Geneseo Campus Activities Board opened its first art exhibition of the year, “Altered Photography,” featuring pieces created by Roslyn Rose on Thursday Sept. 28 in the Kinetic Gallery.
Currently based in Rochester, Rose has lived most of her life in Hoboken, N.J.—a city that has a recurring presence within her art.
“Altered Photography” is a retrospective exhibition that combines traditional printmaking with photography through computer manipulation. The resulting montages have antique prints superimposed onto a background featuring a famous location—many from Hoboken and various places in Europe, Maine and Rochester.
Rose began her artistic career as a printmaker, selling to private collectors and corporate entities. Rose recounted sitting at her kitchen table every morning with a coffee, tearing up prints and cutting them out with anything she could use, from knives to scissors. With the shift in technology affecting even artists, Rose eventually learned how to use the computer program Adobe Photoshop to digitally alter her art.
GCAB Arts & Exhibits Coordinator senior Dowon Hwang chose to display Rose’s exhibition based on the specific processes she used to create her work and the variety of time periods and locations featured in her pieces.
“Roslyn combines images from the past, present, different states and different countries,” Hwang said. “I thought the way she altered her images were diverse and that a lot of people could enjoy her new works as well as her old works.”
Rose was inspired by the memories of her hometown before it was gentrified. Among her works of Hoboken are photographs of the famous Lackawanna Terminal, the Waterfront Park and other buildings around the city.
“If you look at some of the stores featured in these pieces, they’re gone,” Rose said. “There are so many things that aren’t there anymore that were beautiful.”
Rose’s love and admiration for objects of historical significance are vividly shown in her work. Her montage of the Lackawanna Terminal displays an old photograph of Russian men walking in through the station—men who never actually had the opportunity to sail to the United States, according to Rose.
Another one of her pieces features the Waterfront Park, a park in Hoboken that faces the Hudson River with a complete panoramic view of Manhattan. During the 9/11 attacks, many people saw the entire plane crash from this park. Rose included a photograph of the twin towers as seen from Hoboken before and after the attacks as a memory of the victims and as a symbol of the drastic changes a city can experience.
As a current resident of the city of Rochester, Rose also included a photograph of Rochester’s famous Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge as seen through the window of an abandoned European building. In addition, with the aid of her nephew, Rose has added photographs of various parts of Rochester, conveying her love for the beauty in her surroundings wherever she may be living.
Rose’s methods of transposing old prints onto photographs differentiated her exhibition from the other artists that apply collage techniques. Her juxtapositions of various time periods, places and people created an exhibition that was enticing to students from all walks of life.u