Perspectives - The Blog

Tagged: Wet-Plate


Posted by The Center on February 18, 2010

Today’s installment in the PERSPECTIVES “Following Up” Series features Queens, New York-based photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley. Her 8” x 10” wet plate collodion tintype portrait, Jessica, was selected by juror Mary Ellen Mark and exhibited in the Center’s Portraits exhibition in 2009. Most recently, she was selected for the 2010 Light Work  Artists-in-Residence program.

(Photo credit: Jessica by Keliy Anderson-Staley)

My interest lies in finding the unique visual markers of personality and in portraying faces that reflect the diversity of contemporary America.

Anderson-Staley’s series, Americans, examines photographic representations and how portraiture has shaped and still constructs historical and contemporary identities. By working with hand-mixed chemistry and a wooden view camera, her time-intensive process resists the instant image capture capabilities that have become the common practice of today.

The series also questions the use of photographic titles in determining the historicity of an image. By removing conventional indicators of one’s identity—such as last name, year, and geographic location—each image title in this series includes only the sitter’s first name. Anderson-Staley discussed her chosen use of nomenclature by stating:

Although the heritage of the individual may be inferred from assumptions we make about features and costumes, the descriptive language that might have been attached to such images in the past is deliberately absent. The viewer is therefore forced to suspend the kind of thinking that would traditionally assist in decoding these images in the context of American identity politics.

More images from Anderson-Staley’s Americans series:

(Photo credit: Dulce by Keliy Anderson-Staley)

(Photo credit: Helen by Keliy Anderson-Staley)

(Photo credit: Jesse by Keliy Anderson-Staley)

New Work:

(Photo Credit: Keliy Anderson-Staley from the Off the Grid series)

Her series of color photographs, Off the Grid, was featured by Daylight Magazine as a video-cast and was a runner-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize. It also appeared in Camerawork and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Ahorn Magazine.

More of Keliy’s work can be found at

Keliy Anderson-Staley received a BA from Hampsire College and an MFA from Hunter College. She has taught the wet plate collodian tintype process at Bowdoin College, Hampshire College, and The Center for Alternative Photography, among others. Her tintype portraits have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, the California Museum of Photography, Jenkins Johnson Gallery (in both New York and San Francisco), Susan Maasch Fine Art (Portland, ME) and John Cleary Gallery (Houston, TX), and The Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO). Some of her tintype images are part of a traveling group show centering on alternative and historic processes that is currently in transit from the University of New England Art Gallery to the Art Gallery at Simmons College in Boston.


Posted by The Center on December 27, 2009

(Photo credit: Nest by Susan Seubert)

This body of work underlines the inherent human propensity to collect and study, and to perhaps give distinction to what we can grasp but never completely comprehend.

Susan Seubert’s ambrotype wet-plate collodion print entitled Nest was selected for the “Art in Nature” Exhibition. As described by Seubert, her documentation of a bird’s nest looks to investigate “patterns in nature as well as the use of instinctual architecture.”

More of Susan’s work can be found at

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