News

RANDOM AND RESPONSE - SHOW WITH C.A. MILLNER - HERITAGE GALLERY, WHITINSVILLE, MA
20th August 2017
A new exhibit with C.A. Millner at the Heritage Gallery in Whitinisville, MA.
The show runs from Sept 1 - Oct 13 and has 13 pairings of image to calligraphy. Also on view are additional displays documenting C.A.'s process and my use of found objects.

I was fortunate to have C.A. agree to collaborate on this show which pairs some of my small scale drawings, prints and photo collages from the past 20 years with C.A.'s highly creative visual word play. I gave C.A. about 50 small copies of images and she chose what she wanted to respond to. I will post more of the collaboration later, but for now:

Artist in Residence -Artist Association of Nantucket May-June 2017
16th June 2017
I just returned from a visit to Nantucket Island. This is my third artist residency on Nantucket with previous visits courtesy of the Nantucket Island School of Art & Design.

On this trip I foraged many sites that I will be gleaning from over the coming months. I seem to seek out Nantucket after particularly traumatic events in my life. This time I was testing my strength after a very sudden near death (or actual death) experience and a seemingly miraculous recovery. There is something on this island that is an elixir to my frayed nerves.

Aside from Nantucket's sublime landscape, I am attracted to the history of the whaling era and the architectural preservation of the main town and historic Siaconset. Lectures and exhibits at the UU Church, the Whaling Museum, the Athenaeum, and the Lifesaving Museum helped curb my severe shock and disappointment with how developed the Island has become.

I returned to the Hidden Forest which truly is hidden and I will not reveal its location. Even locals don't know where this is and it took me most of my trip to find it again --- like some old friend I had been searching for.

I took my 4wd off roading as an antidote to my 6 months without a car -- and to perhaps see into my future... How far goes that road ahead? Better take it now.

I also had an encounter with a ghost, but that is a story for another day......

As a prelude to this visit I reconstructed a previous Nantucket landscape that I shot in 1994. I scanned the negatives to make a digital version. I thought perhaps the colors were off, but on re-visiting the Nantucket moors I found them to be fairly accurate. The yellow sky shot is just how it appeared from the negative - so I left it. On the day of my photo shoot I found a red tail hawk feather which I later gave to a local woman who had property on Tuckernuck Island. She was suffering from Lyme disease and told me that Red Tail feathers could be useful in easing her symptoms.

Red Tail, Nantucket (1994 & 2017)


In 2003 I visited Nantucket again. During that trip I experienced a Nor'easter and I went to Getty Beach to photograph the surf. I was standing at the shore and a rogue wave came up to my waist. Not a good idea. These shots I used in several shell images including "Isadora" and "Listen."

Isadora

Listen
Exhibit: "Plot" at the Davis Gallery, Worcester, Ma
23rd May 2017
I am showing a sequence of 4 large photo collages for "Plot - Gardens and the Stories of Seeds" June 9 - August 14, 2017 at the Davis Gallery in Worcester, Ma.

This show was curated by and dedicated to Heather Adels who died suddenly during the planning stages. Below I include my statement for the exhibit. Also included in this show is work by one of my favorite artists Steve Negron.


Ripe (Tower Hill) ©2017


Seed Dreams for Heather (Tower Hill) ©2017


The Pink Shed (Tower Hill) 2017


Harvest (Tower Hill) 2017

Artist Statement for "Plot"

For this exhibit I show four images shot at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA.

I had been visiting Tower Hill periodically and walking the trails on the property. The terrain was a challenge because I normally use wild nature and not “gentrified” gardens as my subject.

But when nature is involved the “wild” is always in play. To make a garden we must measure and lay out the plots, prepare the soil, and plant the seeds. Then the sun, water, and air take over. The calm expectancy of April is havoc by mid June.

Gardens are places where the imagination can flourish. In wild nature, seemingly random combinations create patterns that expresses the specific elements in play. In a gentrified garden, the human hand plays a more powerful and controlling role, but “nature” is ultimately in charge.

In my interaction with the curator for this show I sent Heather Adels a few images that might work for her theme of “Plots.” She was most enthusiastic when I superimposed flowers over the landscape. With this in mind I dedicate the winter image “Seed Dreams” to Heather, whose laughter and enthusiasm are indelible.

For this image I visited Tower Hill in March. There was snow on the ground and a Witch Hazel tree was in its yellow bloom. This is one of the earliest harbingers of spring. That day I also visited the greenhouses at the Tower Hill complex and photographed various blooms. After putting the composition together (from about 25 separate photo frames) I added the flying flower as a prompt to our memories and imagination. We are dreaming of what is to come after the earth has warmed.

At Tower Hill there is a shed that became a motif in my sequence of images. In “The Pink Shed” we are in early/mid spring and the dance has just started. The elements of growth are at the beginning of their engagement. In “Harvest” a few months later the almost chaotic results bombard us with their frenzy —and we are catapulting to the end… In “Ripe” we know that the heavy color of the fall foliage will soon be on the ground, the earth will slumber, and then we will start again.

This exhibit was an opportunity for me to find my own small place in this beautiful cycle.

Thank you Heather.
Exhibition Art Center Sarasota - The Third Entity with Amy Ernst - Surrealism & Collaboration
11th May 2017
I am having an exhibition a the Art Center of Sarasota, Sarasota Florida from May 25- June 30, 2017. Works included are 16 photo collages completed from a three year repeat Artist Residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida. www.artcenter.org and www.hermitageartistretreat.org


Morning/Infinity (Englewood, Florida) 2017


Nokomis, Florida 2017


Exhibit poster

All my pieces in the show can be seen in my Florida Gallery on this site. This show includes three collaborative pairs with shared objects also used by Amy Ernst.

Aspects of collage and Surrealism inform this exhibit. The title of the show is -
The Third Entity - which implies an alchemy when different realities are combined. In this case landscape and found object reside in the same space and produce a heightened reality.

I have been photographing the beach for many years. For me, the clean slate of the ocean landscape is a fertile background for musings, dreams, and fantasies.



Architecture - Southeast Center for Photography April 7-29, 2017
27th March 2017
I am included in a exhibit at the Southeast Center for Photography, images chosen by
Tillman Crane - www.tillmancrane.com. The show is called "Architecture." Crane chose my car piece "Moulin a vent (Windmill)." I shot this as we approached this interesting site outside of Auvillar, France. My tour companion/tour guide had not prepared me for what was coming and it was a happy serendipity. Check out the Southeast Center at www.sec4p.com

Dean's Gallery, SMFA and Tufts University January-May 31, 2017
10th December 2016
My image "Spring Rain, Walden" is included in the inaugural Dean's Gallery exhibition commemorating the merging of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston into the Tufts University Art Program. The show will be up from Jan 11 - May 31, 2017.

Here and there in 2016
13th April 2016
In January-Feb. I showed 5 collages at the Moosehill Gallery at Mass Audubon in Sharon, Ma.
Moosehill's Curator Jan Goba invited several artists who have shown at Moosehill over the years to participate in this exhibit titled "Looking Back...Moving Forward." I showed the usual suspects. My image "Freight Train, Walpole" was used for the show's publicity.


Freight Train

Elsewhere, "Freight Train, Walpole" was given the First Prize award for Alternative Processes in The Fine Art of Photography exhibit currently at the Plymouth Center for the Arts (until May 14). It was also chosen for a show at the LA Center for Digital Art, and was singled out by Mark Feeney in his Globe review "Differing Visions of Photography at Danforth Art" (scroll down to Mark Feeney Globe Review). Occasionally one of my images seems to have more legs than others. The Plymouth show attracts submissions from hundreds of artist nationwide and is really worth seeing. Not only that, they give substantial prize money to the winners, which is how it should be.

Switching back to the Audubon show, the more subtle composition "Blush, Beebe Woods, Falmouth" paired nicely with a spring forest photograph by Art Donahue (well known videographer for the popular New England Chronicle News/Feature program). Also exceptional in this show were images by photographer Fred Martins who I have showed with before at Moosehill.


Blush, Beebe Woods, Falmouth
Danforth Art acquires "Into the Light" photo collage
20th December 2015
Danforth Art in Framingham, Ma (formerly the Danforth Museum and I seem to call it that having known it since 1981...) has acquired my photo collage "Into the Light."

It is included in their show The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects and the Interior" (through Feb 28,) and was mentioned in Mark Feeney's Jan 19 review in the Boston Globe. Feeney notes "Amy Ragus's fragmented photographs of a car interior (a very post-1950's sort of domestic space)" etc.

Hermitage Fundraiser, Florida
29th October 2015
I have donated a print of Manasota Key Sunset (Stump Point) to the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood for an upcoming fundraiser. Photographed in 2013 on my first visit to the Hermitage as an artist in residence, I visited this northern section of Manasota Key on a suggestion from a new friend. The place was lovely and almost deserted as it was a bit of a hike to get there. I chose the early sunset as a time to shoot. This piece is actually a collage of 30+ separate frames to make a continuous surface. You can see the collage in its first manifestation (with the overlapping frames) in my "Florida" gallery on this site.

Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA
05th September 2015
I am included in the "Small Prints" exhibit at Panopticon Gallery Sept 10 - Nov 30.

The image "Wyman Meadow, Walden Pond" is best seen at 40x40" Here it is 10x10" Still packs a punch.

Fractured Visions at Catamount Arts, St. Johnsbury, VT
03rd August 2015
I am showing 22 collages at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, Vt August 7- Sept 13. Link to Catamount: http://www.catamountarts.org/exhibitions/main-gallery-exhibit/

Included in the exhibit is Moss Glen Falls photographed in Stowe, Vermont, about an hour west of St. Johnsbury.

SOLD to a Vermont collector
VCCA Moulin a Nef, France Anniversary Exhibit
10th July 2015
A collage completed in Auvillar, France while I was in residency at Moulin a Nef will be included in the retreat's anniversary exhibit organized by the Virginia Center for the Arts. The exhibit will be displayed in the Chapelle Sainte Catherine du Porte (8th-9th C), which appears to the right the red shuttered home (see below). Sainte Catherine is the patron saint of the boatmen who operated on the Garonne River (far left). The show will travel to other exhibit spaces in France.

"In My Memory, Auvillar" was shot a few yards from the Virginia Center's retreat compound (far right). The road passing in front of Saint Catherine is part of the pilgrimage route (El Camino) that runs from Northern France to the Cathedral of Santiago in Northwestern Spain.

In My Memory, Auvillar France 2012 photo collage


Another image shot at this location is below, titled "Pilgrim Walking." Here is a view of the front of the Chapelle Sainte Catherine, where the VCCA exhibit will be hung. Although I was in Auvillar late in the pilgrimage season, I would occasionally see and hear pilgrims pass below my window on their way up to the town center of Auvillar. The tapping of walking sticks would alert me.
This photo collage is my projection of the possible desires of a pilgrim on this voyage. I can imagine that while making this solitary walk that I would be hoping for some shift in my outlook, some message to be received, some gift from above...

Pilgrim Walking, Auvillar 2012 photo collage
Mark Feeney Boston Globe Review - Differing visions of photography at Danforth Art
21st April 2015
Review by Boston Globe Photography critic Mark Feeney. Below reprinted are excerpts from the larger review which also includes a review of Elizabeth Ellenwoods' show "Of Light and Line." For full review use link: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2015/04/20/differing-visions-photography-danforth-art/ELoP0O8P3LJjjftJflnshN/story.html

Differing Visions of photography at Danforth Art
By Mark Feeney GLOBE STAFF APRIL 21, 2015

Prilla Smith Brackett and Amy Ragus’s “Fractured Visions,” which also runs through May 17, is a kind of coversation. Brackett does landscapes that variously combine drawing, acrylic, woodcut, oil, stencil, and other formats. She loves layering — of picture planes as well as media. What she really loves, though, are trees. They figure throughout her 16 works here.

Ragus likes trees too. A pair of them frame the cascade in “Yosemite Falls.” And, yes, a line of bare trees fills the background of “Freight Train.” But what you notice with the latter is how Ragus has visually exploded the interior of her Ford sedan. At once alarming and humorous, it’s as if Lee Friedlander’s “America by Car” series has crashed into one of David Hockney’s “joiner” photo collages. Like Hockney, Ragus takes multiple exposures and arranges them to form a larger whole that’s jagged and jazzy. Sometimes there’s more collaging, sometimes less: so subtle as to be all but unnoticeable in the magnificent emptiness of a Newfoundland landscape; almost Cubist, the picture can look that fragmented, as in “Freight Train” and four other car interiors.

Freight Train


Yosemite Falls



Ragus’s and Brackett’s images don’t so much resemble each other as rhyme. The visions may be fractured, but they speak to each other. This is one case where compound fracture is preferable to simple.
Fractured Visions Catalog on Line
15th March 2015
The catalog for my show can be viewed by using the following link to the PDF document. Courtesy of Danforth Art, 2015, All rights reserved.
Fy15 Da Se Brackettragus Fractured Visions Exhibition Catalog 2mb Email
CLICK ON THIS LINK ABOVE TO VIEW CATALOG



Or you may access it via the Danforth Art website http://www.danforthart.org/PrillaSmithBrackettandAmyRagus-FracturedVisions.html
Scroll down to "About the Exhibit" to blue download line "Fractured Visions Exhibition Catalog (PDF, 5 MB) This site gives you information about all programs currently at Danforth Art.
Fractured Visions at the Danforth Museum March 14- May 17
27th February 2015
My exhibition "Fractured Visions" with Prilla Smith Brackett opens on March 14 at Danforth Art - Museum/School in Framingham Ma. The March 14th 6-8 pm opening is a "Members only" event but you can contact me for inclusion on the admittance list.

Artist Talks are: Wed March 25 12:30 Ragus/Brackett in conversation
Sunday March 29 - 3 pm Prilla Smith Brackett
Sunday April 12 - 3 pm Amy Ragus

Show Dates are March 14- May 17, 2015.
Details about the Danforth Museum go to www.danforthart.org.
The exhibit will travel to Catamount Arts in Vermont Fall 2015.

The exhibition was curated by Michele Cohen and is accompanied with a catalog which will be available on line. Essays by Michele Cohen and Danforth Museum curator Jessica Roscio focus on how our work uses painterly and photographic approaches.

I am showing 19 photo collages ranging in size from 20 inches to 60 inches. The show is an eclectic sampling of various series including landscape panoramas, woods collages, and my car series. I include works that have been scanned from 35mm negatives along with digital capture. I also include images that are seamless collages (from multiple shots made continuous in Photoshop). Below is a car view collage "IMU (Earth Oven, Hawaii)" originally shot in 1998 and completed with multiple C prints as a cut and paste collage. In my current 2014 version I have scanned the negatives to complete a digital collage that closely reproduces the original.

Also included is a simple 3 frame collage "Max, Gros Morne Newfoundland." I have called this type of image a "whimsy" as it is a fast and fanciful combination of distinct images. Here I am working in the tradition of the Surrealism and strongly influenced by Georgia O'Keefe, Man Ray, and Picasso. This is the smallest image in my show at about 20 inches.


Imu (Earth Oven, Hawaii)25x46" - This image was shot on the Big Island of Hawaii while I was on an extended visit. I was staying in a remote retreat and on the second night I experienced my first earthquake. Kilauea had erupted and I eventually hired a guide to take me out near the site where I saw the lava tubes and red molten streams flowing into the ocean. My shots of the lava were combined with a view from my rental car. A large portion of the Island is a field of cooled lava (as seen here), not the tropical paradise we all imagine. The clouds are clouds from the volcano site that can be seen for miles.


Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland 35 x 52" This image was shot with film while I was an artist in residence with Selma Bromberg at Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. Tablelands is an extensive field of much studied archeological formations. Walking into the Tablelands is a sobering experience and we rarely encountered other visitors. This piece combines over 85 separate photo frames (35mm film) that I scanned recently to complete this piece as a digital file. I left one collage element in the foreground.


Max, Gros Morne, Newfoundland

Invitational Show at Three Stones Gallery, Concord, Ma. through March 26, 2015
15th January 2015
I have four photo collages in a group show at the Three Stones Gallery in West Concord, Ma. The images are from my New England series and include sites at Walden, Fruitlands, and Dudley Pond in Wayland. The show dates are Jan. 7 - March 26. The the opening is Saturday January 31st from 6-9 pm, postponed one week because of the blizzard here in New England. This will be a lively event as the owner Jennifer Johnston is dedicated to showing local New England artists. Gallery address is:
115 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA. Phone is 978 399 8611 or contact Jennifer at wildflower3477@comcast.net. The Gallery is open Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30. Contact Jennifer for specific times she will be on hand.

Fall Promises, Fruitlands

Along the Old Road, Fruitlands

SOLD!!!!!!
Tracks, Walden Pond

At Dudley Pond, Wayland
Work at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art LACDA
20th September 2014
Freight Train, Walpole is currently on exhibit (Sept 2014) at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. This image was shot in my driveway after another January snow storm. I enjoy the passing freight train as I warm up my truck.
Highfield Hall Exhibit July 9- Sept 7
18th July 2014
Highfield Hall is an historic estate in Falmouth, Ma. The Programs Director Annie Dean fills the mansion with a variety of art with an emphasis on highly crafted work. Along with my show of 17 photo collages is a show of images from the American Guild of Paper Cutters and an environmental art and sculpture exhibit called Portals and Passageways on the grounds surrounding Highfield Hall. One of my collages "Gypsy's Staircase" is included in this show as well and is used for the back cover of the brochure.

In my larger show Into the Woods: Photocollages by Amy Ragus I included 5 images that I shot on the Highfield grounds and the surrounding Bebe Woods.
Gypsy's staircase

Brochure for Portals and Passages

Magic Wand, Beebe Woods, Falmouth
Artist in Residence Hermitage Artist Retreat, Florida
05th March 2014
This winter I spent several weeks at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida.





I went to the Hermitage to escape the New England Winter, if only for a while. One goal was to find "Old Florida" growth forest. I found good material along the Myakka River at Myakka State Park in Sarasota. I also embraced the classic beach scenery with hopes of transforming it.