The fall gallery season opens Friday, September 15 with the haunting and often familiar black and white photographs of artist Christine Osinski. The opening reception begins at 5 pm; it is free and open to the public.
Taken on Staten Island during the early 1980s, the pictures document summer life in New York City's "forgotten borough."
"The pictures came out of a desire to learn about the place that had just become my home," says Osinski. "I took long walks, most often in the late afternoons through various neighborhoods with the expectation that there might be something of interest around a corner or down a crooked sidewalk. It was an adventure first and became a project much, much later."
That project was the basis of Osinski's 2016 book, Summer Days Staten Island, and of the fall show in Potter Gallery. The images capture daily life in the working class borough "separated from the mainland, a world away from Manhattan," Osinski writes. "I discovered a residential, working class utopia tucked within an urban outpost of forests and harbors...As I lugged around my 4"x5" camera and equipment, I also carried the weight of my own personal history. Each of us has a portal into a special world because of our unique biographies and experiences. The job for the artist is to create work that breathes life into the people and places that one understands."
A Rockwell Visiting Artist, Osinski will spend time exploring her craft and sharing her experiences in the classroom with Taft students, and through a Morning Meeting talk on September 14.
Osinski received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University School of Art. She became a Guggenheim Fellow in 2005, and received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation inaugural photography grant in 2015. Her photographs can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, France; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; Girl's Club Foundation, Miami; Museum of the City of New York; New York Public Library; The Smithsonian Institute and in numerous other museums and collections.
Potter Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 8 am to 5 pm when school is in session.
See more of Osinski's work at christineosinski.com
The Rockwell Visiting Artists Fund, which was established in 1997 by Sherburne B. Rockwell Jr. (Class of 1941) and H. P. Davis Rockwell (Class of 1944), and supports a program of visiting artists who speak with students and faculty, work with art classes, and exhibit their work in the Taft Art Gallery.
This exhibit was made possible by the Andrew R. Heminway '47 Endowment Fund. In 2001, Mrs. Beverly Heminway established an endowment fund in memory of her husband, Andy. The income from this fund is used to support an annual art exhibit in the Mark W. Potter Gallery.