Photo faculty Colin Stearns exhibits at Gallery 1401

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The University of the Arts Presents

Photographer Colin Stearns: Survey [Mason-Dixon Line]

Aug 23—Sep 20 2013

Gallery 1401




Philadelphia – Beginning in 1763, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed 300 miles of wilderness over the span of four years and 10 months, all the while foreshadowing a cultural barrier that has stood the test of time. “Survey [The Mason Dixon Line]” is Colin Stearns’ exhibition of large-format black and white prints that resulted from his “walking the path made by Mason and Dixon looking for the beginning of this country’s compass, and in the process, imagining the vision they saw. I photographed this border of cultural distinction at the places of its occurrence. This border was created before states were states, before the Union was chartered and before the Civil War.” In “Survey [The Mason Dixon Line],” Stearns exhibits 15 photographs from his five-year study of the land of the Mason-Dixon line survey. Stearns was born in Dalton, Georgia and having lived in West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama as well as Chicago and New York, has come to question the Mason-Dixon Line’s significance as a barrier of cultural demarcation.

The photographs in the series are evocative of the work made by Carlton Watkins and Timothy O’Sullivan during the late 1800s surveys of the American west, looking and seeing a space for the first time. In 1763, when Mason and Dixon began their survey, the land was wilderness: there was not a North or South. Stearns photographs this space as such, and questions which is north and which is south—he leaves out all signs or indicators.

Stearns has an MFA from Hunter College, New York City, and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in Auckland, New Zealand; Pingyao, China; Tokyo, Japan; and New York City, and was recently published in the Oxford American magazine, The Photo Review, Supermassive Black Hole magazine and Conveyor magazine. Stearns is an assistant professor of Photography at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. He lives and works in New York City.

There will be a reception on September 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. for Colin Stearns in Gallery 1401 and Monika Merva in the Mednick Gallery.

Gallery 1401 is located on the 14th floor of Terra Hall (211 S. Broad St.) at the University of the Arts, and offers a year-round regular schedule of exhibitions of contemporary photography. This exhibition is concurrent with “Monika Merva: City of Children” in the Sol Mednick Gallery (Gallery 1401’s sister space) on the 15th floor of Terra Hall. The UArts Photography program operates both galleries.

Gallery 1401 is observing its 15th year of operation and the Sol Mednick Gallery is in its 35th year. Associate Professor and former director of the Photography program Harris Fogel has been director/curator of both galleries since 1997. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Call 215-717-6300 for more information. Images available upon request.



August 23 – September 20, 2013
Gallery 1401 of Photography
Terra Hall, 14th floor
211 South Broad Street, Philadelphia Pa. 
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