Blog

Caffenol Experiment 1

This blog entry opens up a series of blogs I’ll write as part of my “Light Chasers” project. Today, I discuss my initial experiment in developing film with coffee.

The practice of developing black and white film with coffee (“caffenol”, as it is known colloquially) is well-described. There is a group of caffenol aficionados on Facebook (click here), on Flicker (click here), and there is a full website dedicated to the subject (click here).

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End of an Era

For a span of close to seventy years, members of my extended family have held an annual gathering on their farm. When my mother was a young girl in the 1940s, she would go to her aunt and uncle’s farm in Elk River, MN. In those days, the gatherings were called powwows. My mother was not a farm girl, but she still talks fondly of those visits to Uncle Mike and Aunt Irene’s farm.

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Great News

I’m delighted to report that I’ve received an Emerging Artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) to produce a new photography exhibit. The project that I will fund with this grant is an extension of my earlier Light Chaser exhibit held at Gallery 24 in April, 2018. As part of the grant, I’ve set these goals:

First, I have the goal of producing at least ten new photographic works related to my theme. My current vision is that these will be black and white photographs shot with film, and self-developed. I have the materials and experience to do this already. The content of the photographs will feature landscapes, sun, moon, and stars, and will interpret written passages from historical scientific figures. Second, I have a goal of conducting two family-friendly workshops for parents and children in which I encourage them to mingle art and science with resources they already own or have at home. Third, I have a goal of holding an art reception capstone event that features my photographs and builds upon the experience of the workshops. Finally, I have the goal of building a companion website for my project that features the art and science results of the attendees of my workshops and reception, allowing the project to live on past the terms of the grant.

My capstone exhibit will be at the Rochester Art Center in July, 2019. Stay tuned for more info as the project progresses.

Light Chaser Stories: Scene 2

One of my favorite colors in nature is the yellow of the goldfinch. When we visit Janet’s relatives in Brainerd, we have the chance to see a lot of them at her aunt’s house. She has a couple of feeders that the goldfinches love.

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Light Chaser Stories: Scene 1

Thanks for supporting the Kickstarter campaign for Light Chaser. Here’s a story that sets the context for the exhibit.

As a light chaser, it helps to plan ahead, as light is an elusive and ever-changing creature. I had been waiting for some months to go out on the weekend of a new moon to create a star trail photo at Kinstone, a favorite hangout of mine in Wisconsin. Each time a weekend would fall near a new moon, my efforts were thwarted by cloudy skies, it seemed. Finally, a clear weekend was forecast so I made the drive from Rochester to Fountain City well after sundown to start my quest.

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Light Chaser Exhibit

I am raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign to create printed and mounted photographic works for my first solo art show, entitled, “Light Chaser”, to be held at Gallery 24, an artist collaborative in Rochester, MN. I’m a former chemistry and physics teacher, and my photography is definitely influenced by the understanding of light I gained while studying, and teaching, chemistry and physics. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “The greatest scientists are always artists as well.” For me, there is beauty in the art of photography just as much as there is beauty in the scientific understanding of light and color.

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Civic Music Board

I took a walk this afternoon through the Rochester pedestrian skyway system to our City Hall building so I could renew my disclosure form with the City. In my role on the Civic Music Advisory Board, I am essentially an unpaid employee of the city (some people call that “volunteering”, of course). What distinguishes my situation, however, is that I serve under the same requirements for honesty and integrity as paid city servants. So, it is necessary and good that I disclose any financial or other relationships I have with businesses that operate within the city, so that my participation on the Civic Music Advisory Board does not conflict in any unfair or improper way.

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Arts Ecosystem

Janet and I are lucky to be living in a town that not only has a vibrant arts culture, but has an arts culture that let’s us in! My limited experience with artistic communities in other cities gave me the impression that the community was hard to break into. Not in Rochester.

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