The Morningstar Art Collection is a permanent exhibit of photographic art at Lane Community College Library. It was founded in 1998 from a bequest by the late Mildred John in honor of her parents John and Ada B. Morningstar. The collection consists of work by local and regional photographers from Western Oregon. The Morningstar Collection opened in December 1999.
(from the Isabel Series)
16x20 Kodak infrared silver print
My artwork is an integral and vivid personal expression of my lived experience. My photographic fine art shows my attraction to the quirky and bizarre, and contains a distinguishing edginess derived from my desire to get close to things other people keep at a distance. I have fun seeking out the unusual view. In my journey in life, as well as in art, my internal emotional intuitive process and my intuitive creative process are two parts of a whole.
My fine art photographic work falls into three categories: Polaroid transfers, Holga work, and infrared work. The 'Isabel Series' is part of the infrared work. This early series was my first and to date my most extensive group of work. The series grew from a love of my doberman, Isabel, with whom I lived for 13 years. I photographed her consistently throughout her lifetime. I began to use infrared film early in the series, and I never wavered from its use. Isabel was a tolerant yet begrudging participant. The magic of the film and the dog, and my interactions with her, clicked for us with each photographic interaction. My interpretation of our relationship is displayed in the numerous images I created. The images show a range of emotional experiences. She was a long-lasting and intriguing inspiration for me."
" Rust in peace was photographed in Fall 1997 at a bend in the road on Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state. We asked the auto mechanic if we could take pictures of his old cars out the back ... suspicion turned to smiles, and we recognized in one another those who appreciate old cars..."
"Noon was taken on the small Greek Island of Kythira, located just south of the Peloponnese peninsula. The photo was named Noon to reflect a common moment in time - an hour of the day which we all pass through and the relationship between a family that could be one's own.
Though born in South Africa, I grew up here on the west coast of the U.S. in Berkeley, CA and Eugene, OR. My work is inspired by my travels across the globe, the relationships between people and the ever unfolding mysteries of life."
"This image was taken in the Tuscan countryside in the summer of 1998. It was an extremely hot day. I was driving around by myself and passed this woman. I backed up the car, and gestured to her for permission to take a picture (I don't always ask). She waved me off and shook her hand back and forth 'no!' - and smiled to reveal that she had no front teeth. I assured her in pidgin Italian that she was beautiful, and that no front teeth was not a problem. She agreed. This photograph was part of a group of 20 pieces that were displayed in late 1998 in Eugene."
"These images were shot on Kodak Elite 100 using a Pentax ME Super. A graduated gray filter was used for 'Crater Lake', taken in Fall 1998. The 'Untitled' image was taken near Autzen Stadium in 1993 without any manipulation or filters. My artistic statement? Do what makes your spirit smile."
"This photo was taken in summer 1996 at an altitude of 12,000 feet, on the flanks of Mt. Evans in the central Colorado Rockies. These are young bighorn sheep - they were so curious that I just waited for them to wander up, then took my shot without a telephoto."
"This image was originally created on the afternoon of March 30, 1997 in Paris. It was shot on Kodak T-MAX 100 Professional film and printed with selenium toning to maintain the deep blacks and high contrast of the original negative.
My photography has been exhibited locally in the New Zone Gallery's Annual Juried Show, Le Salon des Refuses, and at Lane Community College, and also in group shows in Minnesota and Wyoming. Corporate clients have included Alaska Airlines and U.S. West, and work is in private collections in the United States, Canada and England."
"I've been working as a commercial photographer in Eugene for 14 years and for the most part, the day to day work I'm lucky enough to do for clients is artistically satisfying. I still do like to make personal photographs on occasion and usually those involve pictures of people. I find that photographing people is endlessly fascinating. I began doing these 'Polaroid transfers' about 5 years ago and have found the look to be especially nice for the kind of portraits I do. The process, without getting too technical, involves using professional Polaroid film and transferring the image to watercolor paper for the final image, to get the painterly quality of the photographs."
"This still life is from December 1994. It was photographed in soft, late afternoon light in my kitchen on the Oregon coast, and conveys the beauty of an apple and pear. The image symbolizes a reverence for life, and respect for moments of solitude. In my still lifes, I photograph instinctively, responding to the sensuality of color, shapes, and texture in natural things or found objects."
Since 1991, Gary Tepfer has been the photographer for the Joint Mongolian-American-Russian Project ('ALTAY'), headed by his wife Dr. Esther Jacobson, the Maude Kerns professor of Asian Art at the University of Oregon. This project has as its goal the study of the cultural ecology of the Altay Mountains of South Siberia and Western Mongolia. This region is known as the cradle of Turkic civilization. Inhospitable and harsh by any standard, it provides a livelihood for a population of semi-nomadic herdsmen of Turkic and Mongolian stock. Gary has made repeated visits to this area over the last few years. Through his work and study, he has developed an intimate understanding of and empathy with the people, whose personalities tell the story of this harsh land.
"These photographs of the light, shadow, and sand of the Oregon coastal dunes are part of a portfolio I have been working on every winter since 1979. With each succeeding experience on the dunes, I gain a greater sense of the visual flow of dunes life. I have come to know the varying textures of the sand as it dries and moves, I can feel the wind flowing over the warm sand, and I can taste the salt in the air from the distant ocean spray. Each new encounter brings formations of sand that are truly new and unique, carved by the wind as if they were for me alone to see and photograph.
Returning to the same dunes year after year has become a type of visual and spiritual pilgrimage. I never feel more alive than when I am on the dunes walking the 'looking walk,' with all my physical, emotional, and intuitive senses open to the landscape that surrounds me. What I have experienced is not a mystical experience; it is a shift in cognitive perception.
With each passing year, as more open dune areas are lost, I feel each photograph becomes an act of preservation. By sharing my images of the dunes with others, I have the opportunity to help direct the course of human relationship to the threatened landscape. The Oregon Coastal Dunes are dying a slow death by strangulation. When they are gone, I will feel a deep personal loss, and everyone will lose the unique beauty found in these dunes."
"Field Studies is my systems-based response to the land. Through deconstruction of the landscape image, I attempt to reconstruct its meaning, redefine its parts and reevaluate the relationship between the local and the universal. All parts of a system have equal value. Once you consider things as being part of a system, rather than being independent, no part is seen as dispensable. Everything must be understood within its context.
Through the mixed media collage form of Field studies,I draw upon the body of knowledge already in existence to provide meaningful connections to the land, tying in concerns of the scientific, social and humanistic communities. The nature of my creative work and research is heavily inter-disciplinary and inter-media. Images of the land are layered with references to geology, biology, botany, geography, anthropology, history and literature. These constructions combine many visual forms including drawing, printmaking, paint, text, mapping, photography, digital imaging and handmade paper."
My personal work consists of medium- and large-format black and white landscapes. It increasingly centers on recording my images of the vanishing western Oregon rural landscape, which is being replaced by urban development. These photographs are from negatives made over the past fourteen years.
I support my personal photography as an archival printmaker for exhibiting photographers. Far from being a photo lab, I perform only custom printing for clients who demand exacting results. Extensive information concerning my methods, materials and contact data can be found on my web site: www.justincwilliams.com