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The Collection highlights photographic artworks from the Wright State University’s permanent collection acquired by Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert from 1992–2007. During his 27-year career at Wright State University, Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert curated more than a dozen exhibitions that resulted in publications and/or additions for the school’s permanent collection. Among the listings was Parents, which bore witness to the profundity of that first relationship in our lives; and Water Being Water, featuring David Goldes, a scientist-turned-artist using the simplest of elements, H2O. Also of particular merit was the use of cutting-edge (at the time) technology—the CD-ROM—to inform audiences about the arts. In 1994, Geibert’s The New Street Photography was among the earliest CD-ROM publications about photography. As a free-lance producer, Geibert and Digital Editions Dayton published a 1997 CD-ROM on the FSA Period, followed by one that examined competition among youth in the United States and Japan. Perhaps the most significant undertakings, though, were the Kodak-sponsored Photography in the 1990s: Fifty Portfolios and Photography Now: One Hundred Portfolios electronic publications. Each was the result of works submitted from around the world—the first culled from submissions by 500 artists from 30 countries and the second from nearly 1,300 photographers representing 60 countries. Each made use of jury panels composed of distinguished curators from Germany, Japan, France, and New York, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Featured Artists: Aziz+Cucher, James Butkus, John Chervinsky, Doug DuBois, David Goldes, Nicholas Nixon, Olivia Parker, Alan Rath, Kerry Skarbakka, Sandy Skoglund, Robert Stivers, Henry Wessel
“Ron Geibert photographs with the sensibility of a jazz musician. He delights in taking chances, in exploring the edge where identifiable form shades into apparent randomness, and in discovering beauty and pleasure in the unexpected. His pictures have about them an air of improvisation, a freedom from deliberation and predictability; his photographic “touch” is attuned to subtle nuances more than to conspicuous gestures. Geibert’s photographs reflect qualities of discernment and sophistication, a sense of timing and apparent ease that put one in mind of a performer who plays in the vicinity of the note and next to the beat, but who is never so common and obvious as to play right on them.” —Sean Wilkinson
Four Decades celebrates the work of Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert and his 27-year career at Wright State University. Commonly artists work with a particular theme, problem, or issue for long periods, which is the case for artist Ron Geibert. For 20 years he was a color documentarian, followed by 20 years as an experimental installation and multi-media artist focused on Orwellian issues of deception and the oversaturation of stimuli. Recently, Geibert returned to the camera, then an iPhone, and then onto obsolete software to modify previously made works. Geibert simultaneously explored revised ideas, new ideas, and old ideas throughout his career.
This survey show includes many photographic works and publications generated over four decades of Geibert’s career. Acknowledging that the printed book is perhaps an instrument destined for obsolescence, Geibert’s plates are a visual tour of the beauty and beguiling power of images and text found within the pages. His panoramic “sliver” prints are a return to early ideas, though now illustrating information conveyed more by bits and pieces in the digital age. Traditional silver prints provide insight into his undergraduate days, while the panoramic inkjet prints using an iPhone are new ideas he discovered through the “sliver” exploration.
The Celebrative Spirit: 1937–1943 illustrates a country dependent upon social and recreational events to boost the spirit of their communities. The exhibition combines rarely seen photographs of this “community spirit” from the Library of Congress, rare audio and video interviews, and interpretative text by noted historian F. Jack Hurley on ten photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration during the Roosevelt Presidency. In 1935, the Roosevelt Administration took steps to illustrate to Congress and the American people the success of their fight against rural poverty. One of the most influential efforts of documentation was the photographic program under the Farm Security Administration, now commonly called the FSA Project. According to Director Roy Stryker, “What we ended up with was as well-rounded a picture of American life during that period as anyone could get.” Stryker had asked that the photographers keep in mind “that the purpose is to show that the residents are leading normal, settled lives. The families eat, sleep, work, laugh, raise children, gossip, picnic, read books, and wash clothes.” For most, the FSA Project is ancient history, but, for others, it is a source for reflection on current events and challenges.
Archives like the FSA Project help preserve the past, inform the present, and affect the future. Unfortunately, the truth in archives or history can also be manipulated by applying different rules and criteria to mark it. We will use the expertise of noted FSA historian F. Jack Hurley to provide a balance between the known and the speculated since he, among historians, had the most contact with the FSA photographers 45 years ago and during the decades that followed.
Featured Artists: Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Marjory Collins, Jack Delano, Arthur Siegel, Marion Post Wolcott
160 Creative Arts Center
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435
Hours: Wed–Sun Noon–4pm
Free to the Public