CHAMPAIGN — A noted photographer will give a lecture at noon Thursday on her work featured in the Parkland College Art Gallery exhibition "Shift: Contemporary Photography Exhibition." The free talk will be in the gallery.
S. Gayle Stevens will talk about using the antiquated wet plate collodion process to create her work, which focuses on plants, animal specimens, and debris that she collects while walking.
A short question-and-answer period will follow Stevens' talk. "Shift: Contemporary Photography Exhibition," curated by Peggy Shaw, runs through Saturday.
Stevens' work is inspired by 17th century "cabinets of curiosity" — encyclopedic collections of objects which were often showcased in rooms or in cupboards with interior gridded framework. She uses the grid as a formal structuring device that mimics the specimen boxes.
She earned her master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She was named among the nation's Critical Mass Top Fifty Photographers for 2010 by the nonprofit organization Photolucida; she also was a finalist in '11 and '12.
Her work has been featured in numerous publications and is in the permanent collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Rockford Museum of Art, and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colo.
Stevens was recently named a finalist for the prestigious Clarence John Laughlin Award from the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Stevens is represented by the Tilt Gallery of Scottsdale, Ariz.