Community Portraits

October 5, 2004 - November 28, 2004
Central Library, Lobby Gallery
Community Portraits

Featuring Photos by Ann Rosen ("In the Presence of Family") and Terise Slotkin ("Mixed Doubles")

In "Mixed Doubles," Terise Slotkin's black and white portraits of local pairs — couples, business partners, siblings, etc. — depict a wide range of races, classes and couples. Focusing on the various ethnic groups of Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Downtown Brooklyn and Crown Heights, Ann Rosen's "In the Presence of the Family" chronicles family variety as exhibited through intermarriage, biracial adoption, integration and same-sex marriage. Combined, these artists' exhibitions capture the diversity of Brooklyn.

In the Presence of Family Photographs by Ann Rosen

For the past eleven years, I have been photographing families and the intermingling of cultures and ethnic groups of the residents of Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Crown Heights, and downtown Brooklyn. The project chronicles family diversity through intermarriage, biracial adoption, integration, and same sex marriages. People, their gestures and expressions, and their connections with their surroundings, are my subject.

Earlier phases of In the Presence of Family used color photography enhanced by hand painting, and black & white photography reminiscent of the 19th century – a hand-applied black & white emulsion.

For the current exhibition, I used color digital photography to photograph families in three different settings: “Family History Day” at The Brooklyn New School (where I teach), sitting on stools in front of a green patterned cloth backdrop in my studio, and at street fairs – Fabulous Fifth Avenue and Brooklyn Pride – during the spring of 2004. The photos incorporate text from the stories of these 50 families.

These images, as a body of work, reflect the empowering community and diversity of these Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Ann Rosen received a BFA in photography from SUNY at Buffalo, NY and a MFA in photographic studies from the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. She has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group shows throughout the New York region. Rosen has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and at Henry Street Settlement, NYC. Her grants include the Brooklyn Arts Council and New York State Council of the Arts.

This project was sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC).

Contact for Ann Rosen:
Exhibition in October through Gowanus Artists:

Mixed Doubles Photographs by Terise Slotkin

Mixed Doubles is an ongoing project that I have photographed in many different environments. The photographs on view – selections from the Red Hook Series 1994-98 – pay tribute to the people of this Brooklyn neighborhood. Mixed Doubles starkly catalogues community diversity as it focuses on pairs – the most basic of human relationships. The portable studio enables all sorts of pairs to enjoy the celebrity treatment. Spectators are welcome, and after observing, frequently decide to participate.

While we must all define ourselves as individuals, we do not exist in isolation. Our pairings – whether chosen, given, or assigned – define who we are as individuals and form the basis of our more complex social structures. At its most personal level the project enables participants to examine the range of partnerships that shape their lives. Further subtexts of the series explore gender relations and life cycles.

Picture making is both my vocation and passion. For me the process of capturing the still image is magical. My continually evolving style integrates artistic and commercial pursuits. It is not unusual for the former to become the basis for the latter and vice-versa. People are my primary subject matter. I enjoy interacting with my subjects and encourage their input and ideas.

Terise Slotkin was part of the NYC downtown art scene of the 1970s and a founding member of the Collaborative Projects. She participated in many Collaborative shows including the Times Square Show. With Richard J. Miller, she co-produced Spanner NYC, a magazine of art. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and reproduced in a range of publications including Bomb, Culturefront, and Art News.

For two Red Hook sessions this project was sponsored, in part, by the Re-Grant Decentralization Program of the Brooklyn Arts Council, which is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. It was administered through the Carroll Gardens Association and the Kentler International Drawing Space.

Contact for Terise Slotkin:

Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from The Greenwall Foundation.