Introducing the Boston Color series

The first public exhibition from the new Boston Color series – Kodachromes from the 1970’s and 80’s will be in CAFA’s 106th exhibition at the Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic CT from June 18 to July 29. Both Mobil Man and Maria’s have been accepted for inclusion.

From the introduction to the series:

“When I came to Boston it was a black and white town, with a tint of brick…expressive neutrals, richly warm pastels, truth in earth tones, bright reds, varietal greens, shaping blues contribute to become these colors of memory.”

For more visit Boston Color on the Reimagine New England website.

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73rd CT Artists Juried Exhibition

At the Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, CT:

On view January 22 through March 17, 2017. Now in its 73rd year, the Annual CT Artists Juried Exhibition features paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculpture, graphics and photography by resident artists of Connecticut.

Join us Sunday, January 22nd from 1-3 pm in the Converse Art Gallery for the Opening Reception and Awards, a special event for artists, friends and the public.


Athens Street, also awarded an honorable mention, and Empty Lot from the Crappy Negatives series have been accepted for this year’s show.

The Crappy Negative series utilizes decades old scratched and neglected film, maybe poorly developed too, and a cheap “inappropriate” scanner to set the motif for creative resurrection of an often dirty heavily damaged early B&W archive.

To see more visit Crappy Negatives on the Reimagine New England website.

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Blanche Ames National Art Exhibition


A long gravel driveway leads through early Fall woods to a bend that opens into a late dusk sky with the window light of the castle-like mansion in the distance amid spreading lawns. There’s a movement of brighter lights out front as you approach, people are providing assistance for a line of cars to park safely. As we join a procession to the front door I’m glad we dressed to enhance a feel for the Gatsbyesque. It’s crowded and noisy with excitement, not unlike I presume often times before it was a museum, when it was the home of Oakes and Blanche Ames. He was a highly acclaimed Harvard botanist; she an accomplished painter and prominent suffragist. Underneath what appears to be a huge Arts and Crafts chandelier with what could be the Mayflower lies a dining table with all the appropriate party food. A piano plays in the music room. Champagne is being served on the enclosed terrace. And in the hall and two story library the well–lighted exhibition is on display. Curators Norma Urban and Robert Bendt are brightly forthcoming with appreciation for the artists’ contribution, and it’s reciprocated. The atmosphere is gay. A large print of New Ice from the Reimagine New England suite is holding its own in the corner. And to think of it, wasn’t so long ago that I bought a good sturdy Ames shovel at Home Depot to prepare my wife’s new vegetable garden. The forge, the factory made this town.

A quality printed catalog of the show is available here, or a pdf for download.

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Art Factory


The late night whistle blasts at each crossing orchestrate a plaintive wail to reverberate against steep hillsides as trains enter Stafford Springs within the narrow confines of the Willimantic River. Very slowly with a great westward hook the train will pass behind the businesses on Main Street, seemingly close enough to almost touch, and with just enough room there to fit a driveway to American Sleeve Bearing’s hundred year old factory on the Middle River. And a concrete trestle in their parking lot that once provided for a second track. Today it’s a perfect setting for a graffiti festival, and for a fourth year the civic minded company has allowed public access for a day in mid–September. The multiple arches are painted back to a blank canvas in preparation for about fifty invited artists who in about six hours will again create their kaleidoscope of color for another year. With live music, the frenzy of activity and good vibes is a blast.


from the 2015 event:

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Stafford Springs Blues Festival


Stafford Springs Blues Festival

Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Stafford Springs Blues Festival, CT, August 6, 2016.

Behind Main Street’s businesses, across the railroad tracks and over the bridge lies Hyde Park with the Historical Society and a couple of the springs that made the town famous. Johns Adams recuperated here, and partook. With a natural bowl surrounded by stately old pine and oak for a venue and the new music pavilion, the festival enjoys as fine a setting as any. So my brother–in–law says. And the talent too was top–notch. International. But be prepared, the stage lawn is full sun, if uncrowded.

Next year – August 5                            Stafford Springs Blues Festival

Joanne Shaw Taylor

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Back to Mystic

Again, some more exhibition news:


In the 1960’s, color photographic prints were usually made from color negative film, the exposure from a darkroom enlarger on light sensitive paper with dyes so unstable that we all were treated a few years later to the spectacle of hideously purple renditions of ourselves on prom night. But I mostly shot slides which would require a costly film internegative be made to then print to paper. Except for the relatively new but very difficult to use Cibachrome paper, which allowed direct printing from slide to paper. The azo dyes of its thirteen layer emulsion produced a depth and brilliance of color some say is still unmatched today. But oh, the long exposures and reciprocity, high contrast to control, dark shadows almost impossible, and a chemistry to gag on.

Mystic Photo at the Mystic Art Center was actually one of then few exclusively photography juried competitions. I had prints accepted in 1979 and 1981. I began making larger prints that were recognized by Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland as finalists for their International Grant Award. You had to ship them. And these were included in Mystic Photo in 1989.

That’s “Mystic”, as in pizza, in Connecticut, the movie, Matt Damon’s film debut.

Cibachrome was renamed Ilfochrome in 1992 after a change in ownership and discontinued in 2012. The color today in those vintage color photographic prints is as good as when they were made.

The Connecticut Academy’s 105th exhibition at the now Mystic Museum of Art is the first public exhibition of an archival pigment print from my new Crappy Negatives series – Mystic River.


That’s “Mystic”, as in the river just north out of Boston, with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon etc., the 2003 Clint Eastwood movie.

From the introduction to the Crappy Negatives series:

Of course, 45 years ago any serious introduction to the magic of photography began with a developing tank in a darkroom. Thank you Ralph Mercer. But even then with LIFE Magazine predominantly in color, my interest wasn’t great and patience less for the tedium of Ansel Adams’ zone system. All that note taking. Those negatives accumulated slipshod, loose or variously sleeved in what was to become a battered and broken cardboard box, masking taped–up, and too small for its contents. Stuffed on a shelf somewhere. More recently, a free HP flatbed scanner was provided with the new iMac – a good excuse to at least make a digital record. Some negatives were well stuck to their glassines, if that. But the struggling front light low res scans of crappy negatives did occasionally provide an intriguing result. What opportunity would digital provide to control the chaos? Especially tone. Now an archival pigment print. But with some effort, pushing pixels does feel a bit like painting Mudhead portraits for Charles Hawthorne on a Provincetown beach sometime early in the 20th Century.

To see more visit Crappy Negatives on the Reimagine New England website.

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Meadow Life at the Slater Museum

Some more exhibition news:

Meadows Poster

With continuing development of farmland and also reforestation of abandoned agricultural acreage, our fields and meadows, with their associated species are amongst the most endangered habitats, especially threatened birds. Also flood control as some require occasional standing water or other disturbance. Invasion by purple loosestrife is a serious altering problem. Fall mowing can help, my friend in Vermont waits until after nesting season before he’ll cut one of his fields.

Though the Slater summer exhibition takes an expanded view of the situation, their associated workshop focuses on the wet meadows and dry grasslands of Lowthorpe Meadow just north of town. Preserved since 1915, the museum will make a specimen gathering walk in the meadow on July 16th, followed up with a hands on The Art and Science of Herbaria back at the museum on July 31st.

We are grateful to being asked to provide four prints from the Reimagine New England portfolio, including Mudflat, you could say, also known as a clam meadow.


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