work is so different, we come together through shared experiences and friends helping each other move past any obstacles or stumbling blocks in our paths.”

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Magic really does happen when artist’s get together!

If you’re in Santa Fe, New Mexico …

Experience April’s exhibit thru October 7, 2017.

Transgender, One Person’s Journey

April Hartford Studio

539 Old Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe, NM

Open for public viewing Tuesday’s, Friday’s, and Saturday’s from 1-6pm through October 7, 2017

April@aprilhartford.me

Tour the studio virtually here.

Follow April on Facebook.

Learn more about April Hartford here.

Contact Kathy for a tour of her studio and an expert fitting for your own at Embodywear Fashions!

Kathy@kathybeal.com

Visit Embodywear Fashions by Kathy Beal.

View the runway show here.

Like Embodywear Fashions on Facebook.

Learn more about Kathy Beal here. 

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Sam Krisch opens his second solo exhibit of the year “Above Zero: Photographs From The Polar Region”  Sunday, June 14 at the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania.

In this post, Sam shares what he learned on his journey to creative success. You’ll find it inspiring and helpful.

Here are a few highlights.

“John Paul’s mentorship as well as the inspiration and encouragement of countless others led me to work harder, to dig deeper, to find new places: physical locations, internal emotions, and fresh ways of seeing. Hard work and constant study added to my skills. Through the fellowship of an international group of artists I found community and stimulation: a vast ocean of knowledge and inspiration.”

“Each particular curator sees an artist’s work in a particular way, interprets it, and often brings out a way of seeing the work that the artist hadn’t considered. A great pleasure for me is working with professionals who approach the presentation of my work in a different way. They ask probing questions for the lectures, gallery guides, and docent training. I always learn something from exhibiting my work and I am often surprised by people’s reaction to it. Some are emotionally moved, some want to know technical details, some may not like it. It’s the risk you take when you exhibit.”

Read more

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Alumni Jerry Grasso’s photographs are featured in the current issue of LensWork magazine. It’s a dream come true for him. Congratulations Jerry!

“One of my “bucket list” items was to be published in what I consider to be one of the most prestigious magazines dedicated to the promotion of fine art photography in the world today: LensWork Magazine. I have been a subscriber since 2004. In fact, I credit the podcasts of editor Brooks Jensen as one of the early influences on my artistic training. There are so many great, brief articles related to photography; more than enough food for thought.

I am humbled and honored to say that my series, “Moorish Influences”, has been accepted and will appear in the December issue #115 of LensWork. My interview and images will also appear on the Extended Edition dvd. And, one of my images even made the cover of the issue!

This series is an exploration of the progression of the impact the Moors had on Spanish architecture from 711AD to 1492AD. This impact can best be described as ordered repletions, radiating structures, and rhythmic metric patterns. These designs captured in my work are based in spirituality. The Islamic view of the world in general emphasizes and symbolizes the infinite nature of the one God. For them, there was an infinite pattern of forms that extend beyond the world and symbolizes the infinite essence of God.

I would like to thank John Paul for his training, guidance and support over the years. Also, I would like to thank my fellow Next Steppers for their encouragement and artistic suggestions that have helped me solidify my goals and techniques.

My dedicated perseverance and determination continues to sustain my passion and my vision. I look forward to my continued growth as I explore new projects and experiment with new visions. And thanks for indulging me in my moment of success!”

Order your copy here.

View Jerry’s statement here.

Find out more about Jerry Grasso here.

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By Olaf Willoughby

“A Visual Conversation sets up a rhythm, a pattern of communicating in which images fit with one another, with a chosen text, a piece of music or artwork of any kind. It helps develop our voice and vision.

Working through a series of Visual Conversations, each becomes a stepping stone which exercises the creative muscles and takes us beyond our regular shooting routines.

Visual Conversations work so well because they are based on the centuries old principle of ‘call and response’. A tradition of improvised exchange evident in everything from Hindu spiritual chants to modern day blues/gospel and jazz. From Japanese Renga linked poetry circles to folded paper stories.

How does this work in practice? I select an image which resonates, share it with you and ask you to shoot an image which rhymes, fits or starts a conversation with the original. Pretty straightforward, although there are systematic approaches to doing this. And still more ways of building that into a dialogue.

Now what if I select a painting by Rothko, or a poem by Edgar Allen Poe or Roberta Flack singing, ‘The first time ever I saw your face’? It’s a little more difficult. It requires more intense study and understanding of the original work of art to interpret it photographically. It stretches our minds to think about art in new ways.

Or how about if we develop the conversation into a narrative through storytelling? There are multiple permutations leading into other exercises…. I’m sure you get the idea. Add into this group discussion and feedback and it becomes an exciting learning experience. Each call and response takes us out of our routine and asks us to think differently about our photography.

But that’s not all. What makes this special is that your creativity can be extended beyond assignments into the process itself. As you’d expect, some Conversations involve working solo but others take ‘the road less travelled’ and involve working together on shared projects.

There is a spectrum of co-operation in the arts. Whilst some prefer to write books alone in coffee shops, others operate in collectives. Some partner up at different stages in the production process (choreographer/dancer, author/editor) and some of the most famous simply collaborate. Think Lennon & McCartney, Picasso & Braque. Look around. Every movie, play, symphony, rock ballad, even architectural space and garden involves artists working together. Yet collaboration is rare in photography. There are examples like Bernd & Hilla Becher or today, the Starn Twins but they are few and far between.

Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the collaborative spirit in photo workshops. At the end of the day, participants gather to share their solo work and you can feel the buzz in the air as people are amazed at the different ways of seeing and shooting, even though they were often at the same location.

Sharing projects captures that buzz and helps us let go of the need to control. We both give and receive in creative decision making and come to see our own work in a different light.

I’ve experienced the benefits of Visual Conversations and collaborative projects first hand. They are fun but clearing the creative blocks arising from routine ways of working can be challenging.Expect to be jolted. But also expect to benefit from taking a different approach to your photography and returning to your personal work refreshed and enhanced.

I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with Eileen McCarney Muldoon, a talented photographic artist in Jamestown, Rhode Island. We’ve captured that creative buzz and put it into a workshop. We’d be delighted if you would check it out. Even better, the course includes complimentary access to Leica equipment.

Plus a guest appearance during the week from a world renowned digital artist. I’ll leave you to guess who that might be!”

For more information contact: olafwilloughby@gmail.com or emmimageloft@gmail.com

Next Step Alumni 2011 by Daspit, Gill, Bailey, Beal, Caponigro |

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Renaissance Fine Art & Design Gallery and John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni present a beautiful collection of their work May 20 – June 24, 2011. You are cordially invited to view this diverse work at the Renaissance Fine Art & Design Gallery, One South Range Line Road Carmel, IN. The opening for the exhibit will be Friday, May 20 at 5 pm. Many alumni will be on hand to discuss their work personally with you.

The exhibit and book contain the work of 22 artists, all from John Paul’s Next Step Alumni group, who met the rigorous criteria for the exhibition: each artist produced a cohesive body of work, an artist’s statement, a biography, a book, and a website.

The work, as diverse as the individuals, includes journalism, editorial, still life, floral, nude, landscape and abstraction, and is bound together by their community, their creativity, and the fearlessness in their search of their individual next steps.

View the exhibit catalog above.

Find out more about the exhibit here.

Find individual member’s books here.

Find out more about my Next Step Alumni here.

 

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White Sands : A Place of Being

A set of images with no words that evoke a sense of peace and admiration for the wonders of creation.

“One of those special, unique and majestic places that has been created as a sample and expression of beauty. Inspiring, sensual, magnificent exhibiting the touch of a master painter everywhere you look. To be in the Presence and surrounded by white sand as far as you can see, resounding with silence that penetrates the deepest part of being, with unending possibilities of capturing images, brands your soul forever!

Find the book here.

Learn more about Barbara Ventura here.

Contact Barabara Ventura at barbara@barbaraventura.com


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