Making Connections through the Louisville Photo Biennial
My name is Shamia Gaither, and recently, I set off to visit some of the establishments hosting work for the Louisville Photo Biennial. What exactly is the Louisville Photo Biennial? Started in 1999 with four East Market galleries, the Louisville Photo Biennial has now expanded to over fifty venues with photography showcases, occurring every other year in Metro Louisville, southern Indiana, and central Kentucky. This year, it took place from September 9 to November 14, 2021. The Carnegie participated with our exhibit, Hoosier Lifelines: Environmental and Social Change Along the Monon, 1847-2020, featuring photographs from Richard Koenig, Betsy Stirratt, and Maria Whiteman. While the Hoosier Lifelines exhibition has ended and the Photo Biennial is coming to a close, we at the Carnegie wanted to highlight four venues where I saw some fantastic photographs and made some great connections by simply walking down the street.
October 29th, 2:38 p.m.
Today, I made my way to the Arts Alliance on Market Street. The walk was only 10 minutes, and the scenery was beautiful. As I walked up, I was in awe of their new Monarch Educational Gardens and their welcoming red brick building. There I was greeted by Brian Bell (Executive Director) and Paig Trinkle (Programming Director and Curator) and the work of Richard S. Mc.Wherter and Vynex Gorlami. On the first floor, Mc.Wherter’s work highlighted the beauty and inherited act of storytelling through photographs and digital work of nature. And on the second floor, Vynex Gorlami showcased vivid images of our community’s “underground culture.” The Arts Alliance has hosted many great artists in their building filled with large windows that show an abundance of natural light to lend to the work they host. I made sure to take some photos of some new acquaintances and some of the work displayed.
November 5, 2:35 p.m.
Today I made my way over to The Root on Market Street, owned and operated by Brigid Morrissey. Built in 1859, this building has gone through many iterations, such as a general store and a pharmacy. It now serves as a co-working space that enables creative thought/activity and provides resources for businesses to thrive. I talked to Mark Morrissey about some of the work displayed there because I, unfortunately, missed it right before it was uninstalled. I would have loved to see the work of David Modica, Melissa Plush, and Bruce Cook. Maybe I’ll be able to catch their work next time. I can imagine the work of the walls of this well-lit building with vintage furniture that creates a comfy atmosphere, which I’m sure makes it the ideal work/meeting spot. So before I left, I had to take a photo of Mark in this great space. We were sad to also miss his daughter Brigid, who Mark says is the brains behind the operation.
November 5, 2:45 p.m.
Also on Main Street is Chestnuts and Pearls, an art gallery and antique store. It was terrific to see the work done by notable artists such as Fred and Ann Bremer, Jessica and Sharon Bussert, Paula Martin, and Eric Morris in conversation with each other alongside vintage articles. There I met the owner Linda Williams. We had a great discussion about how New Albany is the perfect place for artists to gather and converse due to the abundance of resources and convenience of the vicinity of New Albany.
I hope to continue making these connections, not only through the lens of the Louisville Photo Biennial, but also through the amazing things these artists and the people behind these downtown New Albany businesses have to offer.
By Shamia Gaither, Museum Educator