Houston, TX - Houston Center for Photography is pleased to launch its 2008-2009 season of exhibitions with three exciting exhibitions: Sage Sohier’s Perfectible Worlds, 2008 Fellowship recipient Mike Osborne’s On Location: Beijing and Learning Curve 2, an exhibition showcasing the work of students and teachers involved in the Houston Center for Photography’s Educational programming.
The photographs of Sage Sohier’s Perfectible Worlds explore the creator and the creation behind hobbyists, re-enactors, and enthusiasts from wildly diverse backgrounds and gives the viewer a sympathetic glimpse into their lives. Sohier argues that these “private passions” are adopted as a way to quell individuals’ anxieties. More specifically, anxieties fostered by the chaotic lives led in the contemporary Western world.
Presented as large scale environmental portraits, the photographs show us model builders, body builders, doll collectors and others in the midst of the activities that they derive the greatest form of satisfaction from. Activities that offer a chance for perfection in what Sohier points out is an “imperfect world”
As a Fulbright scholar, Mike Osborne spent six weeks in early 2007 in Beijing photographing it’s streets, buildings, advertisements, and citizens in the process of preparing for the 2008 summer Olympics.
This year, Mr. Osborne returned to Beijing to continue this project of documenting a city in transition. He states:
“…Beijing has seized on this global event as an opportunity to re-imagine itself as the center of a harmonious, modern, technologically oriented, and forward thinking society. Though there is a highly symbolic component to Beijing’s new image - think of the city’s embrace of avant-garde architectural forms for its centerpiece buildings – the city’s transformation is also pervasive and unmistakably real.”
Combining images that are both grand in representation of new architecture into the landscape as well as those that show the citizens of China on an empathetic and human scale, Mike Osborne has created a body of work that not only documents a slice of Beijing’s society in preparation for the 2008 Olympics but also shows their place in the world as a society on the cusp of enormous changes.
Learning Curve 2 is a selection of work by the Houston Center for Photography’s teachers and students from the past year. The exhibition highlights the various educational programs offered through its Learning Center. Students that have taken a class between September 07 – July 08 were invited to submit work they have made in the past year to showcase their experience in an HCP class. Their work will be shown along side images from the teachers that have taught at HCP during that time.
HCP offers over 150 workshops and classes a year in a wide range of skill levels and mediums reaching over 400 students. The teachers that conduct these workshops and classes are local professional photographers and artists that are able to share their knowledge with the Houston community. In addition to the teachers from Houston, HCP also hosts classes taught by visiting artists from across the nation such as Mark and France Scully Osterman, Keith Carter, and Dan Burkholder.
Important Upcoming Events
Sunday, September 7– Last day of the 2008 Juried Membership Exhibition, curated by Alison Nordström.
Saturday, October 11, 10am -5pm - Color Management with Scott Campbell, a Master Workshop
Saturday, November 15, 10am -5pm – Personal Narrative with Elinor Carucci, a Master Workshop
Thursday Evening Gallery Hours
Please join us Thursdays for extended gallery hours! Houston Center for Photography is now open from 11am – 9pm on Thursdays.