SANCTUARY: A Pop-Up Amateur Photography Show

Juror Statement

Amy Kurtz Lansing, Curator, Florence Griswold Museum

The Florence Griswold Museum’s gallery show “Nothing More American:” Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community, an exhibition by Matthew Leifheit includes contemporary photographs and historic paintings. [3D Tour of Exhibition] The artworks tell the story of immigrant and refugee families who have found sanctuary from deportation or persecution in local churches and in the town of Old Lyme, where they have begun new lives. https://florencegriswoldmuseum.org/nothingmoreamerican/
 
When the idea was floated to stage SANCTUARY, a pop-up photography exhibition inspired by the gallery show, little did we know how relevant the theme would become. Submissions for the exhibition opened as news of COVID-19 intensified, and soon, the Museum closed to visitors as social distancing was implemented as a key public health measure for reducing the virus’s spread. Plans for a physical exhibition during the month of May were reconfigured so that we could instead present the photographs online.
 
As we reviewed the photographers’ submissions in early April, it was evident that their works registered the new importance of sanctuary as Americans sheltered at home. Artists entered works that depict the places they feel safe and inspired, as well as the people (and pets) who stimulate their minds and surround them with love. Our horizons have narrowed to our apartments, houses, and yards. The photographers celebrate those environments as well as the hiking trails, beaches, and even travel destinations that have felt like sanctuaries to them. We particularly enjoyed the view of sanctuary reflected through the lenses of high school students, who submitted work as part of an academic assignment. Confinement to home, away from friends and school provided an alternative way to think about their lives.
                                                
Given the intensely felt and moving photographs that were submitted, the decision of which ones to include was not easy. We looked for photos that exemplified the concept of sanctuary as outlined in the call for submissions, taking into account both the imagery and the photographers’ words. Grain, lighting, color, and other technical qualities mattered to us, as did composition and a sense of intention from the photographer in achieving the results on view in each image.
 
While we did not include every submission in what is now an online exhibition, we marveled at the views of nature so many of the photographers captured, and are looking forward to seeking out the gorgeous locations they put before our eyes. Across the 300 photographs that were submitted to our site, nature prevailed as the embodiment of sanctuary, a place for contemplating not only the environment but also the individual, the communal, and the existential. As one of the few places outside our homes that we can explore these days, nature can offer sanctuary to us all through its beauty and dynamic of renewal. As you view SANCTUARY, we hope that you can share in that journey.

Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges 

 

All Categories

Love where I live
Sang Ah Jee

City: Old Saybrook
State: CT

Medium: Iphone
Artist Statement: Stunned by the views
Hope #2 "Obsession"
Chaoye Jiang

City: groton
State: CT

Medium: digital photography
Artist Statement: It's good to have an obsession on something regardless what it is, because that can at least prove the fact that we have something we love and hope to have.
Houses as Homes
Carolyn Kibbe-Wagner

City: Glastonbury
State: CT

Medium: photograph
Artist Statement: Sanctuary means Home to me. As an artist, my subject matter mainly centers on Home, which I try to capture in various styles, whether through painting, drawing, collage or photography. My pastel show entitled “A Place Through Time” depicted the antique outbuildings of my property, Cross Creek, through different times and seasons. I have tried to create a Sanctuary for travelers in the Airbnb apartment in the Barn, so they will feel as at home entering it as I do when I enter my own Santuary next door.
Empty Mindscape
Matthew King

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: digital photography
Artist Statement: I wanted to depict my personal sanctuary, the depths of my mind. In this case, an empty mind, but a mind none the less. The empty, vast, space just waiting to be filled with something, a single thought to transform its landscape.
The Road
James Knowlton

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: Digital Photography
Artist Statement: The aim of these images is to show what some of my sanctuaries are. I attempted to do this indirectly such as through a lens or reflection to show that a sanctuary is always there for you if you can look at it right. The lens showed what the sanctuary meant to me while the 'sanctuary' itself was pictured in the background or even not at all (The Road).
Passion
James Knowlton

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: Digital Photography
Artist Statement: The aim of these images is to show what some of my sanctuaries are. I attempted to do this indirectly such as through a lens or reflection to show that a sanctuary is always there for you if you can look at it right. The lens showed what the sanctuary meant to me while the 'sanctuary' itself was pictured in the background or even not at all (The Road).
Home
James Knowlton

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: Digital Photography
Artist Statement: The aim of these images is to show what some of my sanctuaries are. I attempted to do this indirectly such as through a lens or reflection to show that a sanctuary is always there for you if you can look at it right. The lens showed what the sanctuary meant to me while the 'sanctuary' itself was pictured in the background or even not at all (The Road).
God and the Woods
Anna Kocsondy

City: West Hartford
State: CT

Medium: Photograph
Artist Statement: Photo of the woods at my childhood home.
A Families Serinity
Hayden Lambeck

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: digital photography
Artist Statement: "These images all depict the idea of how simplicity can be found anywhere. My sanctuary is at the beach with my family where I feel most at peace and at my home." Shows the feeling of calm Everything is balanced What true joy you can find in any place The Simplicity you can get at the beach
boundless light
Bruce Lippman

City: Orange
State: CT

Medium: Photograph
Artist Statement: Surrounded by the energy and infinity of nature as reflected by paint on canvas, the students are creating their own energy in room which is not only a sanctuary but also sanctified through its art.
Farm Road after the snow
Libby Lord

City: Suffield
State: CT

Medium: photograph
Artist Statement: Sanctuary... a little place where one can go to take deep breaths of fresh air, a relaxing walk and see the beautiful birds and wildlife who live there. Just being a quiet observer of nature can be heaven on earth.

Imperfection
Elizabeth LoSacco Massa

City: Redding
State: CT

Medium: Digital Photograph
Artist Statement: I took this digital photo while on a walk in a charming, historic downtown area in Dutchess County, NY. I was drawn to the lighting on this porch and the tunnel-like effect it created. I thought about the Sanctuary show when I took it, because the porch was set off the main street, in the shade, providing an unimpeded view of the town's activity from a safe, cool distance. The asymmetrical angles created by the old building itself and the lighting at that particular time of day also prompted me to think about Sanctuary, but in a different way. The long-settled architecture combined with the lighting created a beautiful, highly imperfect vista that made me think about the beauty of imperfection as an alternative to perfectionism. The beauty of the imperfection in this scene reminded me that there can be a form of sanctuary in that which is imperfect, and that we don't have to create stress and anxiety for ourselves by striving for perfect outcomes.
American Refugee Camp
Diego Luis

City: Providence
State: RI

Medium: Photography
Artist Statement: Children play to pass the time at the Holding Institute in Laredo, TX, during March of 2019. They have recently been released from detention centers, and even though they do not know what will come next, being outside produces a few smiles.
Altar
Diego Luis

City: Providence
State: RI

Medium: Photography
Artist Statement: This altar protects the entrance to the Templo Otoru Di in Matanzas, Cuba. It belongs to the first Lukumí group in Cuba to consecrate a woman as a babalawo (priest) and to accept LGBTQ+ worshipers.
The Bath
Diego Luis

City: Providence
State: RI

Medium: Photography
Artist Statement: A sanctuary is more than a place. For this family by the Marikina River in the Philippines, sanctuary fills the space between mother and daughter. Their connection blends the private life of a family with the public space of the street.
Tides
Sydney Lundgren

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: digital photography
Artist Statement: I live near the ocean and like most people, it is my second home. My family and I spend most of the summer on the beach or in the water. Like tides, there are highs and lows, but I know my family will always be my home.
Home is Where the Dog Is
Sydney Lundgren

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: digital photography
Artist Statement: Dogs are a girl's best friend too. I spend my afternoons with a tail hitting my leg, to feel the unconditional love that comes from a dog is like nothing else. Dogs are not here for long, but home is where the dog is.
The Free Obligation
Iain Mahaffey

City: Charlotte
State: Vermont

Medium: Taken with Sony A7III with Sony FE 50mm F1.8. settings: f/1.8 - 1/30th - iso/asa 100
Artist Statement: To lack a sanctuary is an undesirable lifestyle that many would find fearful. There are those who fear to be without a home, and they lack confidence in the ability to survive without a sanctuary, and then there are those who don't lack confidence in the slightest, those who have so much confidence that they have the ability to spread a sanctuary to those around and among them as if it is a roof itself. Sanctuary doesn't need to strictly be a physical thing, it can be a feeling or a person that gives you a feeling of security, confidence, and safety.
Threshold
Lorri Marquez

City: West Hartford
State: CT

Medium: digital photograph
Artist Statement: An adobe threshold inscribed with infinite homecomings echoes the sanctuary I find at home.
One Love One Heart
Audrey Matson

City: New London
State: CT

Medium: digital photography

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