Photography

An example of an image found in "Capturing the City," which features workers at the intersection of Grand and Olive circa 1907.
Capturing the City

Charles Clement Holt was many things: an engineer, a draftsman, a surveyor for the St. Louis Streets Department. He became so good at the latter that he eventually became head of the Streets Department.

Provided by CAM

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis hopes its upcoming exhibit will help regain some of the public trust lost after the Kelley Walker exhibit spawned controversy this fall.

The new exhibit will feature four artists: photographer Deanna Lawson, visual artist Louis Cameron, figurative painter Nicola Tyson and muralist Katherine Bernhardt.

Although CAM planned the latest exhibits before the Walker exhibit opened, administrators want the show, which opens in January, to address some of the concerns people in St. Louis had about Walker's displays.

Visitors and area artists expressed outrage that CAM gave wall space to a white artist who they criticized for defacing images of black people — from civil-rights era photographs to an enlarged image of the rapper Trina on the cover of the culture magazine King.

The artist, dressed in a cow-hide apron, Trillby hat and blinders, poses surrounded by hills of unused asphalt.
Provided by Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Drawn in by the landscape, South African artist Mohau Modisakeng hiked out to municipal yards holding heaps of asphalt in Nbabeni, a township outside Cape Town. Surrounded by road maintenance materials, he donned a cow-hide apron, trillby hat, and blinkers and began shooting the video and pictures that would become the artwork "To Move Mountains," currently on display at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Modisakeng is the 2016 winner of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award, one of South Africa’s major art awards. His work offers a look into how artists in other countries address racism and include images of black people. His approach is both personal and political.

Portraits hang at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art as workers finish setting up Erika Diettes' exhibit.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 3:20 p.m., Sept. 28 with Erika Diettes and Terry Dempsey's interview on St. Louis on the Air.

As the daughter of a Colombian general, Erika Diettes grew up fearing FARC rebels would one day kill her father. The rebels routinely made death threats and killed several government officials over decades. Though her father survived the conflict, and Diettes' fear dwindled, those thoughts stayed with her.

When she became a photographer, Diettes dedicated herself to examining how that violence affects individuals. Her portraits capture women as they recall watching rebels torture or kill loved ones during the half-century battle between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The photos  will be on display Sunday at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University.

Cahokia Power Plant from The American Bottom
Provided by Jennifer Colton

Driving down Interstate 70, headed west toward St. Louis, Jesse Vogler looked out the window and was shocked to see a giant mound rising from the earth. Excited, he mistook a large landfill for The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, which preserves the remains of a prehistoric civilization.

Lindy Drew sits at a bus stop on North Grand Boulevard. with St. Louis resident Bryan Gordon after approaching him about her social media photo project, Humans of St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis photographer Lindy Drew spends her days talking to strangers.

If they’re up for it, Drew asks questions like, “What’s the nicest thing anyone has said to you lately?” before asking to take their picture. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen her project: Humans of St. Louis, also known as HOSTL (pronounced “hostile”).

"Pretty Girl," "Pilgrim" and "Storyteller" are all photographs in the “Legends of the 36 Unknown” exhibition by Todd Weinstein.
Todd Weinstein

A photographer’s search for meaning is the seed of an exhibition opening Sunday on the campus of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center.

“Legends of the 36 Unknown” is a display of 36 photographs suggesting faces and figures in rocks, railroad ties and crumbling bricks.

Women and police on South Grand during a gathering to mourn VonDerrit Myers
Provided by Jarred Gastriech

Grand Center gallery Duet is pairing photographs by two photographers who documented the Ferguson Protests and the Bataclan shootings in Paris, as well as street life from the larger metro areas of both cities.  Both the gallerist and co-curator said the juxtaposition is intended to spark viewer’s awareness of the photographers’ unique perspectives in both circumstances.

"There are two things that go on with the photograph; the things that you know intellectually and culturally, and then the thing that makes a photograph special, that there’s something personal about it," said gallery owner and Lindenwood University Professor Daniel McGrath.

Drone warfare has spread from the battlefields to TV and movie thrillers. And now it’s spread to the fine art world. The Kemper Art Museum at Washington University is hosting one of the first museum shows critically examining drones. Yet, say the show’s curators, the art isn’t bogged down in political rhetoric. It's visually engaging and firmly grounded in contemporary art.

Courtesy Corey Woodruff

While most of us are finding creative ways to hide annoying political statements and baby pictures from our Facebook feed, one St. Louis photographer is going out of his way to reconnect with his Facebook friend — in person. This past fall, Corey Woodruff traveled more than 10,000 miles, cross country, in 28 days to photograph 360 of the people he’s befriended on Facebook over the years. As of Thursday night, he’s brought that number up to 370.

Santiago Bianco
Santiago Bianco

A group of primarily young St. Louis residents have launched a campaign to turn a crowd-sourced photo book about Ferguson-related protests and events into a free educational package for students in area schools.

Photographer Jess Dugan
Roddy MacInnes

Local artist Jess Dugan is joining the ranks of game-changers in fields ranging from education to disaster preparedness.

The St. Louis photographer will accept a Champion of Change Award at the White House Monday afternoon. The Obama administration launched the Champion of Change program in 2011 to pay tribute to people who are making a difference in their communities.

The Land Sister's project documented salary men in parks, restaurants, and in portraiture
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

This past May, St. Louis-based photographers Sarah-Marie and Andrea Land boarded a plane headed for Tokyo, Japan.

The sisters were looking to investigate the Japanese economic phenomena known as
the “salary man,” a white-collar worker characterized by excessive work hours, little sleep, related health problems, and a high rate of suicide.

Ernest Brooks

In 2015, it is hard to imagine a scuba diving trip that would not include at least 400 selfies. Not the case for world-renowned ocean photographer Ernest Brooks, whose exhibition "Silver Seas: An Odyssey" is now on display at the International Photography Hall of Fame.


Jenny Lewis by Abbie Gillardi
Abbie Gillardi

This weekend a new art show held in tribute to St. Louis and rock and roll opens in multiple Grand Center venues. Although the show is held in fine art spaces, organizer Jason Gray hopes it will attract music fans as well. 

“You can’t negate the fan right?” said Gray. “Rock and roll has this tremendous fan-base and culturally it’s this kind of zeitgeist, so it was important for me to think about what the fan would want to see and probably hasn’t seen before.”

Aunt Mamie Lang, Sister of Uncle Jim Lang to the Otey’s Nellie & Brothers ,” ca.  1890, Photographer Unknown (Star Gallery, Kansas Ci ty), ca. 1890, albumen print  cabinet card 6 ½ x 4 ¼ inches, in period frame. Collection of Robert E. Green.
The Sheldon

Pictures don’t lie, the saying goes.  But according to collector Robert Green of St. Louis’ near north side, many historic photos and other renderings of African Americans fail to tell the truth, or at least the whole story.

Looking for the estranged husband. (Digital print, 2015) Sarah-Marie Land
Sarah-Marie Land

Artist Sarah-Marie Land is working to bridge the gap between the banality of daily life and the sometimes disturbing events that take place around us.  

“It’s important for individuals to see a different documentation of crime in our city. It really helps you think about your environment differently,” said Land. 

State Sen. Scott Sifton angrily speaks on Wednesday. The Affton Democrat was a key figure in grinding business of the Senate to a halt after Republicans stopped a filibuster of right to work.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The final week of the Missouri General Assembly's session is usually pretty hectic — but not for the reasons that occurred last week.

This photo of St. Louis' Big Red Burlecamp was taken in St. Charles in 1963. Big Red is in the center, with guitar.
Reedy Press

When Kenneth Johnson was a young boy growing up in rural Missouri in the 1940s, his bedtime routine included music. But the sounds that lured this youngster into dreamland were the live performances of dance-hall musicians.

Ava channels Mary Eliza Mahoney , the country's first black professional nurse.
Chauncia Boyd Rogers

Oprah Winfrey, Zora Neale Hurston and Ida B. Wells, are just some of the figures 5-year-old Ava Noelle Rogers has embodied during Black History Month.

A photo from Vincent Cianni's "Gays in the Military" exhibit.
Vincent Cianni

Documentary photographer Vincent Cianni was working in his studio in November 2009 when he heard an interview with the mother of a young soldier who was being discharged from the military because he was gay.

Image by Don McKenna
Courtesy of the International Photography Hall of Fame

A new exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame bridges the gap between personal perspective and the unfeeling materials of stone, brick and steel. According to Executive Director John Nagel, 72, this focus can be found in the exhibit’s unfamiliar images of a well-known city.

“This is not the greatest hits of St. Louis architecture,” he said.

A photo from Regina DeLuise's Bhutan exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art in St. Louis.
Regina DeLuise

Photographer Regina DeLuise took a chance and ended up in Bhutan.

“Oftentimes in my life and in my career, I’ll just kind of throw my hat far over the fence somewhere and then go collect it and see what happens,” DeLuise told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “It was a very amazing trip. (A) very special place.”

Steph James
Jess Dugan

Until her late 50s, Steph James of Maryland Heights lived a life that, from all appearances, looked like the American dream.

Jess Dugan, left, and Vanessa Fabbre
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

When the TV show “Transparent” won two Golden Globe Awards a week ago Sunday, many transgender people felt validated, and a little less invisible.

Chris Renteria's portrait of an Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper assigned to protest detail re: Ferguson
Courtesy of Chris Renteria

This Friday the Kranzberg Arts Center opens a photo show challenging popular media representations of events in Ferguson. The photographers focused the lives of Ferguson residents, details, portraiture, and children instead of just conflict. Participating photographer Chris Renteria, 40, saw unity where many see division.

“Whether I looked through my lens and saw a police officer in riot gear holding an assault rifle, or a 2-year-old in his mom’s arms as she’s fist-raised and chanting - in each person there’s humanity,” said Renteria.

Via Cinema St. Louis

Flipping through the nation’s family album, what’s missing? That question led director Thomas Allen Harris to create “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,” a film that examines how photography shaped the identity and perceptions of blacks in America.

“In some ways, it is a history lesson, although it’s kind of a different take on history because we have a lot of contemporary artists in the film,” Harris told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “In many ways, as they do this, they reshape the way in which we view history.”

Photo Flood Photographer Jeni Kulka's September 20th Image in Tower Grove Park
Photo Flood Photographer Jeni Kulka

Late one sunny afternoon in late September eight photographers gathered at the Grand Avenue entrance to Tower Grove Park. For roughly 15 minutes the photographers chatted about gear, the quality of sunlight slipping through the leaves, and the stories behind some of their favorite photographs before slipping out into the park to document their surroundings.

Nic Tullis

The Sheldon has its own way of celebrating St. Louis’ birthday. Its new exhibit "The City at 250: A Celebration of St. Louis in Photographs" stemmed from a city-wide photo contest the Sheldon launched with the Beacon (now part of St. Louis Public Radio) that received over 500 entries. Focusing on photos of the city as it is today, the exhibit is a companion to the Sheldon's “Imagining the Founding of St. Louis.” Together, they offer a then and now view for the city’s 250th celebration.

Courtesy PHD Gallery

Updated following "Cityscape"

A couple of months ago, PHD Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock hesitated before pressing “Send” for his mass email soliciting selfies for an art exhibit.

“What if I do this big launch and the returns come back low?” Hitchcock said. “I was really, really nervous about it.”

But once he got a handful of “yes” responses, he figured he could use them as leverage.

“I could say, for instance, to Philip Slein, ‘Hey, Duane and Bruno are doing it, and Leslie Laskey and Roseann Weiss,'" Hitchcock said. "And it started to get legs.”

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