Visual Studies Workshop
Visual Studies Workshop Navigation
VSW Auction  

Why Do You Have to Make Everything About Race?

Amanda Chestnut
Opens Friday, February 6, 6pm-9pm
VSW Gallery

Why Do You Have to Make Everything About Race? is the MFA Thesis Exhibition of works by Amanda Chestnut. Archival photographs and stories combine with contemporary imagery and the artists' narrative to connect socio-political history with personal history. In many brief books, archival photography and ephemera combine with poetry and periodical text to convey the history, the emotion, and the lasting impact of historic events. The bookworks presented are representative of two years of work within the Soibelman Syndicate News Agency Archive.

Opens Friday, February 6th. Runs through Saturday, February 14th. Regular Gallery Hours Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm. Free and open to the public.

Amanda Chestnut is a visual artist from Rochester, New York. A Master of Fine Arts candidate at Visual Studies Workshop, her work focuses on the representation of history, how information is preserved, and how the history of race and gender have come to impact modern narratives.


Nathan Lyons on white horse

Members & Supporters

By joining the Visual Studies Workshop community, your membership helps to keep our programs and events free and open to the public.

As a member you receive Afterimage, VSW's bi-monthly journal of the media arts and cultural criticism, opportunities to participate in member activities like Pecha Kucha nights and Member Share Fairs, as well as announcements to all of VSW's free community programs like exhibitions, screenings, Visual Book Club, and other events.

Become a Member

$20 Student Membership,
includes Afterimage subscription

$35 Individual Membership,
includes Afterimage subscription

$50 Dual Membership,
includes one Afterimage subscription

Become a Supporter

$75 Supporter, includes one Afterimage subscription plus a 10% discount on all VSW Press titles and a free 8x10 print
from the Soibelman Collection.

Thank You for Your Support!

Sign up today and receive our next issue of Afterimage!

Sign-up online! Once you create an account with Visual Studies Workshop you will be able to easily renew your membership, register for workshops, symposia, and other VSW activities. [Online Registration Site]

Paying with a check? Please print, fill out, and mail us the Membership Form [PDF] along with your check.

VSW Auction























The Science behind the Process: The Films of Roger D. Wilson
Director: Roger D. Wilson
Friday, February 6, 7pm
VSW Auditorium

Canadian Filmmaker Roger D. Wilson has been creating innovative experimental films for over a decade. His approach to the process of creating a film is based on exploration and

examination of film’s emulsion. He is known for his technique of manipulating film emulsion prior to photographing images. He treats his unexposed film stock to processes that alter the films emulsion. He has buried black and white film in soil, bathed it in baking soda, berg colour toner, household bleach and photographic bleach all before photographing images. His films are infused with thematically-related techniques such as layering images through optical printing and painting the film, adding textures through decay, hand processing and creating his own prints.

Roger’s films have screened at festivals around the world. His film Camera Paint, won the Best Experimental Award at the 2008 Niagara Filmfest. His film Knotashed: an Alderson Oasis was one of six finalists for The 2011 Georges-Laoun-Opticien-OBORO Super Short Film Prize, and he is also the 2013 recipient of The Corel Arts Endowment Award. Roger is also a founding member of The Windows Collective, a group of six Ottawa filmmakers who create and exhibit experimental film loops. The Collective formed in 2008 with the intention to explore the subversive possibilities of creating outdoor public film installations and of bringing alternative film practices to a wider audience in the city of Ottawa.

Roger has established himself as a film artist who explores the film’s canvas always searching for innovative ways to telling and exhibiting his stories.

Against the Grain, 6 mins, 16mm, Mono, B&W - 2012
My Friend Isabelle, 3 min film loop, 16mm, Silent, Colour/B&W - 2009
Experiment # 1, 3 mins, 16mm, Mono, Colour - 2009
Camera Paint, 4 mins, 16mm, Mono, Colour - 2007
Moving Forward, 5 mins, 16mm, Silent, B&W - 2010
Baked Goods For Norman, 3 mins, 16mm, Mono, Colour - 2015
Brain Static: a self-portrait, 5 mins, 16mm, Stereo, Colour (Video Projection) - 2009
My Last Words, 22 mins, 35mm, Stereo, B&W (Video Projection) - 2014

16mm and video projection. 50 minutes. Filmmaker in attendance. $5 Suggested Donation.

VSW Auction








  The New England Home Movie Tour
Curator: Warren Cockerham
Sunday, February 8, 7pm
VSW Auditorium

The New England Home Movie Tour features handmade and homemade poetic film works from the northeast that celebrate the tactility and intimacy of celluloid-based moving images. As the commercial film industry forces us to embrace digital moving images and the planned obsolescence of the means to produce and distribute those products, this film tour aims to share films that embrace the contemporary DIY strategies, politics, and aesthetics of an enduring, artisanal, and personal approach to filmmaking.

This traveling program carries with it more than thirty 16mm works and one hundred twenty 35mm slides that will ensure a uniquely arranged program at each stop along its way. With works by Luther Price, Jodie Mack, Robert Todd, Jonathan Schwartz, Jo Dery, Warren Cockerham, and Colin Brant.

All films shown on original format: 16mm, Super 8, Slide film. 60 minutes. Curator in attendance. $5 Suggested Donation.

VSW Auction





The Lost Lessons:
Educational Films from the 50's, 60's, 70’s and the 80’s
Projected on 16mm film!
Friday, February 20 at 6:30pm

VSW Auditorium

1st Year MFA student William Fleth presents seven short 16 mm educational films from the past that feature lessons that are still relevant, or worth knowing in today’s society.

The lessons in these films explore topics like good eating habits, dealing with death, and the effects of drinking during pregnancy.

The goals of this film screening are to offer the audience an experience in thinking about how they observe and act in the world around them. All films that will be feature in this screening are all from the Visual Studies Workshop’s film collection.

The screening is open free to the public, and is recommended for age 13 and up.

VSW Auction





























Wall + Paper
by Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge
Project Space

Visit of the exhibition by appointement:

Wall + Paper
After having carefully read hundreds of online profiles of prisoners looking for pen pals, Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge has started to correspond with men and women in prisons across US for a new project titled Wall+Paper. She is asking them to describe the spaces in which they live and those they are longing for and dreaming about. Evelyne then sends back to her collaborators printed images inspired by their letters and their descriptions of spaces. These exchanges on paper, slowed by the anachronistic pace of the US postal service, will be the base materials for a book and a series of installations, videos and photographs mapping an imaginary institutional space and exploring themes of displacement and memory, and the complex layers and mechanisms embedded within. Through this project, Evelyne is interested in the translation or transcription of handwritten information into photographic imag- es. She aspires to portray two specific, but simultaneously intricate, settings: spaces that one cannot physically leave, and spaces that one cannot physically access. Evelyne is using the Project Space at VSW as a mind map and playground to assemble, re-assemble, experiment with the letters she has recently received. The exhibition space and its various elements–walls, window, doorframes, and floor–are also considered as raw material for her endeavor. The public conversations with Peter Christensen and Joshua Dubler will act as a work-in-progress critique; a talk about prisons, collaborations, poetics and politics of space and time.

Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge received her MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from the School of Art And Design at Alfred Uni- versity, Alfred, NY. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Rochester. Her art practice focuses on the relationship between people and the ways they occupy space. Using lens-based media as a means of reflecting upon and re-inter- preting everyday frames, she digitally ‘deconstruct’ domestic and institutional spaces and the frames within—doors, windows and walls. The spaces themselves become her medium and framing device for site-specific installations where she incorporates trompe l’oeil and camouflage techniques. She confounds the viewer’s expectations by creating manipulated scenes composed of still and moving imagery, in which narratives are compressed, compromised or suspended.

Peter Christensen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester. His teaching and research focus is modern architectural and environmental history, particularly of Germany, Central Europe and the Middle East, with a focus on their transactional contexts. His theoretical interests center on the intellectual origins and manifestations of geopolitical and multiculturalist thought since the nineteenth century. He explores critical applications of the digital humanities in his research and teaching. His current book project examines the cultural aspects of the German construction of the Ottoman railway network, spanning 1868 to 1919.

Joshua Dubler is author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison, published last year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He teaches Religion at the University of Rochester. In spite of everything, he remains optimistic.

Visual Studies Workshop