© Jock Sturges - Madeline, Woodstock, NY - Courtesy CPW
© David Hilliard - Weather Gathering – 2010 - Courtesy CPW
© Ed Garbarino - Clio and Calliope – 1998 - Courtesy CPW
© Edwin Huddle - Costume Party – 1997 - Courtesy CPW
© Emma Dodge Hanson – Untitled – 2001 - Courtesy CPW
© Gene Fischer - Siblings, Clock – 2008 - Courtesy CPW
© Jock Sturges - Heather, Emily, Madeline, Rochelle, and Brittany, Woodstock, NY – 2003 - Courtesy CPW
© Justyna Badach – Untitled – 2008/2011 - Courtesy CPW
© Lydia Panas - Untitled #8 – 1998 - Courtesy CPW
© Patricia Decker - Madde Under Her Leopard, Laying Down – 1993 - Courtesy CPW
The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) presents the exhibition Becoming Muses, co-curated by CPW’s Program Associate Akemi Hiatt and Education Coordinator Lindsay Stern, which presents a collection of portraits featuring the children of three Woodstock families who have modeled for CPW’s workshops since 1997.
Over the past 14 years, Emily and Madeline Sparer (b. 1985 and 1988, respectively), Rochelle, Heather, and Brittany Roman-Green (b. 1985, 1986, and 1988), and Rachel, Daniel, and Natalie George (b.1994, 1997, and 1999), have welcomed master photographers and CPW’s workshop students into their homes, engaging the CPW community in their roles as models, muses, teaching assistants, and hosts to workshops led by such luminaries such as David Hilliard, Andrea Modica, and Jock Sturges. The instructors and students often maintained communication after the workshop had formally concluded, resulting in the families’ accumulating an impressive collection of gifted prints that charts their children’s growth in Woodstock – from childhood, to adolescence, to the teenage years, and up to young adulthood.
Inspired by these archives, Becoming Muses presents images filled with themes of youth, coming of age in Woodstock, and siblinghood, focusing particularly on the bond formed between sisters. The selected works highlight the evolving voices that the models assume, expressing the unique experience of growing up before the camera, their engagement with make-believe, and the potential for acting within photography. In having become comfortable with one another and the camera, they begin to openly engage the students as both subjects and teaching assistants. Their role in the educational dynamic becomes multi-faceted; as seasoned models they draw out inspiring imagery from students, and as longtime col¬laborators with CPW’s workshops they enhance and deepen the study of environmental portraiture with their unique perspectives.
As Emily Sparer, who began modeling for CPW’s workshops in 1997, described it: “The first few years were costume parties for us. We got to play dress-up in the woods and have our photos taken with our best friends and sister(s). We had a blast – which allowed us to be comfortable in front of the camera, and open up to the photographers. As we got older, it became less about the clothes and more about the art, more about the process, more about bringing out a dif¬ferent side of ourselves.”
Over the years through the Woodstock Photography Workshops, CPW has directly fostered a community of photogra¬phers who continue to enliven the artistic legacy of the region long after each class, ensuring that the lessons and passions stirred here in Woodstock continue to play a pivotal force in each photographer’s growth. Ranging stylistically – from intimate, black and white portraiture to color work that draws out childhood performance and fantasy – the selected works, all of which were created in and around the Sparer’s home, form a multifaceted exhibition. Together these images acknowledge the deeply collaborative relationship between a 34-year old organization dedicated to photography in all its forms, the instructors who help CPW realize its mission, the students who grow and develop creatively as a result of their time in Woodstock, and the commitment to the artistic expression which the Sparer, Roman-Green, and George families help nourish.
On view until August 28, 2011
The Center for Photography at Woodstock
59 Tinker St Woodstock