Calling Michigan Home: Different views of Michigan's landscapes

Nov 25, 2013

Photos from the exhibit Calling Michigan Home will be at the upcoming Kalamazoo Institute of Arts holiday sale. The exhibit shows ten photographers’ different perspectives on Michigan’s many landscapes.

Photographer Dave Jones takes close-up shots of tree bark and then mirrors the image in thirds to create something new.

“The images themselves after a while when you work with them, they almost take on a kind of mystical, religious-type motif,” says Jones. “You see detail—detail and color—that you don’t normally see. Like the very pale greenish blues that five feet away, one would never see.”

Nancy Gagliano took wide, horizontal photos of Michigan’s wide open spaces. The horizon line is centered in each one.

“I love abstractions as well and I get carried away with line and where your eye travels with the line,” says Gagliano. “And I do with open space and viewing the horizon which is one of the reasons I love northern New Mexico cause there’s such an expansiveness.”

Some artists photographed places in Michigan we tend to forget. Stacey Korycki took shots of lesser known places in Kalamazoo, like the folk art park near the corner of Almena Drive and West Main.

“This artist has created all of these things just out of odds and ends. And this is just a figure that’s in that park. And a lot of people go by there and they have never noticed or seen that that is there,” says Korycki. “And the point of these pictures was to stop and take a look at what you go past every day, take a notice of the things that you see every day.”

Corrine Satterlee took shots of ravines in South Haven, a part of South Haven that is very much overlooked compared to South Haven’s beaches. “There’s a whole water system of the ravines from the Black River that go out to Lake Michigan and they’re all through South Haven,” Satterlee says. “And they’re beautiful.”

In the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, Mary Whalen captured the quiet spots on the Kalamazoo River.

“It’s really beautiful in its scrubbiness in a way. And that was part of the time of year I wanted to photograph it especially, is in the spring and late fall where you could actually see it,” says Whalen. “And it does have a pretty sordid history with the paper mills and all the gunk that’s in it. But it perseveres.”  

The exhibit spans different styles and locations, but also different ways of developing film. Laurie Pruitt makes gum bi-chromate prints—one of the first types of color photographs.

“You build up layers in a gum bi-chromate print. So you’re doing multiple exposures and each exposure might have a different color pigment,” says Pruitt. “So the final result is that the images look a little more like paintings.”

Bob Shimmin uses wet plate collodion, which is the process that came just before the tintype. But he also uses his iPhone to create the same effect.

“And I use a little App called the Hipstamatic which actually makes your modern digital images look sort of like a 19th century wet plate image,” says Shimmin.

Photos in the exhibit Calling Michigan Home will be in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts holiday sale next weekend.