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The Photosynthesis Project

Fall 2023

Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery

Curated by Linda Rzoska

Conceived and organized by artist Linda Rzoska, owner of Kalamazoo’s Ninth Wave Studio, The Photosynthesis Project began during the spring of 2018 as a series of workshops. Similar to Kalamazoo-based artist Sydnee Peters’s and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske’s Alchemy Initiative, this group project invites Kalamazoo-based artists and writers to explore the subject and concept of photosynthesis.

Virtually all organic material on planet Earth has been produced by cells that convert energy from the sun into energy-containing macromolecules. This process, known as photosynthesis, is essential to our planet’s global carbon cycle. Responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of our planet’s atmosphere, photosynthesis supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.

Sharing individual research and critiques of experimental work, participants strengthen their understanding of this complex subject through discussion, hands-on ideas, and a unique set of active work sessions where participants share and respond to one another’s work. In one sense, the generative process that underpins The Photosynthesis Project recreates the collegial atmosphere or University seminar through close and consistent interactions between professional, working artists. Participating artists include Lorrie Abdo, Melody Allen, Susan Badger, Mindi Bagnall, Justin Bernhardt, Maryellen Hains, Anna Z. ILL, Alexa Karabine, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Helen Kleczynski, Honore Lee, Dave Middleton, Lynn Pattison, Nichole Riley, Linda Rzoska, Jacqueline Skarritt, Joe Smigiel, Vicki VanAmeyden, and Randy Walker.

About The Photosynthesis Project:
In November of 2019, The Photosynthesis Project culminated in a major exhibition in the galleries of the Center for New Media at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Arcadia Commons Campus. Following that exhibition and the onset of the pandemic, Photosynthesis Project participants have continued to meet virtually via Zoom, and since October 2020 have focused more specifically on a new sub-project titled VOICES and based on ekphrasis, a detailed narrative about a visual work of art. Curator and exhibition organizer Linda Rzoska says, “The purpose of this exhibition is to give voice to concepts, truths, and decisions that touch us all on a daily basis and to create a compelling reminder that we are all elementally tied to the world around us and that it is humanity’s responsibility to treat the natural world with reverence and respect.”