Is that your answer, Old Man? I guess you’re a hard case, too.


(Image courtesy of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

Now, you may have heard the rumors, but I’m here to report that what they say is true.

I am indeed going to jail. The Workhouse, actually.

But before you freak out, I think you should sit down for a spell first and hear what I have to say.

It might be more interesting if I said this little stint in the big house had something to do with knocking the heads off parking meters, but actually, it’s all about making new art. This past month, I went through the jury process to become an Associate Artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. Once the site of Virginia’s infamous Lorton Reformatory (which housed DC’s criminals–go figure), the Workhouse and the rest of the prison closed in the late 1990s. In 2004, the Lorton Arts Foundation secured permission from Fairfax County to begin transforming the property into a cultural arts center, which had its grand opening in 2008.

As an Associate Artist, I am not presently maintaining studio space on site, but I am exhibiting work on a monthly basis. This month I’m featuring two pieces from my August 2010 joint show with Marshall Hodge and Tricia Hatfield, an exhibition better known as The Illusion of Truth: Three Photographers on Implicit Memory. This month’s featured pieces include Eros #8: Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Aletheia #6: Consider the Alternative.

Eros #8: Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Aletheia #6: Consider the Alternative

Both pieces will be on exhibition through June 2 and are available for sale at $300 each.

So, if I’m not keeping a studio (and therefore a darkroom) at the Workhouse, then how will I be making new work?

Relax, I’m not going digital.

Beginning this month, I’m in the process of a massive overhaul of a storage space in the basement. By the end of June, I should have a full at-home darkroom up and running, with new work to follow in the late summer months. There are several hundred rolls of shot but undeveloped film awaiting my attention, and I’m looking forward to all that comes next. Also on the way are two other projects using found negatives and diary entries. I have previously blogged about the first, Other People’s Lives, on this site (scroll down for details), and it now appears that this project will take much of the next year and a half to complete in the manner that I think is most appropriate for exhibition. The other project, tentatively titled EC Penty and the Playboy of Essex, conflates the experiences of two vastly different groups of people into one visual narrative. I will say no more about it for now, other than that I can’t wait to exhibit it, hopefully near the end of this year or early in 2012.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, I don’t care if it rains or freezes….

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~ by ericplaag on May 5, 2011.

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