Artist/Photographer Member Lenny Foster
My life has been filled with many blessings. One of the blessings I am most cognizant of and thankful for is the gift of sight, both the physical and the imaginative. My mission at this point in my life is to show my gratitude for this gift by honoring and documenting beauty and what I perceive to be the presence of spirit in all that I encounter. The process of creating photographs for me is about communing with the Divine. Through this dialogue, with camera in hand, I’ve had numerous opportunities to transfer onto film my intimate revelations or sublime moments of spiritual insight. Pure joy is also a major contributing factor in my desire to capture and share wonderful images.
Most recently my creative focus is directed toward further developing five distinct bodies of work. The first of which is The Fleur du Soleil sunflower series. The process of creating the images for this body of work allowed me to meditatively transcend a difficult period of my life while discovering the profound stillness and beauty of the intricate, delicate universe of the sunflower. The last few years of reflecting on stages of relationship while photographing these sunflowers has been quite a healing process that has offered both spiritual and emotional growth.
The second project is Dreamtime, a series of horses. In creating this project I have discovered a level of intimacy, trust and communication with animals I hadn’t previously experienced. After spending a few quiet moments with each horse, these Shunka Wa-Kans (Holy Dogs in Lakota) would seemingly honor my desire for the perfect pose and composition. Each horse seems to intuitively respond to my goals, interacting with me in a way that allowed each one of their spirits to be glimpsed on film.
This third body of work, seventeen years in the making, is the Healing Hands, Peace, Prayer Love: series. Since 1995, while attending a weeklong healing ritual in Senegal, West Africa, I documented praying hands from cultures around the world. In addition to images created while traveling, some of the images in this series were created while attending diverse cultural ceremonies throughout the Southwestern United States. The subjects in this ever-expanding collection range from 6 months to 106 years of age. With each encounter and image created, Spirit reveals itself and continues to inspire my spiritual growth and artistic expression.
Invocation, the fourth body of work is a collection of a variety of imagery; still lives, scenics, and architectural that for me are more meditative, in some cases prayerful. Some are created in or around houses of worship, while others are created in the confines of my studio or in my favorite contemplative natural settings.
Lenny Foster’s photography career began in 1993, after a trip to the Southwest. During that two week vacation, in photographing the wide expanse of sky, unique architecture and varied landscape, Lenny created images that inspired him to hang up his coat and tie after 15 years in the automobile business. He then moved from the Washington, D.C. area to Taos, New Mexico, determined to pursue and develop this new-found passion for photography. He traveled many back roads in northern New Mexico, in search of “sacred moments,” the focal point for much of his early career. Travels to West Africa, Tahiti, the Virgin Islands, Mexico, and the Bahamas afforded Lenny the opportunity to see firsthand how beauty and Spirit are reflected in the landscape, architecture, and in the faces and hands of people in every culture.
The work created in those first few years marked the beginning of bodies of work that he is still developing and which continue to receive great acclaim. Lenny has been privileged to have his work in many private collections, both nationally and worldwide. His photography has been in several prominent institutions, such as the Harwood Museum in Taos, NM, and in the Albuquerque Museum, as well as in the permanent collection at the Muhammed Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lenny Foster has been honored with the distinction of being recognized as a Taos Living Master by the Taos Fall Arts Committee in 2007, and in 2010 Lenny’s image, The Spirit of Bandelier won The Patsy Schumacher Best of Show award at the Taos Fall Arts Festival. His photographs have been recognized by various national and statewide publications and purchased three times by New Mexico Art’s Council’s Art in Public Places program.
For the last fourteen years Lenny has had the good fortune to own and operate the Living Light Photography Studio/Gallery, which has just relocated to downtown Taos (on the boardwalk), in The historic Joseph Liebert House on Kit Carson Rd.
With the ebook of Healing Hands project recently published, in 2013 Lenny plans to release it in coffee table form and will also create the Fleur du Soleil in both an ebook and coffee table book format. In 2013/2014, Lenny’s photographic endeavors will likely take him to, Mexico, Morocco and Ethiopia, France, and Peru to create wonderful images and to have more incredible adventures.