Monday, March 5, 2012

New York-based photographer Amy Stein to hold exhibition at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents Amy Stein, a celebrated photographer and educator based in New York City. Stein comes to UIS as an exhibiting artist and an ECCE Speaker to present and discuss her photographic series entitled Stranded. Her lecture will take place in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery on March 22 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with a reception to immediately follow from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Stranded runs in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery from March 15 to April 19, 2012 and is free and open to the public.

Amy Stein is an internationally recognized artist. Through her photographs, she strives to explore “our evolving isolation from community, culture and the environment.” Her series Stranded relied on a five-year investment in which she drove across America to interact with and photograph stranded motorists. The interaction and documentation of these individuals in this unfortunate and helpless condition is, in itself, an act of responsibility, awareness, and respect by calling attention to the struggle of the everyday person. She travels supplied with blankets, water, and other various essentials on hand in order to help where she can. Because she is interacting with strangers in a highly stressful situation, Stein stresses that “I need to decide when I stop, to what extent I help the motorist, and to what extend I make myself vulnerable.”

Stranded navigates both the landscape and the relationship between photographer and subject. She looked to the history of Hurricane Katrina and our current financial crisis to guide her work. Just as our cars are intended to make journeys reliable, the systems present in government are intended to help us achieve the “American Dream”. However, when the unexpected happens, those systems we rely on can leave us stranded and alone.

Amy Stein teaches photography at Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has been featured within a variety of prominent venues and collections, among them the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the George Eastman House Photography Collection.

Stein has been selected as an ECCE Speaker and will present a lecture to address how this particular body of work, Stranded, is a meditation on the current rupture in the promise of the “American Dream” as traditionally understood. Complimentary refreshments will be provided during the March 22 public reception.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information regarding Stranded and future exhibitions, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or email:

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