HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes: Leslie Sheryll 'Louisa and Baby II, Mourning Tears' , Nicole Fournier 'Brain Stem' & Robin Repp 'Just Fade Away'
L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes: Leslie Sheryll 'Louisa and Baby II, Mourning Tears' , Nicole Fournier 'Brain Stem' & Robin Repp 'Just Fade Away' (Click on image for larger view)
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes
(Click on image for larger view)

Review by curator Jane Szabo:
"The final three images that I wanted to recognize all explore the photographic process.
Leslie Sheryll’s photo Louisa and Baby II, Mourning Tears, is presumably a found photograph that the artist has adorned with color and embellishments. It is a quirky image that crosses the centuries, connecting past and future generations."

Leslie Sheryll says, "My series “Mourning Tears” confronts death in a way that might seem morbid today.  People of the 19th century confronted death directly. Most died at home and family prepared the body for burial. Recordings of loved ones during life was rare as the photographic process was fairly new. Therefore, it was not morbid or unusual to pose living family members along with the deceased as a way to remember them as part of the family.

The images here are all original post mortem tintypes (photographs of the dead) which I have scanned and altered. Prior to the invention of the photograph the rich would sometimes hire an artist to paint a posthumous painting of the deceased. Often the artist would incorporate symbolism of the time such as flowers, color, fabric, and objects, as a way to comfort those left behind. 

Here I have added the symbolism of the 19th century posthumous painter to the post mortem tintype, which could at times be unsettling in it’s harsh reality, as a way to ease the pain of loss and to comfort those left behind. Death was a constant threat during the 19th century. It was common for babies to remain unnamed during their first year of life because of high mortality rates. In contrast, today we expect to live a long life and have further distanced ourselves from death. 

I believe can learn something from our ancestors on the subject of death. We are all mortal and we need to acknowledge that life is fleeting. We need to embrace our loved ones in life and to remember them in death.

I grew up in New York, and though I now live in Jersey City I consider myself a New Yorker.

I received my BFA in photography from Kansas City Art Institute. My work explores male/female relationships in a phallocentric society. I appropriate & digitally alter 19th century tintypes, predominantly of women.
Along with photography I create cross stitch pieces also relating to women’s issues.

In the past I have created work dealing with the environmental waste of plastic bottles and cans through photography and installation art. I also design jewelry. 

Career Highlights:

In October I will be included in The Barcelona Foto Biennale, I have won the 10th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards For Woman.Photographers in the alternative process category and was a finalist of the 7th and 8th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards For Women Photographers.

Recently I was awarded the Grand Prize Winner selected by Darren Ching of KlompChing Gallery in conjunction with NYC4PA. My work has been shown in numerous group shows in the United States and Europe."

L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes: Leslie Sheryll 'Louisa and Baby II, Mourning Tears' , Nicole Fournier 'Brain Stem' & Robin Repp 'Just Fade Away' (Click on image for larger view)
BRAIN STEM by Nicole Fournier
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes
(Click on image for larger view)
Encaustic (photo transfers into a wax medium) 34H x 32W inches

Review by curator Jane Szabo:
"Nicole Fournier’s mixed media piece Brain Stem references the thinking mind, and the scientific exploration of the brain. A person’s ability to think is the root of one’s individuality and sense of self. I often wonder about memory loss and dementia, and how these afflictions cause a person to lose their grasp of self, and their place in the world."

Nicole Fournier’s passion for photography was first expressed during a 4th grade class trip to Washington DC, when she photographed abstract images of a spiral staircase. Many years later, Nicole honed her skills at William Paterson University by obtaining a B.F.A. degree in Graphic Design (alongside a minor in Photography) graduating Cum Laude in her class, from her home state of New Jersey.

“My art is a combination of photography and encaustics. I transfer images directly into beeswax, and embellish with colored wax mediums I make from oil-based or powdered pigments. I enjoy the wide range of possibilities inherent in this technique – the evocative and distressed tones, and especially the additive and subtractive qualities that come along with the process. Through my art, I continue to express concepts of growth and awareness, and to promote the preservation of our external environment as well as the cultivation of our inner.”

Her fine art has appeared in numerous group shows and exhibitions at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery, Chaffey Community Museum of Art, Thousand Oaks Community Gallery, Orange County for Contemporary Art, and the Encaustic Art Institute. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Nicole Fournier enjoys pursuing her art and photography career. Please visit her website for further information about her upcoming shows at http://nicolefournier.com.

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Nicole Fournier says, "I was born and raised in a rural area in New Jersey. I grew up in a converted log cabin, and as a child, I loved playing in the woods and fishing off our dock. Since living really close to a lake, my fondest memories there were playing with the seemingly endless amount of baby toads, turning over logs and rocks anticipating to find salamanders, and playing in an abandoned cabin that was near us on my grandparent’s property.

My parents and I moved to the suburbs when I was 8 years old. My interest then was in music, but I really wasn’t aware of my interest in art until I went to college. After about 2 and a half years in university, I chose to declare art as my major. It just felt, “right”. I graduated from William Paterson University with a BFA in Graphic Design. In addition, I loved photography so much, so I took as many courses as I could there — I practically minored in photography. Soon after graduation, I got my first publishing job in New York City. I took pictures over the years, had some shows, and worked in the commercial aspect of photography in assisting, shooting weddings and portraits.

However, I never was satisfied with the final aspects of printed photographs. In 2005, I moved to Los Angeles, into an artistic community called “The Brewery”. The community roots began with the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant in 1903, and then a Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. In 1982, it became what it is today — an artist colony that opens up twice a year to the public offering fine art open studio events. I participated in the events, showing my photography work then, comprised of pattern-based imagery, and (as from what I did in the past) images of female models in set up situations. Again, I was unsatisfied with just a standard photographic print. I wanted to get a more “hands-on” approach. I was always drawn to older styles of photography, such as tintypes and daguerreotypes.

I loved how they became distressed and/or decayed over the years. Instead of duplicating that look using a computer, around 2006 I researched ways on how to do photo transfers. That’s how I came across the encaustic process. I now enjoy working in this medium, which the final element of the art is just wax; a medium composed of beeswax and damar (tree sap used for hardening and raising the melting temperature). I use the images that I have photographed and transfer them directly into the wax surface, and embellish with the colored wax medium made from oil-based or powdered pigments.

Using wax gives images a faded, ethereal look in which I like. I choose to make my own encaustic medium. I like that it is a rather “green” type of medium, with the wax harvested in a non-invasive, sustainable way. I respect nature and our environment. I feel inclined to protect our planet, all people, life and resources. Anything we take we should replace because we initially do all coexist. Encaustic painting is one of the oldest forms of art known to man. Samples can be seen as far back as the Egyptian Fayum Mummy portraits, dating over 2,500 years old.

Excavation of these paintings have shown no mold, cracking, flaking, or fading. Unlike other mediums, encaustic paintings contain excellent archival properties. Working with encaustic is really appealing because not only does it allow me to combine photography with painting, drawing, and mixed media elements, it also allows for image transfers with the benefits of adding texture, transferable onto practically any type of surface! I love to offer my artistic method to clients with commissioned work. I am flexible in either shooting new work or use images a person might already have – or a combination of the two.

The final work of art becomes a one-of-a-kind piece, combining photography with the alluring textures and natural luminosity of wax. I love taking the time to work on a portrait and to reflect on how to represent the character of the person. Encaustic paintings are seducing, due to their luminosity, texture, and naturally aromatic smell. Through my art, I enjoy expressing concepts of growth and awareness, and to promote the preservation of our external environment as well as the cultivation of our inner. Working in encaustic is all about layering. The art pieces take on a world of their own — an alluring subconscious structure within us. Images are layered, layered and complicated as each of us are in turn."

www.facebook.com/Nicol eFournierART
www.instagram.com/nico ledorisfournier
L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes: Leslie Sheryll 'Louisa and Baby II, Mourning Tears' , Nicole Fournier 'Brain Stem' & Robin Repp 'Just Fade Away' (Click on image for larger view)
JUST FADE AWAY by Robin Repp
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Alternative Processes
(Click on image for larger view)

Review by curator Jane Szabo:
"Robin Repp’s image Just Fade Away gives us a glimpse of the before and the after, of the living and of those who have passed. Using a slow shutter speed to capture otherworldly bodies, Repp’s image illustrates the limbo that many elderly feel – a sense of completion and of waiting for the end."
Robin Repp says, "My work explores the concept of anticipation of the future or the unknown. With influences as diverse as Thomas Struth, Dorthea Lange, Elmer Bischoff, and Minor White, I have been using infrared photography, the figure in the landscape and social commentary topics to tell my story.

Ever since Berkeley, I have been fascinated by protest and social issues set in the landscape.  What starts out as simple white figures against a dark background, leaves the viewer with a sense of dreamlike questioning. Who are these people and what is going on here."

Robin Repp's work is included in the newly released book, “Signs of Resistance”, by Bonnie Sieglerand “4973:Berkeley Protest Posters”, by Barry Miles.  Her work has been included in exhibitions in the Laguna Art Museum, the Oakland Art Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, The Shapero Modern, London, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Griffin Museum of Photography, MA,and various galleries such as the LA Artcore Gallery, Huntington Beach Art Center, Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery, N.Y.C, The Studios Inc. Gallery, Kansas City, The Irvine Fine Arts Center, The Brea Gallery, CSUF Gallery, Long Beach Arts, Worth Ryder Gallery Berkeley, VAALA, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

Her work is in many private collections, as well as the following public collections:
The University of British Columbia, Canada
University of California, Bancroft Library Berkeley, Ca
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics Los Angeles, CA
AOUON Archive of Political Posters, Berkeley
The Thomas W. Benson Collection, Penn State University Library
City of Huntington Beach, Ca
City of Anjo, Japan


M.A. Candidate, University of California, Berkeley, 1975 
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1970