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July 17, 2020- August 6, 2020

TENDING THE GARDEN: photrography by Larry Risser and Jack Mader

The third of our summer of Covid-19 INSIDE-OUT window shows, Tending the Garden, features photography by Larry Risser, long-time friend of Homewood Studios, and Jack Mader, one of our resident artists. In discussions about possible content for this show, many themes were considered and discarded. The prevailing interest was to use their cameras to comment on the current state of our community and our world and an artist’s place in it.

Of his work for this show, Larry Risser writes: Busy with our lives, we set the thought of our own mortality aside, until we no longer can. Now, with the faceless pandemic and the racist exercise of systemic brutality, death has looked us in the eye, and we are confronted with that ultimate reality and its uncertain arrival. Our responses to this confrontation are as rich and varied as our humanity. We confront the reality, we protect our fragile lives, we force the thought aside, we meditate, we escape in diversions or in artistic expression, we turn to the timeless elements of nature, and we cling with renewed affection to those we love.

In these photographs I attempt to show something of that range of response, and I dedicate these images to my grandson Henry whose life was untimely taken by a reckless driver. And he adds: I am indebted to Jack Mader, my mentor, friend, and companion in this exhibit.

If you would like to see more of Larry’s work, please go to larryrisser.smugmug.com

For print purchase, you can contact him via email at lerisser10@gmail.com

And And Jack allows: In turbulent times, personal and otherwise, I tend to use photography and my camera to help me “see my way through.” Sometimes the subject matter is a direct confrontation of the grief and anger I might be feeling. But often the subject matter is an escape. In either instance, the process of creating is a meditation on the matters at hand, social, political or personal. At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, I made abstract images of ice and other subjects and shared them with friends and followers on Instagram and Facebook. It was much more than a personal exercise as I was hoping that the images would entertain viewers, if not help mitigate the struggle we’re all going through.

Then came the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. The horror of that video of a human being crying for his life as he is being suffocated by four Minneapolis police officers sickened me into a visual silence. I didn’t feel like taking pictures of anything.

My fellow Homewood artist and friend, Bill Jeter, invited us to a small ceremony at the site of George Floyd’s murder on 38th and Chicago. Bill rang his MLK Freedom Bell at one-minute intervals during 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence. I found the ceremony moving and was humbled by the outpouring of flowers, murals, posters, graffiti and personal offerings at the George Floyd memorial. I photographed all of that and a few days later I went back to the memorial and photographed even more. It was then I saw “May 25 2020” painted in large letters on the road, a date too, “Which will live in infamy.”

I am honored to be showing these images with Larry Risser, friend and photographer extraordinaire. I want to thank George Roberts and Homewood Studios for inviting us to do so.

If you would like to see more of Jack’s work please go to www.jackmader.com

For print purchase or otherwise you may contact him via e-mail at jack@jackmader.com

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