RIT’s SPAS Gallery Hosts Two Contemporary Art Exhibitions

Artists’ discussion on April 17; opening reception scheduled for Friday, April 18




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The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (SPAS) Gallery at Rochester Institute of Technology will showcase two contemporary art exhibitions: Human Factor, photographs by Richard Gray, and artist David Taylor’s Working the Line: Riding with the United States Border Patrol, 2007.

An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 18, in the SPAS Gallery. The show runs through May 9. Prior to the opening, an artists’ discussion will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, in the Van Peursem Auditorium, Gosnell Building at RIT.

In Human Factors, Gray investigates the role of modern science in redefining human identity and the contemporary self. Inspired by the Human Genome Project, Gray worked in a pathology lab, photographing with a microscope—human cells. He then combined the biomedical-oriented images with those of posed figures, creating compelling pictures that draw upon photography’s close ties to science and its consequence in new interpretations of a person’s essential nature and character.

An alumnus of the MFA in imaging arts program at RIT, Gray is associate professor of photography and director of the Center for Creative Computing at the University of Notre Dame. He also serves as chair of the Society for Photographic Education, founded in Rochester in 1963.

The exhibition Working the Line is one of several art projects Taylor has undertaken documenting the border between the United States and Mexico. In 2006, the photographer received a commission to produce public artwork for a border patrol station in West Texas. For the following year, he rode with border patrol agents as they watched and guarded the hotly contested border demarcating the United States and Mexico.

Taylor is associate professor of photography at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Recognition of his significant work led to Taylor’s recent selection as a recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, an award given for outstanding contributions to the creative arts.

SPAS Gallery, located on the third floor of RIT’s Frank E. Gannett Building, is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment on weekends. For more information, call Therese Mulligan at (585) 475-2884.

The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology is the primary venue for photography in western New York. It offers an academic calendar of exhibitions by visiting artists, faculty and advanced students, artists’ talks, master classes and portfolio reviews. For information, call gallery director Therese Mulligan at 585-475-2884.