July 18 – August 30, 2020
Over the last 21 years I have had the privilege of organizing, inventorying and placing my father’s archive. Todd Walker was a pioneering photographic artist who began self-publishing artist books in 1965, was at the leading edge of historical photographic processes in the 1960’s and began printing his photographs as ink on paper (which is now how most images are printed) in 1970. In 1981 he began to explore digital photography long before photoshop existed, teaching himself machine language. He was my mentor, role model and encouraged me to dance at the edges of photography, just outside of my comfort zone.
These images have been in the making for over 50 years, representing a posthumous collaboration with my father and an investigation of the materiality and impermanence of the photographic object. The film emulsion has been subjected to fluctuations in temperature and moisture now barely clinging to the base it’s transparent substrate.
Before my father left commercial photography in 1970 to become an artist and professor, he was a highly successful free-lance advertising photographer in Los Angeles and worked for many notable clients. Frequently a child model in these constructed photographic ‘realities’, I grew up with a healthy skepticism of the images utilized in advertising. My father was at moral odds with advertising work, knowing that the images he was making were to be used for corporate gain and lies. Many of these early commercial negatives done in a rush, were nothing that he was particularly proud of and were not cared for properly. The images I include in this exhibition are some of what I have discovered in my detective work coming to terms with the loss of my father. These distressed negatives bear witness to the interaction of time, heat, and moisture as they transform into resemblances of reality. They serve as a critique of the marketing construct that was named The American Dream and bear witness to a history reconsidered. – MW
Melanie Walker has been a practicing artist for over 50 years. Her expertise is in the area of alternative photographic processes, digital and mixed media as well as large scale immersive photographic installations as well as public art. She attended San Francisco State University for a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Florida State University for an MFA. She has received a number of awards including an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship, Polaroid Materials Grants and an Aaron Siskind Award. She has taught at a number of universities including San Francisco State University, SUNY Albany, Alfred University and the University of Kentucky, Lexington. She currently teaches in the Media Arts Area at the University of Colorado Boulder and has work in over 100 collections including LACMA, Center fro Creative Photography, Princeton Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Art.
Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
Tilt Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Judith Rothschild Foundation Grant, 2003
Colorado Council for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, 1996
National Endowment for the Arts – Photography Fellowship, 1995
Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship, 1992
Al Smith Fellowship in New Genres, 1992
Southern Arts Federation Sculpture Fellowship, 1991
NEA Inter-Arts Grant, Administered by New Langton Arts, San Francisco, Calif., 1989
Polaroid Materials Grant, 1987 and 1988
SELECTED PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, Washington, DC
PRINCETON ART MUSEUM, Aaron Siskind Archive, Princeton, NJ
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, Los Angeles, Calif.
FRIENDS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, San Francisco, Calif.
CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY, Tucson, Arizona.
POLAROID CORPORATION, Cambridge, Massachusetts
CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART, Norfolk, Virginia
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF ART, San Francisco, Calif.
PETERSBURG MUSEUM OF ART, St. Petersburg, Florida
GRAHAM NASH COLLECTION. Los Angeles, Calif.
Information can be found at www.airworks-studio.com
2020: Ghost Forest, Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
Leaves of Absence, Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver, CO
2019: GRACE: Gender, Race & Identity, Lawrence Miller Gallery, NYC
PROGRESSION, dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Imago Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Diffusion, SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
2018: Tilt Gallery, Walker & Walker, Scottsdale, CA
Depth of Field, Center for Photographic Arts, Carmel, CA
Double Vision, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
Murmuration, VAE, Raleigh, NC
2017:ReMix, Sync Gallery, Denver, CO (Best in show)
Positive Manipulation, Rembrandt’s Yard, Boulder, CO (Best in show)
The Big Picture, Month of Photography Denver, Public Art Project, Denver, CO
Summer, Southeast Center for Photography, Molina, GA
2016: Fine Art Center for Photography, One person show, Ft. Collins, CO
2013: HOUSEWORKS – Western Colorado Center for Visual Arts, Grand Junction, CO
Invitational – 5×7 – dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
PhotoPlace Gallery – International Juried Exhibition, Middlebury, VT.
LAND Exhibition – Invitational exhibition organized through Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder,CO
Republic Plaza curated invitational exhibition in conjunction with the Denver Month of Photography, Denver, CO
Denver Month of Photography juried exhibition – work was exhibited in Paris, France
Snap to Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts, Los Angeles, CA
2012: Museum of Outdoor Arts, Englewood, CO
dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Snap to Grid, LACDA, Los Angeles, CA
Invitational Group Exhibition – Stag & Deer, Cork, Ireland
Alternatives 2012 – Invitational Group Exhibition – New Zealand
Invitational Group Exhibition – Republic Plaza, Denver, CO
Invitational Group Exhibition – Airborne, Otis School of Art, LA, CA
iWorld! – Colorado Photographic Art Center, Lakewood, CO
iWorld! 2 – Denver Public Library Denver, CO
The Printed Surface – Aims Community College, Greeley, CO
The Veil – Gardner Gallery, Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts, Stillwater, OK
Tbilisi History Museum (Karvasla) Tbilisi, Georgia (Russia)
5×7 – dnj Gallery – Santa Monica, CA
2011: Grand Junction Arts Center-Grand Junction, CO
Haskell Gallery, Jacksonville International Airport-Jacksonville, Florida.
El Espiritu de las hermanas,Mante, Mexico
Polaroid en Peril, Mus¿e de l’Elys¿e, Lausanne – Switzerland
Selections From the Polaroid Collection, Espace Van Gogh, Arles, FRANCE
FLIGHT, Gallery 115, University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design,Warrensburg, MO
2009:The Human Canvas-Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO
Print Walls Gallery-University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Alexey VonSchlippe Gallery-University of Connecticut, Avery Point, Conn.
Indiana University East Galleries, Richmond, Indiana
Drury Univerisity, Springfield, MO
2008: Soho Photo – Alternative Photography Exhibition (2ND Place Award) New York, NY
Pocatontas Meets Hello Kitty Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York.
OUT OF TUCSON – International Invitational – Galerie Lichtblick, Koln, Germany
BLINK Gallery – Boulder, CO
Revisioning the Middle East – Evergreen State University, Ellensburg, WA
The Veil: Visible & Invisible Spaces Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder, CO
Visible & Invisible Spaces-University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Visible & Invisible Spaces-University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
2007: WEATHER REPORT – Artists on Climate Change – Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art & National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
2006: Khalil Sakikini Center, Ramallah, Palestine
International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine
Central Arizona College Gallery, Coolidge, AZ
Soho Photo – Alternative Photography Exhibition, New York, NY
Transformations – Space 301, Mobile. Alabama
El Mirador Gallery, Tucson, AZ
Wilde Meyer Gallery, Tucson, AZ
University of North Florida Galllery, Jacksonville, FL
Memorial Hall Gallery – Chadron State College , Chadron, NE
2005: The Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, DC
Orfali Gallery, Amman, Jordan
Sisson Gallery, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI
Broken Telephone, Galerma de Arte Fotografico Melitsn Rodriguez., Instituto de Artes, Medellin, Colombia