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On Collecting

A deeper look into the art of collecting photography with PCNW community members

“I really don’t think of myself as a collector. It’s not about acquiring. It’s about  supporting. I have always loved supporting artists and purchased work from people who  create things that either evoke a memory or I am so enthralled with their creativity that I  need to have it,” – Constance Brinkley, PCNW Alumni

Lisa Ahlberg, a longtime PCNW supporter and 2021 Benefit Committee Member, recently talked with Constance Brinkley, her fellow photographer and community member about collecting art and what it has meant to her over the years. Read more from Lisa and Constance below and be on the lookout for additional conversations coming soon.

Constance Brinkley is a photographer and is passionate about supporting other artists. She’s an active member of the Photographic Center Northwest community, taking workshops, classes and exhibiting. She co-founded and exhibited her work at Studio F, a collaborative gallery in the Pioneer Square Tashiro Kaplan Building which hosted emerging and established artists working with photo based imagery 2011 – 2015. She has exhibited her work nationally in various juried shows and is currently part of the fotofemmes collective focused on photography projects. You can always find her participating in the PCNW Benefit and Auction and we are often seated together.  

Lisa: When and how did your love of collecting art start?  

Constance: I really don’t think of myself as a collector. It’s not about acquiring. It’s about  supporting. I have always loved supporting artists and purchased work from people who create things that either evoke a memory or I am so enthralled with their creativity that I need to have it.  

The first work I purchased was right out of college and created by a very good friend of  mine, Gary Jacobsen. He was an illustrator and graphic designer and we had been friends since high school. I loved the detail in his work and the humor he brought to his pieces. He has passed way and his spirit lives through the work I have on my walls. He was the major influence in my choice to support artists through the purchase of their work.  

I started acquiring photography when I attended the art walks in Pioneer Square in the 1980s. After I retired in 2010, another photographer and I decided we wanted to share our  street photography images and rented a space in the Tashiro Kaplan Building and  started Gallery F. This is where I started meeting other photographers and taking  classes at PCNW. I invited the Business Of Photography class to use the space for a  final showing of our work to promote our sales and some of them joined me in  participating as members at Gallery F for another 3 years. I have bought some  wonderful pieces from my fellow gallery friends and PCNW photographers including  Michelle Taul, Marcia Glover, Laura Sindell, Stacy Davis, Anna Ream, and Harini  Krishnamurthy.  

Lisa: Is there an emphasis to what you collect?  

Constance: I love street photography since that is what I am drawn to photograph. I look  for the humor and images that I wished I had taken! I love photographers who can  capture a great portrait and you feel their environment. I also like to photograph dance  and look for images with movement.

I collect because I know you, I like your work or it’s a memory jogger. Or I know I  couldn’t make it and wish I could! 

Lisa: Which was the first piece that made you feel like a collector? 

Constance: Well, I had already been acquiring some art work. But with photography, it  was seeing Carrie Mae Weems work in a museum. I was just taken aback by her work.  

I was with my mother and looking at a piece that had recently been acquired by the Seattle Art Museum and I turned to my mother and said I’m going to have a piece of her  work someday.  

And the next thing you know, the Photographic Center Northwest had a piece in the Benefit and I had to have it. So I bought one from The Kitchen Table Series. It is one of my favorite bodies of work that she has done.  

It’s the first piece that I purchased by someone that I didn’t personally know that inspired me to want to do portrait photography. And if also brings back memories of my time with my mother.  

So, I bought it. I had to kind of fight for it. PCNW’s auctions have a “Buy it Now” option and I did that to ensure that I got it. Someone else was bidding against  me. That was fun and PCNW even managed to get him the same piece and that sort of  brought us together. Every auction since, he has assured me he will outbid me.  

It was because of Carrie Mae Weem’s piece, I came to know LaToya Ruby Frazier.  When I read about her, I learned she had been mentored by Carrie Mae Weems. I was  lucky enough to have breakfast with LaToya here in Seattle through the PCNW. I went and was totally inspired by her and bought a beautiful piece of hers from her  The Notion of Family series when I visited Paris shortly afterwards. And another later on  another one from her series on the Flint water crisis from a PCNW auction.  

  

That’s how I started collecting – through either seeing pieces in museums or learning  about new artists through the Photo Center Northwest.  

But I want to clarify something. Collecting can have a certain connotation to me, like you  are collecting just for the value or to own all of a certain item. Or just to acquire  something. I think of myself really as a supporter.  

All the work I have is because I either knew the artist personally, loved their work and I  wanted to support them so they could continue to do their work or I bought it because I  was influenced by a style that I would really like to delve into. And if I wasn’t able to  reproduce it, I had to have it.

Lisa: What piece(s) gets a big response from visitors in your house? 

Constance: It depends on what I have up. I rotate my photos as I get new pieces. Two  Women by Damon Pablo always creates conversation. Thoughtful Hands by Harness  Hamese also is loved. The composition is so good!  

Friends also love my Vivian Maier prints, both are self portraits, and my stories that go  with them.  

Speaking of Vivian Maier, I discovered her work on John Maloof’s Flicker site when he  asked for an opinion of her work that he had purchased in a locker at an auction. He  later set up a kickstarter project to fund a film “Finding Vivian Maier”. It was a feature  length documentary film that I was able to back and attend the film’s premier in  Chicago. John brought her work to life and I was able to learn more about this  mysterious woman who produced amazing street photos that were not shared with  anyone before her death. I also attended the premier of her work at the Merry  Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles on January 7, 2012 and purchased my first piece of  her work, a self portrait taken in NYC from the John Maloof Collection. I could not see  enough of her images. She inspires me to continue to capture moments in the streets.  

I later acquired another Vivian Meier self portrait piece at the Photographic Center NW  gallery when they brought an exhibit of her work to Seattle from the Jeffrey Goldstein  collection. I love having these images around to look and motivate me to continue look  for new artists that inspire.  

Lisa: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your photography collection? 

Constance: A favorite is Paolo Ventura. I am obsessed with Paola Ventura’s work. I like  his storytelling style. I also like to tell stories with my photos. I love that fact that he was  a scene painter which I identify with having a theater background. And so I bought a  piece because it inspires me to be creative, not to do the same work as him, but for  inspiration.  

Lisa: You seem to support a lot of emerging artists as well. 

Constance: I have some wonderful work from many women photographers, many of  whom I met through PCNW including Kristan Park’s great images of Cooking with  Grandmother and What’s in Bloom, Ann Pallesen’s Tree Reflection Olympic National  Park; and Lisa Ahlberg’s Francisco from the White Center Series at the PCNW auction.  

Grace Weston is another one. She used to be here in Seattle and I bought one of  pieces from an art auction here in Seattle. Her work is so creative and she has been a  major influence in my still life photography. She also has just put out a book with Peanut  Press that I bought and love. 

Other emerging artists include Preston Gannaway. I have her print Watermelons and  her book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It has a very Midwest feeling and  really resonates with me.  

Lisa: Where do you find your art?  

Constance: I have purchased from galleries, fundraising auctions, online and friends. I  will look up new artists. I’m obsessed with photography. I just love it. It’s what my life is  about.  

I now also collect books of photographers since I’ve run out of room on my walls. What  a great way to have a reference of great work at your fingertips. I love zines for  example, that show me through pictures of a particular custom or tradition. I just sent off  for a print from a photographer from the zine you gave me from Cafe Royal Books,  Christmas Turkey Market, Dublin. 

Lisa: How have you found art on a limited budget?  

Constance: You can find reasonable art work in many ways, including directly from the  photographer. I also follow Aperture and Magnum. Magnum has a great sale of $100 for  a small print. I love Elliot Erwitt’s work and purchased a piece at a PCNW auction. And  then, Magnum came out with the small print sale. I have enough big prints now! He is a  street photographer and is so clever. He has influenced me to create some of my own  humorous and observatory photos. I love having a reminder on my wall of a  photographer who has influenced me.  

I have others from the Magnum square photo series — Alec Soth, a Midwesterner like me, who has done some work at fairs which brings back  memories and a snowman that reminds me of home!  

And, I just love Martin Parr. I went to the Portrait Gallery in London to see his work and  later bought a Magnum print of his.  

And finally, Inge Morath. Her photographs had a big influence on my mask series.  

But I also buy to give. There is nothing better than to give a gift of a memory. So I have  gifted some of these prints as well. How wonderful to support photographers and give a  gift of photography. You can do it really reasonably.

Lisa: What advice would you give newcomers to art collecting?  

Constance: Go to First Thursday and galleries. If you enjoy photography, then support  it. If you’re an artist, get on Instagram and and share your work. You get and create  community by sharing and following artists you like. Everyone has a little bit of money  to purchase a piece of art. Take classes at PCNW and at the end of a class, offer to buy  a piece from a fellow student that you love. Or exchange. That is how we start and can  contribute to the success of other artists.  

You can find some wonderful work at PCNW’s benefit auction, Collective Vision and  fundraisers like Chase The Light that will support new and upcoming photographers.  

Buy what you love, work that inspires you or creates a memory. It will last a lifetime. 

On Collecting

A deeper look into the art of collecting photography with PCNW community members

“The only emphasis I have is I collect things that I want to look at for a long time, either because the work is simply beautiful or because I sense I will see something new in a piece over time,” – Stephen Lyons, Platform Gallery.

Ann Pallesen, a former PCNW staff member and 2021 Benefit Committee Member, recently talked with longtime supporters John Jenkins III and Stephen Lyons about collecting art and how anyone interested can get started. Read more from Ann, John and Stephen below and be on the lookout for additional conversations coming soon.

Interviewer: Ann Pallesen

Interviewee: John Jenkins III

Interviewee: Stephen Lyons

Ann: John, We met in the 90s at PCNW! I remember you using the color machine regularly and working on your series that you showed with G. Gibson Gallery. Such nice work! 

John: Thanks! I started taking photo classes to learn how to print in color back when PCNW was on 5th Avenue. I remember the gallery was on the first floor and there was that spiral staircase to get down to the darkrooms. The facilities vastly improved with the building on 12th Avenue.

Ann: How did you become interested in photography? 

John: I started getting interested in photography when I was a teenager and I got a used Nikkormat to use. I set up a black and white darkroom in our basement and learned how to print. In high school I worked for the newspaper and yearbook taking photos and decided to major in photography in college.

Ann: When and how did your love of collecting art/photography start?

John: During college my photography teacher taught us about the history of photography and I guess that was the beginning. After I graduated and was living in Chicago I used to go to New York for the photography auctions at Sotheby’s and Christies. You could see a range of work by photographers that you couldn’t find in any books. I started buying photos during those trips. The first photo I bought at auction was Diane Arbus’s Boy with Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade. And then a couple Harry Callahan photos of his wife Eleanor came back with me to Chicago.

Diane Arbus , Boy with Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, NYC, 1967

Stephen: I was somewhat influenced by John’s method of researching and buying artwork. When I realized that I could actually bid on work by Robert Rauschenberg at an auction house, I gave it a try and I’ve been successful in purchasing several pieces that I still look at frequently. I realized I needed to make my moves before the artist passed away (which he did in 2008) otherwise I wouldn’t be able to pay the increase in the prices of his work. 

I also made work for a number of years, mostly mixed media and assemblage, and showed in a few group shows around town. That was how I got a call to meet several other artists to discuss the possibility of opening a new gallery which eventually became Platform Gallery which happened in 2004 founded by Carol Bolt, Blake Haygood, Dirk Park, and me. 

Ann: John, you’re an accomplished artist and publisher of photo books (Decode Books), and Stephen is an art dealer (Platform Gallery): How does your familiarity with the art industry enhance or inform your interests in collecting? 

Stephen: Not sure that it does other than I typically want to own most of what I’ve shown in the gallery!

Ann: Is there an emphasis/theme to what you collect?

John: I never set out to collect with a particular emphasis or theme, but I did realize after about 10 years into it, that almost everything I collected was a portrait. It was an odd realization since I don’t make portraits in my own work. When I collect now I don’t limit myself to portraits but they usually are.

Stephen: The only “emphasis” I have is I collect things that I want to look at for a long time, either because the work is simply beautiful or because I sense I will see something new in a piece over time.

Ann: Favorite mediums or themes in your collection?

John: There are no favorite themes, but when I like someone’s work, I tend to collect more than a single image. I have ten Arbus prints now, a number of images by Harry Callahan, Joel Peter Witkin, William Christenberry, Wolfgang Tillmans, as well as many local and emerging artists. 

Stephen: I am more eclectic in the work I have collected, some of it photography, some of it works on paper, a few sculptures.

Ann: How many pieces starts a collection? Three? Do you have a sense of how many pieces you have at this point?

John: I would say three to five — enough that together they start to say something together. Stephen and I probably have several hundred pieces in our collection, but I really have never counted. 

Stephen: Agreed

Ann: Describe what compels you to collect a piece?

John: I’m not impulsive when I buy a piece – it is either an image that I’ve seen before and have always loved, or one that after I see it once I keep thinking about it and can’t get it out of my head. 

Stephen: I am impulsive which, only a few times, has resulted in work that I initially was drawn to but doesn’t hold my attention over time. It’s rare, but it has happened.

Ann: What are the parameters between the two of you on collecting pieces? Do you choose things together or separately? 

John: We’ve always bought pieces individually. Our rule is that if you are using your own money you can buy anything you like and can put it up in the house. I don’t buy strictly for investment, but there is a secondary market for many of the people I buy, so if I ever decide to downsize there would be a way to sell the work.

Ann: Which was the first piece that made you feel like a collector? 

John: I’ve always been a big Warhol fan and his pieces would always come up for auction when I was in New York. I first bought a Marilyn silkscreen print, and then a Liz Taylor. Then I had to have a Campbell Soup can. And I knew I would never sell the pieces. I guess it was about that time I realized I was a collector. 

Stephen: When I made a successful bid at an auction for Robert Rauschenberg’s “Star Quarters,” an editioned suite of four 48 inch by 48 inch screen prints on mirrored plexiglass. 

Ann: Where do you find your art most often?

John: I’ve always looked at what is being offered at auctions. Today they make it so easy – a little too easy – you can see everything online. You don’t have to go to the auction and sit through it all waiting for your lot to come up for sale. You can watch it on your screen and do other things until it’s time to bid. I’ve also bought a fair amount through galleries, here in Seattle and around the country. It all depends on who or what I am trying to buy. I look to auctions for artists that are no longer living or that are well established and have a secondary market. I look to galleries for very contemporary work.

Stephen: I actually have stopped looking for work to purchase. We have work wrapped and stored in closets that I don’t see enough of so I have put the brakes on buying. For the time being.

Ann: Do you hang in themes? and/or for dinner parties?  

John: We have enough work that we can’t hang everything at once, so we rotate the pieces on the walls. We haven’t had any during Covid, but we used to use dinner parties as an excuse to switch out pieces to “freshen up” the house. We have a stairway going upstairs that can hold 15-20 pieces and we might switch it from black and white work to all color. It’s great because you get to fall in love with these “new” pieces all over again!

Ann: What piece(s) gets a big response from visitors in your house? 

John: Everyone knows Warhol, so I guess they get the biggest response. And people are interested in Stephen’s Raushenberg prints and objects as well. 

Ann: What advice would you give newcomers to art collecting?

John: I know everyone says it, but collect what you love and you’ll never go wrong. I still love the first Arbus I bought and I have seen it virtually everyday for the past 30+ years. 

Stephen: Be open to trusting yourself and trusting your eyes. Also most galleries are happy to let you purchase work on layaway. I have sold many artworks to people who can’t swing the purchase price in one swoop but can pay over time. Don’t be afraid to ask a gallerist if they would work with you on making a purchase.

Ann: How have you found art on a limited budget? 

John: You can sometimes get a bargain at the high end auction houses, but don’t count on it. There are smaller auction houses – like Swanns or Heritage – that sell less “important” work by the same artists and at lower price points. Fundraising auctions like the PCNW auction coming up is another good place to look. When a monograph of a photographer’s work comes out there is usually a Collector’s Edition where you get a signed print with the book – I’ve bought a number of photos – and books! – that way. Emerging artists sometimes have studio open houses where you can find cool stuff.

Ann: Is there anything else you want to share about your photography collection?

John: It’s interesting how your collection becomes a timeline of your life over the years. The pieces you buy mark what you were doing at that time, what you were interested in and looking at, and even remind you of where you were living. 

Thanks, Ann, this has been fun!

More info on PCNW’s 2021 Benefit Auction and how you can start your own collection can be found here: https://www.pcnwbenefit.org/

August 2021 Member Showcase

For this month’s Member Showcase, we are featuring the creative work of Robert Rodriguez-Lawson. Read below to learn more about his photography projects these days.

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ-LAWSON – member since 2018

What are you working on?

My objective over the last few months was to complete a set of 12 prints that reflect how COVID-19 has changed my perspective on my city.

Artist Statement

COVID-19 hit us all like a bomb. In an instant, my city shrank to my neighborhood. I lost inspiration. I spent months walking the same circle. Daily. Without a camera. Without purpose. I was unmoored attempting to navigate this new normal of safety requirements, non-stop news, and nowhere to go. 

I needed to find incremental ways of phasing back into interactions with people and places and to reconnect with making art. Pinholes provided a new approach to photography and helped me to rediscover the city that is waking up from a long, painful sleep. There is an aspect of the unknown using a pinhole camera – it’s just a box. I needed to let go of precision and experiment. The distorted view and the long exposures require a new perspective and a reorientation to a city slowly regained.

See more of Robert’s photography online at: https://www.instagram.com/rr_lawson/


Thanks again to Robert for his submission to our Member Showcase. If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

July 2021 Member Showcase

For this month’s Member Showcase, we are featuring the creative work of Christy Rey and Barbara Strigel. Read below to learn more about their current photography projects.

CHRISTY REY – member since 2021

What are you working on?

In 2020, I began several online photography classes that focus on telling a subject’s story and finding my voice. The main emphasis is on Environmental Portrait photography. A genre using lighting, photographic techniques and a comprehensive understanding of the subject to create inspirational stories about people, places or things.

Artist statement

Photography infuses my life with interest, magic and compassion. It guides me to “see” a subject beyond first impression and pause with the focused lens to discover a deeper reality. My desire is to reveal a “subjects” story. My tools are digital, black & white film and vintage photography processes. The equipment list spans my maturity, interest and a seasoned sense of wonder. The partnership between myself and the subject is a trusted intimate connection and the hope is for the audience to feel involved. This journey into the creative stimulates my energy as much as the passionate final presentation of the subject’s story.

Learn more about Christy’s work here


BARBARA STRIGEL – member since 2020

What are you working on?

I have begun a series I am tentatively calling “If we were to talk about architecture.” My practice, a hybrid of analogue and digital collage, is an exploration of separation, connection and visual grace in urban space. While creating this series of architectural re-positionings, I am reading the autobiographical writings of Aldo Rossi and finding parallels between his ideas about architecture and my experience with the process of collage.

Learn more about Barbara’s work at: www.barbarastrigel.com


Thanks again to Christy and Barbara for their submission to our Member Showcase. If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

April 2021 Member Showcase

For this month’s membership showcase, we are pleased to share the work of David Chui, a member since 2013. We thank David and hope that you enjoy his images.

DAVID CHUI – member since 2013

What are you working on?

A U.S. Forest Services Voices of the Wilderness Alaskan Artist In Resident application

Artist Statement 

The six images are part of the body of work called Broken Windows. They are the exterior windows of Books to Prisoners, located on N 76th St and Greenwood Ave N, next to Versatile Arts. Shot on Kodak TX400 120 film with a Rollei Magic II, an antique camera I bought in a Hong Kong flea market.

I enjoy finding beauty in things that people generally ignore. Each glass panel is like a piece of jewel shining under the Seattle cloudy sky.

I processed the film and then printed them in the traditional darkroom on archival warm-tone fiber paper. The framed photograph is 20″x20″.

You can find more about David’s photography by clicking here


Thanks again to David for his submission to our membership showcase..

If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

March 2021 Member Showcase

For this month’s membership showcase, we are pleased to share the work of Joan Dinkelspiel and Janet Heineck. We thank them for their submissions, and we hope you enjoy what they have shared.

JOAN DINKELSPIEL – member since 2011

What are you working on?

A project entitled, “Safe Travels in Covid Time.”

Artist Statement 

Elders are known to reminisce and reflect; I fit the demographic. In my mid-70’s and at high risk during a global Covid pandemic, I hunker down, limiting travel to daily neighborhood walks and monthly forays nearby for provisions. Many Americans dream of retiring and taking trips away from familiar places. Instead, I make images with what is close at hand. I dig in my Seattle basement to excavate an old carousel projector and 35mm film slides I made many decades ago. I travel in my garden and in my laundry room by overlaying images that conjure up memories of times past. Projections from my deck to the neighbors’ trees remind me of a frigid 1971 December in Chartres Cathedral or in a Loire Valley chateau. Overlays on the washer take me to an intact Notre Dame Cathedral decades before the 2019 fire. Others in the laundry to a 1973 boat trip through the Golden Gate, and on the water heater to the summit of Mt. Tateyama, Japan, at sunrise. Safe travels with renewed gratitude for home and memory.

You can find more about Joan’s photography by clicking here


JANET HEINECK – member since 2014

What are you working on?

At the moment, I am working on informal portraits with a particularly contrasty ASA 400 film. This film will teach me a lot about controlling the range of lights and shadows both in exposure and in printing. In Spring quarter’s “Black and White Photography Projects”, I hope to improve these and other darkroom skills and, through much more experience with the camera, to refine ideas for my project for the course.

Artist Statement 

I am drawn to the lines, textures, subtle tones, highlights, and shadows found in nature. Natural light both brilliant and quiet, captured in black and white, can bring new life to ordinary scenes and objects. Such light suggests memory, reflection, and time passing for me: a means of seeing what is right before me, perhaps meditatively but always in a new way. 


Thanks again to Joan and Janet for submitting their work for this month’s showcase.

If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

February 2021 Member Showcase

This month, we feature two members for our showcase. Scott Kuehner who has been a member since 2005, and Angshuman Sarkar who recently became a member this year. We thank them for their engagement with PCNW and their contributions to this month’s showcase.

Scott Kuehner – Member since 2005

What are you working on?

I consider myself a Large Format Black and White film photographer and as such my ‘work’ has been on hold since PCNW closed last March. So, until COVID passes and PCNW can re-open to rental folks, I’ll continue to study (ie., look at) photography books, B/W photographs, and contemplate topics such as solarization, masking, toning, and lighting, and importantly, how I can use these techniques to help express my vision. Basically, I miss the darkroom.

Having said that, the images included here are color digital photos from last summer’s PCNW Still Life Class. Even so, I think my personal ‘style’ is apparent

Artist Statement

When I first started taking B/W film classes at PCNW I was attracted to the photographic vision of Brett Weston and Don Worth. But as my experience and skills expanded, photographic books about Blumenfeld, Man Ray, Ralph Gibson and their ilk, now also populate my bookshelves. 

I believe that the common thread that connects these photographic artists and resonates with my vision is their use of contrast, form, simplicity, and ‘extraction’ as Brett Weston would say, rather than abstraction. In my case, whether photographing trees, chipped paint, models in the studio or flowers on my living room table, I see compositions in terms of the organization of objects, contrast, balance and symmetry. And, simplicity.  

As part of an Advanced Black and White Photography class at PCNW, I was able to interview Don Worth. While explaining his printing style, he used a theatrical analogy of how actors exaggerate their emotions so as to ‘project beyond the footlights’. As such, Worth’s compositions are printed so that the viewer makes no mistake as to what the subject of the photograph is. I found this not only an affirmation of what I was trying to do (but didn’t know it at the time), but also as permission to be even more dramatic with my printing. Consequently, I print with the white whites and black blacks only to define the middle grays.

You can find more about Scott’s photography by clicking here.


Angshuman Sarkar – member since 2021

What are you working on?

I recently became a member of your organization. I have been doing landscapes in Black and White for many years now. My website is at www.angshuman.net.

Artist Statement

I try to capture a sense of attachment and intimacy to the landscape through my images. I am drawn to textures because I feel that the textures tell a story of time and the evolution of the land. Be it the erosion of the rocks over millions of years from flooding, or a seasonal harvest that leaves its mark on the field, I try to capture a part of that story and a connection to the land.

I moved to the Pacific North-West about five years back, from Kolkata, India. My formal education is in Computer Science which brings me to this area. But I have always been close to art and have been making images for a long time. 

Angshuman has limited edition prints, signed and numbered, on archival material. You can find out more about his photography by clicking here.


A big thank you to Scott and Angshuman for sharing their work, and showing support for PCNW. 

If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

January 2021 Member Showcase

Happy New Year! This month we are showcasing  Kirk Hostetter. Kirk has been a PCNW Member since 2019. He has been working on two exciting projects involving the Duwamish River and living in times of quarantine.

Kirk Hostetter – Member since 2019

What are you working on?

I am currently working on a project involving the Duwamish River, which originated as a collaboration with Wittman Estes Architecture (https://www.duwamishcrossing.net). I am examining the River as an historical, social, and psychological geography by considering the implications of its reduced watershed; its industrialization, urbanization, and alterations; the various attempts made toward recovery; and the evolving access to its banks by the people who live there. As an explorer I have been seeking out the many moments along the water, and along its original meandering path, that allow us to slip between the layers of what was, what is, and what might be.

Selected images here: https://www.kirkhostetter.com/duwamish

My recently completed book, Quarantine Portraits (An Isolated Collaboration of Friends and Objects), compiles portraits of friends and colleagues with objects of their choosing that gained significance to them during COVID’s strange quarantined spring of 2020. These socially distanced photographs represent a directly personal investigation of people’s connections to the items with which they choose to surround themselves. In the book I have paired my portraits with my subject’s text and their own images.

Book here: https://www.blurb.com/b/10481101-quarantine-portraits
Online version here: https://www.kirkhostetter.com/quarantine-portraits

Artist Statement

As an architect I am interested in environments that humans construct for themselves, their uses, intimacies and implications, and how time imprints and alters these relationships. My ongoing project on the Duwamish River is a direct result of these interests, as well as an extension of years spent on the industrialized rivers of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Kirk’s photography, click here


Many thanks to Kirk for submitting work this month! If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!

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