North Fork photographer Alex Ferrone‘s beautifully composed and printed aerial photographs are on view in two group shows and one solo exhibition this weekend.
Ferrone’s work is featured along with 24 regional photographers in the East End Photographers Group 30th Anniversary Spring Exhibition at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton (780 Springs Fireplace Road), closing this Sunday, June 10. A special reception, from 3–5 p.m. on Sunday, will offer a short documentary screening and Q&A with filmmaker John Jinks and Sagaponack-based sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp.
Also closing Sunday, Solely Women at William Ris Gallery in Jamesport (1291 Main Road) is displaying four of Ferrone’s photos among work from 12 other female artists.
Her solo exhibition, Above and Beyond, is now on view at The Art Gallery at Quogue Library (90 Quogue Street), through June 29. Ferrone will attend an artist reception this Saturday, June 9 from 3–4:30 p.m.
An accomplished photographer and active member of the East End’s vibrant community of artists, Ferrone’s work should not be missed—especially while it’s conveniently available at three locations.
We spoke with her this week to learn more about her shows, process and work.
What a busy time! You have three shows going on at once, at least through June 10. How did you decide what went where?
When the curator from The Art Gallery at the Quogue Library contacted me for a summer solo exhibition, I decided to present a series of larger works which just happen to have colors and tones specific for a Hamptons’ summer audience. Among those are some older and newer pieces—very flowing images with meditative blues and greens and softer tones.
For the William Ris Gallery exhibit, Solely Women, the director, Mary Cantone, was looking for works inspired, influenced and created by women, and chose a few pieces from other available works in my inventory that she found to be a bit more sensual.
For the East End Photographers Group 30th Anniversary exhibit at Ashawagh Hall, I am showing two new framed prints, very abstract and painterly having more earth tones than the brighter blues and greens in Quogue.
Tell me about the work, especially in the solo show in Quogue. How much work are you showing?
There are 10 works in Quogue. On exhibit are eight dye sublimation prints on satin finished white aluminum. Three are float-framed in white contemporary framing, and five are printed to the edge with dimensional mounting brackets. Those vary in width sizes from 26 to 48 inches.
I also have two framed archival pigment prints on fine art paper, framed contemporary white, that are each 34 inches and 50 inches wide. I feel it’s a beautiful and serene selection, and have received wonderful responses from this exhibit already.
What is your process? How do you capture the aerial images? Drone? Ultralight?
No drones yet, I photograph old school, by helicopter. I find there is more of a personal connective sensibility in my work, as it is produced directly from my eye with the tool (camera) to the subject, and not from my eye to computer to tool to subject.
As I fly, I am actually looking for, and composing images in advance from the air, and not happening upon them because they come into screen view. When I can accomplish that with a drone, I might use one then. As for ultralights, I would like to try one some day.
I have much admiration for George Steinmetz and Gaetan Hutter, amazing photographers who photograph from powered paragliders. Again, it’s eye-to-subject.
Have you enjoyed being part of an all-female exhibition? Any thoughts about female art being represented on the East End?
Yes, I am honored to be exhibiting in the company of such amazing creatives, like Anahi DeCanio, Ellen Goldstein, Jane Kirkwood, Lori Hollander and Valerie Zeman, among the others. The director, Mary Cantone, produced a very interesting exhibit with a wonderful selection of art and artists.
As for female artists on the East End, there is an incredible amount of talent out here, and I have been very fortunate to work with some of them. Since I am an emerging artist, I don’t really have the experience yet to answer regarding the practice of representation of female artists, or if there is any difference vs. representation of male artists on the East End.
And, while I really can’t speak for others, I do understand that many of us are working diligently to seek that representation. It is very difficult to promote oneself—especially as an emerging artist. Some of us might not have the right connections, or have the right time, geography or means to attend all the openings and important art events to meet those connections.
So, we keep sending our portfolios out, and exhibiting when we can, to see if we can get the attention of representation. It can be exhausting especially if you have a “day job.” I guess that’s the normal plight of many artists, female or male.
What’s next? Any future shows scheduled? Are you looking for new places to shoot for future work?
In July, I am exhibiting larger works at The Theatre Gallery at Peconic Landing in Greenport. It’s a substantial space, and I am working with Dominic Antignano and Jane Kirkwood of East End Arts along with Richard Mizdal and the art committee there for that show.
As for new places to photograph, well, I have taken some time off from flying for now to concentrate on printing works and seeking representation. The New York area still holds my creative interest, as the waters and landscapes constantly change and present new compositions all the time. However, I am considering a southern France excursion later this year, and I’m sure the new territory will provide a beautiful new experience.
Tell me briefly about the East End Photographers Group.
Photographers Gerry Giliberti, Liz Glasgow and Tim Lee formed EEPG 30 years ago. It began as group who met to discuss photography in general, talk about each other’s works, exhibit works and to be social among folks who shared a love of the medium.
It was the first formal photography group out here and they began to exhibit at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton. The group, still led by Gerry Giliberti, eventually grew larger and now has members throughout the East End and well beyond.
EEPG has annual exhibitions at Ashawagh Hall, Water Mill Museum and Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, and are seeking additional exhibition venues. Gerry supports and encourages new and existing members to fine-tune their craft and art by continually photographing and presenting new works at their exhibits throughout the year.
Do you have anything to add that I’ve failed to ask about?
One thing to add? Well, if I could get one point across to the public it would be this: Please support your artist friends, as well as their contemporaries, by visiting their exhibitions. Even if you are not in the market to purchase art, it is ultra important to visit their exhibits as your presence means the world to the artist. And, if you like their work, or it reached your soul in any manner, please talk about it to others.
You can find more of Alex Ferrone’s work at alexferrone.com.