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Solo art show in New York features WMU emeritus' photography

by Jeanne Baron

Nov. 15, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Black Hills by John Carney.
Black Hills, South Dakota
Copyright John M. Carney
KALAMAZOO--A solo photographic show by a former Western Michigan University faculty member opened last weekend in New York City and will run through Saturday, Dec. 17.

"Night Light: The Aesthetics of Time By Events in Space" by John M. Carney, professor emeritus of art, explores the traces of human and astronomical illumination left on landscapes. Held in the Brenda Taylor Gallery, 505 W. 28th St., it began with an opening reception Saturday, Nov. 12.

Images in the show were made primarily in the American West, where the arid climate allows prolonged film exposure to record the movement of the stars, moon, satellites and aircraft across the night sky alongside the human-built environment replete with structures, roads and vehicles.

As the title suggests, images in the "Night Light" series use the movement of people and nature to describe space and time. The artist selects a location to act as a stage, opens the shutter of his hand-built, large-format cameras, and watches as the hour-long exposure captures evidence of objects moving through space in the form of calligraphic marks of light.

Carney, who lives and maintains his darkroom in Schoolcraft, Mich., retired from WMU in 2000 after 34 years on the faculty. He established the University's bachelor's and master's of fine arts programs in photography, co-established the Design Center, and in 1979-80, chaired what is now the Frostic School of Art.

His photographs have been exhibited throughout the Midwest in academic, gallery and museum settings. They also are held in numerous private, corporate and institutional collections, including the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Arts in Kansas City, Mo. Among Carney's many prestigious awards are a Michigan Council for the Arts Creative Artist Grant and six Ford Foundation/WMU Faculty Enrichment Grants.

For more information about John Carney's one-man show, visit or contact Carney at or (269) 679-4317.