VISIONS: 50 years of Curating

Miller, age 9 by Liz Allen

VISIONS: 50 Years of Curating

Northlight Gallery celebrates 50 years with an exhibition featuring the creative works of its curators since its establishment in 1972. Northlight Gallery was founded on the Tempe campus by Professor Jack Stuler and MFA photo students at a time when the medium was struggling to be recognized locally as a fine art. Now five decades later, photography and related digital technologies dominate contemporary art as well as our daily lives. 

In addition to photographic works by Stuler the exhibition VISIONS: 50 years of Curating will include portraits by William Jenkins who was hired as professor of photography and director of Northlight Gallery after serving as a curator of photography at George Eastman House. Professor Emeritus James Hajicek’s collaborative works with Carol Panaro-Smith explore the history of photography through processes like photogenic drawing. Hajicek, in addition to serving as gallery director, promoted growth of the Northlight Collection through an investigation of the medium’s various processes. Former professor Bill Jay will be represented by his portraits of photography visionaries like Andre Kertezs, Josef Koudelka and John Szarkowski. Jay ran the Photo Studies program at ASU while overseeing the gallery. Margaret Moore who assisted Jay in the development of the Photo Studies program will be represented by prints from the permanent collection. Professor Stephen Marc and Richard Laugharn who served briefly as directors will share selections of larger photographic projects. Mary Virginia Swanson and Mary Anne Redding will share books that they have published edited or contributed to through essays. Liz Allen, the longest serving curator of Northlight Gallery, combines 21st century digital technology with the wet plate collodion process from 1851 to create portraits of family members that serve as a metaphor for the resilience of families recovering from trauma.

Under Allen’s direction since 1999, Northlight Gallery at the ASU Herberger Institute's School of Art has exhibited a broad spectrum of photo-based work by emerging, underrepresented and internationally recognized artists. The gallery serves the university community and the public with exhibitions and gallery talks by national and international artists and is vital to the education of students earning a degree in photography.

Join us in the gallery on April 1 and 15 for artist talks by James Hajicek, Richard Laugharn, Stephen Marc and Liz Allen. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., talks begin at 6:30 p.m.

Talks can be attended virtually through the link below.

Topic: VISIONS: 50 years of Curating

Time: April 1, 2022 6 p.m. and April 15, 2022 6 p.m. Arizona

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Image credit: Liz Allen © Miller, age 9, 2015, wet plate collodion from digital file

Liz Allen
School of Art
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Northlight Gallery
Free and open to the public