NVC hosts Erika Gentry as 'Photo Eye' guest Sept. 21
Erika Gentry, a multi-media artist and educator, will share her art projects during a 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 presentation at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center.
The latest in a series of "Photo Eye" presentations at the college will focus on Gentry's artwork which responds to place by combining photography, sound and video collage.
"The ease by which we can capture images and sound digitally with mobile devices makes this kind of exploration more accessible to everyone," said Gentry, a full-time faculty member and Department Chair of Photography at the City College of San Francisco.
One of her projects is titled "Allez," the French word for "to go."
It involves a series of digitally-captured images taken from small cameras through the windows of public transport in Paris and Southern France.
"My life as an artist and professor are intertwined," she said. "I respond to the environment around me. The history of photography, which I teach, has its roots in France, so some of my artwork responds to historical practitioners and ideas using contemporary views and tools.
"Rebecca Solnit's book, "River of Shadows," inspired me to explore the phenomenon of the "persistence of vison," the way we experience subjects while moving, but looking out from modern transportation versus the 1880s railroad era. The parallel is photography, and the way we view the world. I explore how we see the world today through the use of the mobile device."
The project was conceived and completed during her 2014 sabbatical in France, where she was an artist in residence, funded in part by the Tenot Foundation and Center for Cultural Innovation.
"Because the streets of Paris have been highly photographed since 1839 and haven't changed much since the 1900s – it is one of the best-preserved European cities – it was a particular challenge to try to come up with a fresh view."
Gentry has been teaching and presenting electronic arts and photography nationwide since 1996, working in photography, picture editing, art direction, advanced digital post-production and as a curator and educator.
She has taught courses at corporations and colleges, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, the San Francisco Art Institute, Foothill College, and Rayko Photo Center.
An avid traveler, she recently circumnavigated the globe, visiting 11 countries and 15 cities and teaching through a Semester at Sea program offered by the University of Virginia.
A native of Portland, OR, Gentry earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Oregon and her master of fine arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
As a passionate Francophile and wine collector, she especially enjoys pinot noir from small-production wineries in Oregon which remind her of home.