Introducting AIR/ED: The Artist in Residence Education and Development Program

Shelby Stone (left) and Loren Toney (right)

Shelby Stone (left) and Loren Toney (right)

LATITUDE is excited to present a new program initiative during the month of April: The Artist in Residence Education and Development program (AIR/ED). AIR/ED brings 2 artists into the lab to develop and produce their projects free of charge while receiving guidance, training, and support from staff and volunteers. Artists gain access to the LATITUDE community through their day-to-day interactions with their choice of either one studio visit with an outside curator or an educational lab training session.

This special residency lasts two weeks per artist during April, 2019. We are excited to present Shelby Stone and Loren Toney as our first AIR/ED residents! Please join us in celebrating these two photographers during a meet and greet cocktail hour on April 26 from 6pm-9pm at LATITUDE.


Symbiosis Collage, 2014, Shelby Stone

Symbiosis Collage, 2014, Shelby Stone

Shelby Stone

Shelby Stone is a visual artist whose current work investigates the liminal space between lived experiences, emotion, and ancestral knowledge to reinforce cultural histories, including her own. In her work, she meticulously pieces together expressions of intimacy, disclosures of vulnerability, natural landscapes and memory; ranging from the ancestral to the surreal. Through her practices in analog photography, collage, and sculpture, she sets forth in exploring the various Realms of Blackness, the materiality of self-preservation, compassion, intra/interpersonal relationships, the feminine, and multiplicities of the human condition as it relates to imagined and lived experiences. These elements and their juxtapositions to one another are an effort to evoke memories that are personal, shared, and yet to be discovered.

Q&A with Shelby Stone, interviewed by Noëlle Pouzar

Image by Shelby Stone

Image by Shelby Stone

Why do you find it valuable to create work? Why photography?

I find value in participating in activities that bring about joy and nurture curiosity; creating encourages both of those elements to flourish. Photography isn’t the only medium I work in, but it was the first that asked me to consider more intently what I was interested in creating and how I could either gain or relinquish control during the process, particularly as it pertains to image making in the context of analog photography. I like that I can be an active participant, a negotiator, a conjurer, and have the understanding that I may likely never be the master.

Do you see your work as autobiographical? Why or why not?

Yes, what I’ve become more closely identified with is the work I create as material evidence of self preservation. While it’s not necessarily the written word, the things I make are of me and have been imprinted upon by me and vice versa. Many of the images I tend to make are also self portraits, so in a way for now it can’t help but be autobiographical.

What will you be working on during your residency at LATITUDE?

During this residency I will be working to scan and archive 35mm negatives and color slide film, archiving a series of collaged slides and creating new negatives for alternative processing.

What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

I’ve been lassoed toward orchestra instrumentals featured in 1970’s soul and R&B songs. I’ve also been revisiting some older work of mine and reading record jackets and liner notes.


Portraits by Loren Toney

Portraits by Loren Toney

Loren Toney

Loren Toney was born in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois. She was raised in the south suburbs of Chicago and received a BA from Columbia College Chicago as a Cinematography major and Photography minor. Her work has been displayed in Columbia College's Print Lab as well as Columbia College's Library for an installation entitled "The Americans Now". She was a recipient for the Trustee Award Scholarship for her photography portfolio in 2015.

Q&A with Loren Toney, interviewed by Noëlle Pouzar


Your work speaks as a narrative, but the individual photographs also express defined moments. How do these two ideas help create an overall series for you?

The purpose of my project Vignettes is to address my subjects as individuals to challenge the way society looks at marginalized groups of people. When discussing Black men, we sometimes gravitate towards stereotypes and statistics rather than real stories.

I chose very specific moments for this project to emphasize the idea that Black men exist outside of generalizations. My nephews, father and best friends are far more complex than that. This work consists of intimate stories that highlight these men in their essence, with me simply as a vessel for their truth. Their separate moments come together to work as a series by bringing the viewer into their spaces and allowing each and everyone of them to craft their own narrative. While they are connected by their blackness, they are separated by their experience.

As a Chicago native, how does the city influence your practice? Do you have any go-to places for inspiration?

Chicago has a big influence on my practices. I’m from the south suburbs of Chicago where there wasn't a lot of inspiration for art. In 2015, I moved to the city for college and it transformed who I am as an artist. There’s so many places that helped me get inspired here! A few of my favorites are The Art Institute, The Harold Washington Library, The Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

What will you be working on during your residency at LATITUDE?

During my residency, I’ll be working on scanning text and film, as well as printing for my project Vignettes.

Do you have any recommendations for podcasts, books, movies, or articles we should check out?

Books:

  • The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

  • The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

  • The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls

  • 1984 - George Orwell

  • Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! - Dr. Seuss (I know this seems like a joke and it only partially is. It’s a

    pretty relatable read as an adult!)

Movies:

  • Her (2013)

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

  • Tree of Life (2011)

  • Moonlight (2016)

AIR 2019Colleen Keihm