Tag Archives: Upstate New York

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Adam LaPorta

In 2001 I was given a Pentax k1000 camera as a gift from my parents. It was a send off gift as I was headed to art school that year.

Little did I know that I would always be drawn to the lens.

Over the past eight months I have realized the gift I was given was too far removed from my life, and in January 2018 I stepped back into my role as an artist.

Untitled-1

Artist Adam LaPorta

I wanted to reignite an idea I had from 2006. The idea related to my earlier macro works, which I always wanted to take it to an elevated level.

Capturing patterns and shape at macro and microscopic magnifications distorted the placement or recognition of something someone so commonly understood, to becoming unfamiliar with it.

Below are images shot from my years at the Cleveland Institute of Art, 2004 – 2006.

93456941_e34e66305d_o

Earlier work by Adam LaPorta

108603926_cb74e749cb_o

Earlier work by Adam LaPorta

88816843_d210ebfa27_o

Earlier work by Adam LaPorta

I have always been intrigued by the repetitious and structured patterns life so beautifully creates. We pass by so many places/items daily and never think to give something a different look…a new perspective.

70613749_199c2d0806_o

Earlier work by Adam LaPorta

In taking my process to an elevated level I began to explore life from new heights. Turning a path someone so commonly walks on, into something graphic and different, giving them a new perspective.

Me_D

The artist getting a new perspective

What makes this process so exciting to me is the ability to remove our awareness of place, taking a viewer’s eye into patterns and shapes by abstracting space.

The surroundings of color, objects, weather, and seasons all play an important role influencing my canvas.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0076.JPG

“Unknown #3″ by Adam LaPorta, included in the Land & Sea exhibition

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0041.JPG

There is still so much to learn about my process, especially finding out how different seasons will influence what I capture and why I want to capture an area.

Right now I am just grateful to be creating once again. I have many ideas I would like to bring to fruition. If I continue to be consistent with my work then my ideas will continue to consistently grow into stronger creations!


Adam LaPorta is one of 28 artists featured in “Land & Sea”, a national juried exhibition of landscapes and seascapes juried by Deirdre Aureden, director of programs and special projects at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY. His photographs “Unknown #1–3″ won a juror’s choice award. The exhibition runs through June 29, 2018.

Inside the artist’s studio with Harry Littell

Exploring near Horseheads. Photo by Roger Freeman

Exploring near Horseheads. Photo by Roger Freeman

I live in Ithaca, NY, where I’m a teacher (Tompkins Cortland Community College) and fine art photographer. I think of my studio broadly as the upstate New York region. A sense of place is important in my work.

House with asphalt shingles and vinyl siding, Union Springs, 2016

House with asphalt shingles and vinyl siding, Union Springs, 2016

In 2016 I began a collaborative project with friend and writer Ron Ostman to explore the upstate cultural landscape including houses, schools, businesses, industries, theaters, signs, thrift stores, and places of worship.  The unadorned vernacular architecture of the old farm house above attracted me with the mundane beauty of its simple lines and patterns.

Rhinehart Sand and Gravel, Corning,2017

Rhinehart Sand and Gravel, Corning, 2017

We strove for a  focused aimlessness in our weekly treks. We had no fixed destination. The key was to stop. Often. A main interest became sites that reflect the flux of the built environment. We saw evidence of industries in decline or completely gone. The hulking rusted machinery at a gravel mining operation near Corning is a reminder of a different era.

Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant, Aurora, 2017

Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant, Auburn, 2017

We also saw new industry. The  Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant near Auburn is a high tech milk processing plant serving a collective of dairy farmers, its pristine facade rising above the surrounding agricultural land.

Petrified Creatures Museum, Richfield Springs

Petrified Creatures Museum, Richfield Springs, 2017

I keep my photo technique simple. For this project I used a full frame mirrorless digital camera and two manual focus prime lenses, a 35mm and a 50mm. Some of the artists I look to for inspiration include Walker Evans, Edward Hopper, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Lee Friedlander, and Thomas Struth.

Elmira/Horseheads contact sheet

Elmira/Horseheads contact sheet

Double page spread

Double page spread

Towards the end of 2017 I began to put the project into book form.

InDesign layout in progress

InDesign layout in progress

I use InDesign to combine photographs and text. It’s challenging and fun to find visual and thematic connections between images. The screen grab above shows a glimpse of the process involved in finding a pair of images for a double-page spread. Images that don’t make the cut live in the limbo of the pasteboard outside the page layout. Ron wrote an introduction about our process and an afterward with thoughts on the state of upstate.

Storefronts

Storefronts

The shop signs in the photos above provided an idea for the title of the book, as seen in the cover image below.

Cover, UNROOM: New 2 U

Cover, UNROOM: New 2 U

I used MagCloud, a print on demand publisher, to print UNROOM: New 2 U.  Signed copies are available at Main Street Arts. The book can also be purchased directly from MagCloud.

Printing and framing

Printing and framing

I print and frame exhibition prints in my office at home. Here are two images being prepared for the exhibit at Main Street Arts. A big thanks to Brad for his interest in this project!

Dundee storefront

Dundee storefront, 2017

Ron and I are continuing to work on two offshoots from this project. One is a series of photographs of storefronts,  such as the above second-hand store in Dundee.

Robinson's Wood Shop, Cortland

Robinson’s Wood Shop, Cortland, 2017

Another is a series about upstate New York people and their stories, such as this environmental portrait of Steve Robinson at his wood mill in Cortland.

Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers

Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers

Ron and I have collaborated on a number of books about historical photographers, the most recent of which is Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers: The Photographic Legacy of William T. Clarke, published by Penn State University Press in fall 2016. For more about this project see the New York Times Lens Blog.


See 12 of Harry Littell’s photographs in Unknown, Overlooked, and Unfamiliar at Main Street Arts on display through Friday, March 30, 2018. The exhibition can also be viewed on the gallery’s Artsy page: Artsy.net/mainstreetarts.

Q & A with Bryan Hopkins

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Bryan Hopkins

Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

Ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

Q: Where are you from originally and where are you now?
A: Philadelphia, PA; Buffalo, NY

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a ceramic artist?
A: After taking a ceramics class in college to fulfill an art requirement.

Q: Did you make other types of artwork before finding ceramics? Do you currently make other work?
A: no, and no

Q: Do you have an artistic hero or an artist you look up to?
A: No hero. I love the work of Bodil Manz.

Q: What is your largest source of inspiration
A: The vessel.

Q: Do you look forward to opening the kiln? Or do you wince at the thought of something going wrong in there?
A: yes and yes.

Q: What is it like being a ceramic artist in Upstate NY?
A: Similar to anywhere else I have been, only colder.

Q: Where else are you showing your work this summer or fall?
A: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and on Objective Clay.

Q: Is there anything strange or unique that people might not know about you?
A: I have an obsession with bicycles that borders on addiction.

Work by Bryan Hopkins

Work by Bryan Hopkins

Cups by Bryan Hopkins

Cups by Bryan Hopkins

Bowl by Bryan Hopkins

Bowl by Bryan Hopkins

Work by Bryan Hopkins

Work by Bryan Hopkins

Where can people see more of your work/follow you?
Websites : www.hopkinspottery.com and www.objectiveclay.com
Instagram: bryanshopkins

Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Bryan Hopkins
Buffalo, NY
www.hopkinspottery.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

Bryan Hopkins

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

New Work by Bryan Hopkins

 

Michael Hughes
Syracuse, NY
www.mrhstudio.com

Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes

Artwork by Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Porcelain and Stoneware Bowls by Michael Hughes

 

Bethany Krull
Buffalo, NY
www.bethanykrull.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Four Hungry Birds by Bethany Krull

 

Ashley Lyon
Hornell, NY
www.ashleylyon.com

Hornell ceramic artist Ashley Lyon

Ashley Lyon

Artwork by Hornell ceramic arist Ashley Lyon

Bent Leg by Ashley Lyon

 

Colleen McCall
Elmira, NY
www.colleenmccallceramics.com

Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Colleen McCall

Artwork by Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Golden Basin Bowl by Colleen McCall

 

Peter Pincus
Rochester, NY
www.peterpincus.com

Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Peter Pincus

Artwork by Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Vases by Peter Pincus

 

Joanna Poag
Rochester, NY
www.joannapoag.com

Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Joanna Poag

Artwork by Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Flourish by Joanna Poag

 

Jeremy Randall
Tully, NY
www.jeremyrandallceramics.com

Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Jeremy Randall

Artwork by Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Mugs by Jeremy Randall

 

Jody Selin
Buffalo, NY
www.jodyselin.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Jody Selin

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Sculpture by Jody Selin

Kala Stein
Canadice, NY
www.kalastein.com

Canadice ceramic artist Kala Stein

Kala Stein

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Kala Stein

Umbra by Kala Stein

 

Kate Symonds
Canandaigua, NY
www.coachstreetclay.com

Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Kate Symonds

Artwork by Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Teapot by Kate Symonds

 

Hannah Thompsett
Alfred, NY
www.hannahthompsett.com

Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

Hannah Thompsett

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

 New Work by Hannah Thompsett

 

Virginia Torrence
Alfred, NY
www.virginiatorrence.com

Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Virginia Torrence

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Stay tuned for more information on the Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational. Check our Facebook page or website for more updates.

A Studio Visit with Ceramic Artist, Peter Pincus

Main Street Arts did a studio visit this week with Peter Pincus, a Rochester-based ceramics artist with an upcoming solo exhibition in our main gallery space. “Sleep, In Spite of the Storm” will feature Pincus’ functional and nonfunctional geometric-patterned ceramics.

Peter Pincus and his assistants, Hannah Thompsett and Liz Tomlinson

Peter Pincus and his assistants, Liz Tomlinson (left) and Hannah Thompsett (right)

Sleep, In Spite of The Storm, celebrates the intimate relationship. On view will be porcelain pots and vessels, which are in this case presented as a collection of sculptural groupings. He says, “It’s a unique challenge to consider pottery as a premier form of abstract expression, carrying with it much more than the ability to contain and serve. This show is strongly autobiographical in nature. My goal is for these pots to be concrete reflections of my experience as a husband, father, early career artist and educator. It is uncommon ground and has made my recent months in the studio thrilling and captivating.”

Studio assistant and artist, Hannah Thompsett

Studio assistant and artist, Hannah Thompsett

Studio assistant and artist, Liz Tomlinson

Studio assistant and artist, Liz Tomlinson

Peter Pincus

Peter Pincus at work in his studio

Peter Pincus and his ceramics

Peter Pincus handling his ceramic works

Exhibition Dates: July 12–August 29, 2014

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 12, 2014 3pm-4pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 12, 2014, 4pm–7pm

Gallery Hours: TuesdayThursday, 11am–6pm and FridaySaturday, 11am–7pm.

Peter Pincus' upcoming exhibition, "Sleep, In Spite of the Storm"

Peter Pincus’ upcoming exhibition, “Sleep, In Spite of the Storm” features functional and nonfunctional ceramics with geometric patterns