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Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers

Jun 5–Aug 3, 2014

Image Gallery

Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers

Jun 5–Aug 3, 2014

June 5 – August 3, 2014
Main Gallery

Featuring Bess Bieluczyk, Andy Bloxham, Muireann Brady, Joy Christiansen Erb, Jason DeMarte, Alex Emmons, Ashley Feagin, Carol Golemboski, Jay Gould, Darren Harvey-Regan, Christopher Jordan, Priya Kambli, Morgan Konn, Nate Larson, Marni Shindelman, Anne Leighton Massoni, Blue Mitchell, Rachel Girard Reisert, Libby Rowe, Christine Shank, Erin V. Sotak, Grace Weston, and Ruth Zelanski

Contemporary at Blue Star announces Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers a traveling photographic exhibition, from June 5, 2014 through August 3, 2014. Curated by Anne Leighton Massoni & Libby Rowe, the exhibition consists of 64 works by 23 artists. Previously on display at Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX, Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA and Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR in addition to other spaces, the exhibition features works focused on photography as a medium for storytelling and discusses the roles photographer, viewer and the image play in constructing narrative. Read more about Spinning Yarns on the website dedicated to the exhibition.


To “spin a yarn” is not just to tell a story but to construct a tale. Storytelling as an art form brings together the teller and audience to push and pull a narrative into being. The tellers initiate the act, providing a fertile soil to conjure visual and rhetorical play. Storytellers and audiences are dependent on one another, co-conspirators in sketching plot, character, place, conversation and event.

The Spinning Yarns artists, as tellers, impart their tales using photography as a vehicle. The nature of photography as a seemingly factual representation of what exists in a specific time and space informs how we structure and remember events. Since the advent of photography, artists have fabricated photographs, creating imagery through collage, photomontage and theatrical representations and illustrating existing stories: allegories, mythologies, and fables. In today’s contexts, contemporary photographic artists are telling stories differently by using open-ended narratives, visual metaphor and subtle manipulation of subjects and situations. Viewers are already practiced with the idea of inserting their own knowledge and experiences, as well as using creativity and imagination to augment an oral or written tale. The efficiency of an image is ideal in its ability to convey an open narrative, drawing in the audience by presenting more questions than answers. Filling in information, reading between the lines, is what makes an audience able to make the transition to the visual form of storytelling and the use of open narrative. They readily apply the same techniques when presented with a visual narrative.

Read individual artist statements and biographies here.

Exhibiting artists include:

Bess Bieluczyk | Andy Bloxham | Muireann Brady | Joy Christiansen Erb |Jason DeMarte | Alex Emmons | Ashley Feagin | Carol Golemboski | Jay GouldDarren Harvey-Regan | Christopher Jordan | Priya Kambli | Morgan Konn |Nate Larson | Marni Shindelman | Anne Leighton Massoni | Blue Mitchell |Rachel Girard Reisert | Libby Rowe | Christine Shank | Erin V. Sotak | Grace Weston | Ruth Zelanski