Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Dan Herman!

We are excited to introduce The Chicago Project Artist, Dan Herman!

Dan Herman is a photographer and artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Born in Bayreuth, Germany in 1980, he relocated to St. Louis, Missouri with his parents in 1984. He first began photographing while serving as a volunteer firefighter in rural Gerald, Missouri. In December of 2012, Dan graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago  with  a  BA  in  Photography.  In addition  to  exhibiting  at  the  Hokin  Honors Exhibition in 2011, he has won top awards from student shows at both Columbia College Chicago and East Central College in Union, Missouri. Dan’s latest work, [Re]Photography, explores the idea of using photography as a means of mark­making and using the camera and subsequent photographic print as tools for drawing.

Take a look at Dan Herman’s Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 in the making:

Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 © Dan Herman
Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 © Dan Herman


[Re]Photography explores the notion of utilizing photography as a means of mark-making to create compositions more akin to drawing or painting than that of traditional methods of the photographic medium. Pieces in this series are made up of a succession of translucent velum prints mounted onto canvas. Photography itself serves as the integral means of constructing each piece by either photographing a blank canvas in the setting it rests in, or by digitally compositing the blank canvas over a “traditional” image. The resulting image is then printed and mounted to the previously mentioned canvas, re-photographed, and repeated over several generations; the camera and subsequent print therefore become the tools for mark-making.

Intuitively responding to the previously placed components, each print builds a formalist relationship between various compositional elements. The work explores a chronological documentation of mark-making upon the composition by embracing the camera’s ability to render fine detail and compartmentalizing each generation of print into the frame of the next. Additionally, the translucency of the material adds to the record by exposing the visual foundation each component is built on. Each finished piece intends to emulate elements within the visual vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism, Formalism, and Minimalism while responding to issues throughout photography’s past—namely Pictorialism, photo-montaging, and essays highlighting ideas throughout the medium’s history.

Behind the scenes © Dan Herman
In the making: North Avenue Beach (March 27, 2013); March, 2013 © Dan Herman
North Avenue Beach (March 27, 2013); March, 2013 © Dan Herman

Select images from Dan Herman’s [Re]Photography series are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.

John Cyr: Developer Trays

Like many photographers, John Cyr has a strong attachment to his developer tray. The tray holds countless memories from the years of hard work together.

Barbara Mensch's Developer Tray, 2010 © John Cyr
Barbara Mensch’s Developer Tray, 2010 © John Cyr

In John’s series, Developer Trays, he presents us with images of darkroom trays from numerous photographers including Abelardo Morell, Ansel Adams, Bruce Davidson, Dan Estabrook, Sally Mann, and Michael Kenna – just to name a few. Marked with silver deposits and chemical stains, these photographs allow us to look into the memories and experiences of each influential photographer.

From the mid-nineteenth century until today, silver gelatin printing has been one of the most utilized photographic processes. From classic reportage to fine art photography, the majority of it was performed in a black and white darkroom until the mid-1970’s. As recently as 2000, black and white darkroom classes still served as the location for introduction to photography courses. The digital advances in photography over the past ten years have

been remarkable. I am photographing available developer trays so that the photography community will remember specific, tangible printing tools that have been a seminal part of the photographic experience for the past hundred years. By titling each tray with its owner’s name and the years in which it was used, I reference the historical significance of these objects in a minimal manner that evokes thought and introspection about what images have passed through each individual tray. – John Cyr

Sally Mann's Developer Tray, 2011 © John Cyr
Sally Mann’s Developer Tray, 2011 © John Cyr

To see more photographs from John Cyr’s Developer Trays series visit our website!

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Garrett Baumer!

We are excited to introduce The Chicago Project Artist, Garrett Baumer!

Garrett Baumer was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1981. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the University of Louisville in 2006 and his Master of Fine Arts in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012.

Breach, 2013 © Garrett Baumer
Breach, 2013 © Garrett Baumer

Shortly after graduating Baumer became the artist in residence in digital arts/photography at the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, where he is also an instructor. Recently his body of work, Restricted Access, has been featured in the summer issue of PDN’s Emerging photographer.  In June 2015 Baumer attended Review Santa Fe and in October will have a solo show in the Emergence Exhibition at The Union League Club of Chicago.

Containment , 2012 in the making

Garrett Baumer’s photographs play with perception. At first glance you ask yourself, does this place exist? Is this a secret government bunker, missile silo, or some kind of command center? In actuality, they are carefully built scenes made from led lights, paint, foam core, strobes, wire, and more.

I like how quite a photograph can be, how it can make one feel slightly uneasy without saying anything actually happening. – Garrett Baumer

Containment , 2012 © Garrett Baumer

Restricted Access

I envision a not too distant future when the people responsible for our own security fail with ill-fated results. This can be the breakdown of an already fragile infrastructure, the anxiety of preparing for our own defense, or the fear of coping with the aftermath of a tragic event. Based on these speculations a visual mythology of rarely seen places that are designed to monitor, control and respond to unfortunate events are created. I harvest these observations, analyzing how spaces can be transformed due to a high level of security or incidents of alarm and emergency. The act of being denied access to a place or the knowledge that a rare tragedy occurred only creates intrigue.  The moment when intrigue and the denial of information cross paths a mythology is born.

My image creation is heavily influenced by architecture that is strictly utilitarian. I look at how structures are built for security and privacy, then exaggerate those design elements. To dramatize the unseen I fabricate these scenarios through building 3D sets, placing the viewer in a strange mental space; caught between the photographic reality of the material and the alternate reality the space creates as a whole.

Alarm, 2013 in the making

Select images from Garrett Baumer’s Restricted Access series are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.

Missile Silo, 2015 © Garrett Baumer

Missile Silo, 2015 © Garrett Baumer


New Work by Kate Breakey!

Kate Breakey’s newest series, Golden Stardust, transforms every day objects, flowers and creatures into delicate 24kt gold photographs. Made completely of 24kt gold leaf, Kate’s pieces illustrate her interest in the creation and application of this highly valued chemical element.

Cone Shell after Rembrant © Kate Breakey
Cone Shell after Rembrant © Kate Breakey

 The Element ‘Gold, (Au) can only be make in the nuclear reactor of stars.

It came to our planet when the Earth was first forming, as dust from catastrophic astronomical events –stars imploding and ejecting energy, as light and matter. The events that produce most of the gold in the universe are called ‘Gamma Ray Bursts’. This occurs when a double star consisting of two neutron stars collapses under the force of gravity. Neutron stars are the cores of dead stars. They are only a few miles in diameter; so dense that every last bit of matter has been compressed down to the density of the atomic nucleus. The two dead, dark stars spin around each other for millions of years at millions of miles per hour, constantly pulling each other closer. Then finally they touch. At that moment more energy is released than the rest of the universe combined. Much of their mass collapses into a black hole and leaves our universe forever, but the rest is released in an enormous explosion of gamma rays and newly- formed elements. Some of that star- dust flung into space, is gold. The gold in the Earth’s crust was carried here on asteroids that hit the earth, during the ‘Late Heavy Bombardment‘ 3.8 billion years ago when the Earth gained most of its mass.

 The Ancient Egyptians believed that gold was the flesh of their Sun god ‘Ra’.

– Kate Breakey

Palo Verde Beetle tiny © Kate Breakey
Palo Verde Beetle tiny © Kate Breakey
Chrysanthemem © Kate Breakey
Chrysanthemem © Kate Breakey

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Katarzyna Derda!

We are excited to introduce The Chicago Project Artist, Katarzyna Derda.

Katarzyna Derda was born and raised in small town in Poland.  She decided to move to the United States in her early 20’s, and that is where she discovered her passion for photography.  In 2006, Katarzyna was accepted to the Daily Herald’s Newspaper Internship.  During this time, photojournalism became a dynamic way of gaining experience and polishing her skills.  After an inspiring year, Katarzyna decided to go back to school to develop her technical skills and look for a new medium of expression.

Photograph #2, 2014
Photograph #2, 2014 © Katarzyna Derda

Katarzyna began photographing and experimenting with different types of prints when she discovered the process of lith printing.  She began her work using dolls and figurines that she felt she had a connection with. Using inanimate objects in her work has been difficult, but at the same time extremely gratifying.  Katarzyna is able to pour her emotions into these images using these dolls to tell the story.

Photograph #2, 2014 in the making

Since 2012, her works have been exhibited in various group exhibitions across the United States and Europe.  In 2014, she was a finalist for her work in some of the most prestigious competitions, such as The Royal Photographic Society 157th International Print Exhibition, the 6th Julia Cameron Award, and the Photographer’s Forum Magazine.  She has received first place in the MIFA; Moscow International Foto Award and Honorable Mention in the IPA; International Photography Award.

Select images from Katarzyna’s Neverdoll series are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.


Neverdoll is a cinematic narrative that uses storytelling as a way to confront emotional states such as melancholy, loneliness and fear. The photographs represent pivotal moments in life’s journey, which is often a mysterious and romantic voyage. With the use of a small doll, with large eyes as the subject, the viewer is encouraged to immerse in themselves into these moments and to view the world differently. The artist, Fantoche, created the doll.

 Neverdoll is ongoing project photographed with a medium format camera and printed in a darkroom using lith process. This process provides me the opportunity to create one of kind photographs that are as delicate and gritty as life itself. The lith prints are then scanned and printed as mounted pigment prints.

Photograph #8, 2014 © Katarzyna Derda
Photograph #8, 2014 © Katarzyna Derda

I think that in some way my projects bring out my inner demons and some emotions buried deep may surface through some photographs.  The projects are not autobiographical and they have their own stories, but some of my feelings and emotions do come through.  I have been told that my work is like ‘painting photographs’.  It was one of the greatest things I’ve heard about my work to this day.

– Katarzyna Derda

Michael Kenna’s upcoming book, Forms of Japan.

In case you missed it on Michael Kenna’s Facebook page, below is a sneak peek of his newest book Forms of Japan. Make sure to get a copy of this incredible book, the release date is September 25th, 2015!


Michael Kenna, Yvonne Meyer-Lohr (Author) and Curt Holtz (Publisher) reviewing pages at Longo Press in Bozen, Italy.

11412064_10153514819199529_2584858414036391321_oForms of Japan, designed by Yvonne Meyer-Lohr, is organized into five chapters and includes 250 black and-white photographs by Michael Kenna taken over the course of 30 years. This collection of stunning and meditative photographs show us the coast and sea of Japan, snowy rice fields, Mount Fuji, Buddhist temples, and more.

10988297_10153514819074529_6345312720840563988_oHot off the press, this book is ready for the bindery!

11225291_10153514819129529_4655017965904297070_oForms of Japan is composed of quietly evocative photographs, often paired with classic haiku poems of Basho, Buson, Issa, and others, providing a contemplative portrait of a country better known for its energy and industry. Gorgeously reproduced to convey the enormous subtleties that exist in Michael Kenna’s traditional black-and-white silver prints, the photographs in this book include both well-known and previously unpublished images from all corners of Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Okinawa, and Shikoku.

The Chicago Project VI and Found Unfound open tomorrow!

CEG is proud to present The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery and Found Unfound, new works by Keliy Anderson-Staley, opening July 10th and running through August 29, 2015.

Make sure to join us for the opening reception with all of the artists tomorrow, Friday, July 10, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Chicago Project VI, L to R: Lauren Wilkins, Kevin Shick, and Garrett Baumer

The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery, is our bi-annual summer exhibition selected from participants in our online gallery. Artists in the exhibition include Garrett Baumer, Katarzyna Derda, Dan Herman, Elaine Suzanne Miller, Kevin Shick, Jason Vaughn, Lauren Wilkins and Everett C. Williams.

The Chicago Project VI, L to R: Everett C. Williams, Elaine Suzanne Miller, and and Jason Vaughn

2015 marks the twelve-year anniversary of The Chicago Project. Started in 2003, The Chicago Project was created as an online only gallery, devoted to unrepresented photographers in the Chicagoland area. In an effort to promote local talent, Catherine Edelman Gallery put out a call for submission to all local photographers to submit work on an ongoing basis. To date, the site has featured more than 90 photographers. The goal of the online gallery is to expose local artists to our ever-increasing audience, which includes curators and collectors worldwide.

The Chicago Project VI, Dan Herman
The Chicago Project VI, Katarazyna Derda

We will also be debuting new work by Keliy Anderson-Staley about the discovery of her biological father, in Found Unfound. Over the past year, Keliy has photographed both of her fathers in an effort to understand them, her childhood, and the role photography has played in her perception of family. Presented as an intertwined grid, these tintype portraits reflect the fundamental paradox of any photograph—that it can reveal a great deal and nothing at all, simultaneously.

install06Found Unfound

The first time I met my biological father was 2014, the same year I became a mother. Until the age of twelve, I didn’t know that my father, Tom, who had been raising us in an off-grid cabin in Maine, was not my “real” father. More shocking was that he had always known, but chose to raise me as his daughter. My mother gave me a single blurry photograph of my biological father—the only one she had—but I lost it a few years later. This lost photograph, and the significance it attained in its absence, became the inspiration for Found Unfound.

Over the past year, I’ve photographed both of my fathers, hoping to understand them, my childhood, and the role photography has played in my perception of family. Early family photographs from my childhood suddenly took on new meanings after finding Bill, whose image I had monumentalized for more than thirty years. In Found Unfound, the works are presented as an installation. In one part, small tintypes of both men are presented as an intermixed grid. The men look uncannily similar and often difficult to tell apart. In another part of the installation, large portraits of my fathers stare at one another, as if competing for my attention. These giants are out of proportion with reality—the biological father who turned out to be quite ordinary, and Tom, whose eccentricities I have grown to love, and who I would never think of as anything other than Dad. Found Unfound reflects the fundamental paradox of any photograph—that it can reveal a great deal and nothing at all, simultaneously.

-Keliy Anderson-Staley

See you tomorrow at CEG for the opening receptions from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m!