Monterey, CA, July 24, 2018 — The Monterey Museum of Art, as part of its Year of the Woman 2018 at MMA, has announced the opening of an exhibit, “Salon Jane: The Ethereal Zone,” featuring the works of six renowned Monterey Peninsula-based women photographers, on Sept. 20.
Salon Jane is composed of six women — Martha Casanave, Susan Hyde Greene, Jane Olin, Anna Rheim, Robin V. Robinson, and Robin Ward — in the Monterey Peninsula who formed a group in 2014 to support one another as artists.
Although all of these women use photography in their art, the finished products are remarkably diverse. From aerial to underwater, abstract to representational, digital to darkroom, wall art to books, the work produced by these artists is wide ranging. Their diversity is an asset for promoting each artist strong sense of individuality.
The differences between members include careers, ages, and backgrounds, but each member of Salon Jane shares a passion for expressing her deepest concerns through art. The group meets quarterly to share work and plan exhibitions and educational adventures together.
According to Salon Jane member Jane Olin most of its members have been working as artists for more than 30 years and this MMA exhibition is their first opportunity to express their ideas through their work to the larger Monterey community.
“Salon Jane’s exhibition at MMA provides a platform to promote our work to an expanding audience, not only reaching our own community, but beyond,” said Olin. “MMA’s Year of the Woman is an extremely important first step in making known the depth and richness of the work of our local women artists. We are thrilled to be part of that movement.”
Olin added that only 20% of MMA’s collection consists of women artists and that most museums are far below that number.
“This struck a note with us. We want to be part of the solution,” said Olin. “Even with our diverse points of view and working methods, we as a group are cohesive when showing work. The thread that weaves our work together is authenticity and originality.”
Olin said the group intends to reach out to other museums to promote “The Ethereal Zone” as a traveling exhibition through the MMA.
“Salon Jane: The Ethereal Zone,” opens Sept. 20 and runs through Nov. 26, 2018.
I am a storyteller. Indeed, I believe that the women in our culture are the primary custodians of family stories. Many of my images end up in hand made books, some with words, some without words. The images and words in this exhibition are part of a series that explores the life of my mother, Marguriette, my father, Perry, and their influence on me and on others.
Throughout my 40 years in photography, I have discovered the value of an intimate support group for pushing one’s creativity and nurturing the expression of one’s deepest emotions. The five women in Salon Jane are my artist family. They are a valuable source of encouragement and inspiration.
Anna graduated from Stanford University with a BA in History in 1966. She studied black and white photography and mixed media at Monterey Peninsula College with Henry Gilpin, Roger Fremier, and Don Anderson, and color photography and printing at University of California Santa Cruz with Jack Fulton. Anna has taken private classes with many noted photographers including David Bayles, Ruth Bernhard, Martha Casanave, Lisl Dennis, Tom Millea, and Ted Orland.
Explorations Through A Fabricated Microscope: A Compendium Of Tears
Before I knew what postmodernism was, I decided to make a lifetime “performance piece” of collecting my tears. I made a tiny, padded green velvet pouch to wear around my neck for this purpose; it contains a tiny dropper, and a few microscope slides. After the tears dry on the slides, I store them in carved wooden boxes with slots. Each slide is numbered, and labeled with the date and place the tears were collected, for example: “Tear # 958: Boiler Room of Apartment Building on Moskovskii Prospekt, Leningrad, USSR, 1987.”
Recently, I decided to make microscope photographs of these tears. The decision to actualize the images was inspired by two things: first, by the recent activity of making an index for the 30 volumes of photo albums I have assembled over my lifetime. And second, by the beautiful, round images I have seen of 19th C photomicrography. Oddly, though I don't label the slides as such, I remember, upon looking at them in the microscope, exactly what emotion caused the tears.
I have captioned the images accordingly. Because I am often keeping the captions ambiguous, I find that some of the captions can apply to more than one incident in my life, and perhaps in others' lives as well. Many deal with loss. Miscommunication. Things that are done and cannot be undone. On the other hand, some captions are very specific, for example my eyes welling from a frisson of mixed emotions upon landing again at Pulkovo International Airport in Leningrad, USSR.
Most of my tears are mere wellings, not flowings. The only time I have produced copious flowing tears was/is during uncontrolled hysterical laughter, and after the death of a whippet. What prompts tears to arrive? Regret, loss, happiness, confusion, cold wind, foreign body in eye. Real trauma doesn't cause tears, at the time it is happening anyway, because the body dissociates, and is preoccupied with survival. Tears require some kind of presence, some kind of realization, and with traumatic events, this usually happens later (if at all), with recollection. With memory.
Old enough now to say “in retrospect,” Casanave graduated from the Monterey Institute of International Studies with a degree in Russian Language and Literature and began her working life as a translator in Washington, D.C. She engaged in photography from early childhood, however, and later came back to the Monterey Peninsula, built up a portrait clientele and began teaching photography, while continuing to pursue her personal work. She has been an exhibiting and working photographer and educator for more than 40 years.
From 1984 to 1995, Casanave used her knowledge of Russian language and culture to take groups of American photographers to the Soviet Union/Russia, and has made a number of trips on her own to work on photographic projects, making a total of 14 trips to the USSR/Russia to date.
She was awarded the Imogen Cunningham Photography Award for her portraiture in 1979, and also was a 1989 recipient of the Koret Israel Prize. Her first book, “Past Lives — Photographs by Martha Casanave,” was published by Godine in 1991. This was followed by “Beware of Dog” (Center for Photographic Art, 2002). A book of pinhole images, “Explorations Along an Imaginary Coastline,” was released by Hudson Hills Press in 2006. Her most recent publication (Image Continuum Press, 2013) is “Trajectories: A Half Century of Portraits.”
Casanave’s photographs are included in many major collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Stanford Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Monterey Museum of Art and the Graham Nash private collection.
Casanave has taught master classes on the portrait, human figure, the creative process, and lensless photography for many national workshop programs. She teaches regularly at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, CA, and at Monterey Peninsula College.
My photographs always begin with a question or some curiosity that arises within me. In more than 30 years, I have rarely photographed the external world for its own sake, but for the ways in which it helps to reveal subconscious processes and evoke meaning. I generally focus on a single subject in a related series of images, which allows me to hone in on the heart of what I am after. I also have a contemplative awareness practice that is of central importance to me, and which guides and enhances my working methods and my output.
As an artist who has always liked to experiment, I find that pushing the boundaries of what is possible with both camera and darkroom techniques motivates my best work. I photograph with film and sometimes use a pinhole or Holga camera for making images. I love the darkroom process and take advantage of every tool and technique at my disposal.
Playing with exposure, focus, and a wide variety of photographic chemicals, I embrace creative accidents, and willingly abandon rules of darkroom procedure, with the intention of expressing a distinctive vision by whatever method seems right. I sometimes print my gelatin silver pieces digitally, but only after darkroom work is completed.
Olin has lived and worked as a photographer in California’s Monterey Bay area for more than 25 years. Living at the epicenter for the West Coast photography movement, she learned the skills of straight photography and the tenets of the historic Group f/64 from the assistants and students of Ansel Adams. She participated in workshops with prestigious photographers, including Ruth Bernhard, John Sexton, Joyce Tenneson, Brian Taylor, Martha Casanave, Holly Roberts, and Christopher James, which enriched and broadened her perspective.
Olin has traveled widely and, of all countries she visited, Japan had the most profound impact. Its aesthetics and its Zen Buddhism resonated deeply, particularly its emphasis on beauty found in nature, in simplicity, the imperfect, the transient, and in the values of grace and subtlety, which all suited her well. She maintains a mindfulness practice today, and present moment awareness is imbedded in her photographic process.
Although subtle influences from straight photography remain, Olin has developed a distinctly personal vision. She works in series of related images, a practice that allows for extended explorations of her subject. An adventurer, she enjoys experimenting both in camera and in the darkroom.
In her previous bodies of work, “Greta and Thirteen Crows,” Olin’s unconventional handling of her pinhole camera and darkroom enlarger challenged traditional expectations of focus and exposure. Her recent series of abstractions, “Site/Sight Unseen,” arose from an unfixed print mistakenly overlooked in the darkroom sink. When rediscovered, its unexpected beauty prompted a new way of working, in which process rather than a preconceived idea took precedence.
Pushing the boundaries of analog photography, Olin purposely pours, sprays, and drips chemicals onto her exposed gelatin silver paper, manipulating and closely monitoring changing effects using intuition and an alchemist’s attention to detail. These one-of-a-kind silver gelatin images are enlarged and printed using the digital process.
Olin continues to innovate in this vein, experimenting with new subjects and approaches as her latest and still-evolving tree project, “Intimate Conversation,” clearly reveals.
The images in “Echoes from a Future Past” are playful examinations of the enigmatic nature of reality and the quirky essence of time and space. In this work, I blend together original photographs of nature, architecture and artifacts to portray hybrid spaces and to experience intermingling realities. I layer unexpected juxtapositions in color and black and white to allude to infinite possibilities.
Each composite renders pure states captured in close proximity. I am influenced by the Surrealist ideas of uniting distant realities to create a new one and the play of thought where an image is a pure expression of the mind.
Ward was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where she developed a lifelong habit of spending time in nature. Her first creative effort was painting, then poetry and ultimately photography, a medium in which she could blend the other two endeavors. Ward discovered her love of photography at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English. She continued her photography studies by participating in various workshops, including Brooks Institute of Photography and the Center for Photographic Art where she served as a Trustee from 2010-2016. In November 2017, she received her remote pilot certification.
Robin is a member of Salon Jane, Image Makers of Monterey, and San Diego Made. She has received several international awards, including International Photography Awards and Black & White Spider Awards and exhibited her work in numerous galleries and museums, including Triton Museum of Art and Museum of Monterey.
Robin V. Robinson
Robin V. Robinson explores mystery and metaphors found in all forms of life, but focuses especially on the way we look at the planet and ourselves. She is fascinated with the idea of seeing but not knowing and the feelings which result when looking at something impossible to comprehend — when one’s mind fills in the blanks with blind reasoning and unconscious associations.
Grounded in the darkroom, Robinson embraces the element of chance in creating images: “My time in the darkroom is full of ‘what-ifs.’ I use the experimental nature of chemistry to explore pathways which are magical, alchemical in feeling, transformational in the end. This type of play and chance are what I love about the analog photography process, not to mention a satisfying original print.”
Robinson’s newest work is based on ideas about the human species and the relative permanence of the earth, with questions about our brief time here. This unique moment on the planet is unsettling and desires perspective. Robinson’s images provide intimate suggestions of our place in this liminal state.
Ongoing work includes in-water images evoking curiosity about the ocean’s deep landscape, how it relates to dry land, and what is “normal” for human beings, now and in our rapidly changing environment. Robinson’s “Surfacing” series explores the tension we feel on the water and in life, on the edge between what is above and below, between the known and unknown.
Robinson is a fifth-generation California central coast native residing in Carmel. Employing mainly darkroom-based processes, her images convey meaning through suggestion, feeling, and metaphor.
Mentors have played the most important role in Robinson’s artistic development. She has studied, lived and worked with West Coast photographers on the Monterey Peninsula and in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Robinson also studied photography at City College of San Francisco and Foothill College. Her degrees in engineering and music from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Stanford University and her personal studies of depth psychology contribute to her distinctive style of seeing and creating art.
Robinson actively exhibits and presents her work and has received top awards in international photographic competitions. She was awarded “Best Photography” in the Monterey Museum of Art Biennial 2005, where her work is in the permanent collection. She is also in the collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia. She is a past board member at the Center for Photographic Art and is a board member of the Monterey Friends of C.G. Jung.
Susan Hyde Greene
As I became aware that the history of art is the history of people, I saw that it is possible to bring people together through the language of art. Following the tradition of women using stitches to create, mend, and heal, my quiet pictures portray the fragile wonder and miracle that is our world. Through photos cut apart and fractured pieces stitched back together, they offer hope that humans will come together, assuring succeeding generations a healthy, peaceful, safe, and breathing world.
I studied photography, textiles and art history, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah, Manoa. While completing my Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Utah, I was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship Award as well as selected for membership in Phi Kappa Phi. Additionally, I received a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Dominican University in order to develop methods of making art accessible to all people.
I taught art in schools and programs throughout Marin County, California, where I founded Very Special Arts Marin with Youth in Arts in addition to Art Pals, an arts program pairing school children with isolated seniors. I taught art at the University of Utah, Santa Clara University and Napa Valley College.
As an access advisor for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, I led workshops inspired by current exhibitions from 1996-2015. I have been the fortunate recipient of several awards and grants, including a Marin Arts Council Individual Artist grant for photography and First Place in the 2013 and 2015 Carmel, CA Center for Photographic Art International Juried Exhibition.
My work is represented by Smith Andersen North, San Anselmo, California and Green Chalk Contemporary, in Monterey. Works are included in private and public collections, including Adobe Systems, The Institute of Health and Healing Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, Bread and Roses, Corte Madera, California, Smith Andersen North, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, as well as the University of Utah and the University of Hawaii.
Recently, my pieces have been exhibited at Green Chalk Contemporary, Smith Andersen North, Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California, The Carl Cherry Center, Carmel, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, and Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco.
Personal interests include the ballet, music, spending time with my family and the out of doors. My husband and I fly fish and hike in the mountain west in the summer and we love to travel to as many new and different places as possible.
ABOUT THE MONTEREY MUSEUM OF ART
The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) was established in 1959 to uphold the artistic legacy of the region by collecting, preserving, and presenting the art of California and the Central Coast. The only nationally accredited museum between San Jose and Santa Barbara, the MMA’s goal is to expand a passion for the region’s visual arts—past, present, and future. Exhibitions and programs are designed to demonstrate California’s vibrant, diverse spirit, and to inspire, engage, and connect art and community.
Visit montereyart.org for public programming opportunities and guided tours.
Monterey Museum of Art
559 Pacific St., Monterey, CA 93940
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901