The Finger Lakes Times recently featured Diné photographer Will Wilson, who is coming to campus in early October. His work, modern portraits of Native Americans, will be on exhibit in the Davis Gallery in Houghton House. Wilson will give a talk during the exhibit opening on Friday, Oct. 4 and will conduct a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 5, in which he will demonstrate his techniques.
Wilson uses a tintype/wet-plate technique that dates from the time of the Civil War.
“[Wilson’s] work is strange, and beautiful. His art gives truth and transparency to the images that he captures,” Associate Professor of Art and Architecture Stan Mathews is quoted in the article.
More information on his campus visit is available online.
The full article from the Finger Lakes Times follows.
Finger Lakes Times
Old technique; modern statement
Tintype Native Americans’ portraits on display at HWS
Julie Anderson • September 17, 2013
GENEVA – Photography has come a long way in the past century and a half, but for Will Wilson a technique dating back to the days of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse remains ideal.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host an exhibit of Wilson’s tintype work – featuring portraits of modern Native Americans – next month in the Davis Gallery at Houghton House.
The tintype technique, developed in the 1850s by Frederic Scott Archer, consists of having photographic plates undergo several processes – including coating, sensitizing, exposure and development – all within about 10 minutes. The technique was perfected by Mathew Brady during the Civil War.
Wilson is a dine photographer who has held exhibitions across the nation. Diné is a Navajo word meaning “The People” or “Children of the Holy People.”
In capturing portraits from today’s American Indian communities, he seeks to counter early representations of Native American cultures. His work is modern photography developed with the wet-plate technique, giving it a feel that associate professors of art and architecture Stan and Patricia Mathews describe as an “otherness.”
Wilson will give a gallery talk on his work during the opening reception Oct. 4 and host a workshop – in which he will take and develop wet-plate/tintype portraits – the following day.
“[Wilson’s] work is strange, and beautiful. His art gives truth and transparency to the images that he captures,” said Stan Mathews.
Wilson was born in San Francisco in 1969, and spent many years living in the Navajo Nation.
He earned his bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College, where he was a student of Patricia Mathews and well-known by Stan, her husband. He later received his master’s in fine arts from the University of New Mexico.
Wilson has exhibited in many institutions, including the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.
If you are interested in attending the workshop, contact Stan Mathews at email@example.com or 781-3476.