Recap of November Gallery Shows

We had a great turnout at our openings for “A Life Reviewed: George Eastman Through the Viewfinder” and “Eat a Peach”  last Friday!  Thank you to everyone who came!  If you missed the show it will be up in the galleries at Booksmart until January.

The Galleries looked great! Both Emma and Lisa worked hard all week to get everything together by Friday.

Recap of the “In Process” Exhibition

In Process opened in the Kunstler gallery last Friday, August 6th.  In Process is an exhibition of the employee’s at Booksmart Studio, Dylan Knapp, Mark Nacey, Sean Dyroff, David Ohl and Alex Broderick.  We had a good turn out and want to continue to invite guests to come check the show out!  It will be up for a month until Friday September 3rd and we are open Monday-Friday 9-6 every week.  Here are some images from the opening.

In Habitation: Call for Entries

Exhibition Opportunity at Booksmart Studio-Call for Entries

Booksmart Studio is seeking submissions for our exhibition “In Habitation”.  The juror will be David Wright who is an editorial photographer based out of Maine.  David’s series “Alebtong, Uganda, 2009” is very well known and he was also the co-founder of the project and exhibition called Pause to Begin.

“In Habitation” is looking for photographs that help explore the landscape and infrastructure of America, the population responsible for it, and the symbiotic relationship between the two.  This exhibition explores the ways in which our urban and rural centers operate and fluctuate, creating a uniquely American dynamic of experience.  This exhibition will ultimately present a socio-graphic interpretation of America- a mapping of people and place.

Juror: David Wright, www.davidwrightphoto.com

David Wright is a photographer based in Maine. He has always learned about the world and himself through photography. In January and February 2009 David spent 2 months in northern Uganda photographing for A River Blue, a school providing psychosocial counseling and intense vocational training in topics like tailoring, agriculture, and arts to vulnerable youth. His series “Alebtong, Uganda, 2009” was selected as 1 of 3 winners in the 2009 Conscientious Portfolio Competition and was exhibited at Anastasia Photo in New York from February 5 – April 14, 2010. David’s editorial work is represented by Redux Pictures and his Uganda work is represented by AnastasiaPhoto. Most photographs on this website are available as licensed images and edition prints.


Call for Entries Deadline: October 10th, 2010

Opening Reception: December 3rd, 2010

Download the prospectus form here

Please send your CD/DVD or files with a completed prospectus to:

Booksmart Studio

Gallery Call for Entries

250 North Goodman Street, 1st floor

Rochester, NY 14607

$25 for 3 entries, $35 for 5 entries, $5 for each additional entry and a limit of 10 entries total.

Image restrictions: 1000 pixels max on the largest dimension, jpeg, 100 dpi, no file larger then 3 megabytes please.

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Gallery Opening, “In Process”

This Friday, August 5, 2010 we are having an opening reception for “In Process. This show will feature all of Booksmart’s employees work. Included in the show are David Ohl, Mark Nacey, Dylan Knapp, Sean Dyroff and Alex Broderick. Each employee has selected a few pieces to display in Gallery Kunstler.

The reception will be opening from 6-9PM at
Booksmart Studio
250 N. Goodman St.
1st floor
Rochester NY, 14607

Come join us!


“Ashes In the Night Sky” exhibition, July 21st, 2010

Ashes in the Night Sky, an exhibition of an artists’ book and inkjet photographs by Bill McDowell, will open at the Gallery Kunstler, 250 N. Goodman St., on Thursday, July 1 with a reception from 5:00- 7:00 p.m. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the Photo-Bookworks Symposium at Visual Studies Workshop.

© Bill McDowell,

McDowell’s book consists of 48 inkjet photographs, and it was printed, hand sewn, and bound in a limited edition by Booksmart Studio. The exhibition includes 20 large (36” X 45”) and 20 smaller (17” X 22”) photographs, also printed at Booksmart Studio.

Ashes in the Night Sky” is based on the idea that when one looks at a celestial sky, the astronomical objects seen are representations of the past. McDowell used his father’s cremated ashes to simulate stars, nebulae and galaxies, scanning them on a flatbed scanner. Later, he re-worked the images on a computer.

The photographs in the exhibition are arranged in four related series: Galaxies, Night Skies, Negative Prints, and Fragments.

In Galaxies, McDowell often relied on using source images found in astronomy books. “I would work with one of these astronomical photographs by my side, replicating its composition by using my fingers and various sieves and screens to sift and drop the ashes on the scanner glass. The denser the accumulation of ashes, the brighter the image they recorded. Fine, dust-like particles often appeared as distant stars or gaseous clouds against the background’s inky blackness. I didn’t try to copy the astronomical photographs too faithfully; they served as starting points. I was more interested in the chance-determined relationships that developed from my inability to precisely control the fall of the ashes. It was in the translation from the document that fortuitous things happened.”

Other images in the Galaxies series depended more heavily on computer manipulation, where McDowell selectively blurred areas in an image to alter depth relationships, and in others to create a gaseous or nebulous region.

In Night Skies, McDowell worked sequentially. Each sequence began with ashes spread on the scanner to simulate a star-laden sky. After viewing the first scanned image, he would respond to the arrangement, which was still on the scanner, add more ashes and rescan. He continued adding ashes in this way, producing up to 20 consecutive scans per sequence.

Negative Prints were inspired by the practice of astronomers printing a photograph as a negative to access greater information in the image. By reversing the tonal scale, McDowell was reminded that all of his pictures began with the elemental particle of ash.

In Fragments, he scanned individual pieces of cremated bone. The respective fragment (each less than an inch in length) revealed a particular coloration and architecture depending on the bone’s mineral content, the temperature of the fire, and the crematorium’s grinding of the skeletal remains. These photographs presented the bone fragments in a straightforward manner, much like a forensic or archeological document.

Of  “Ashes in the Night Sky”, McDowell stated, “This work is a meditation on my father’s passing, but also an exploration of the interconnectivity of life on Earth and in the Universe. I’ve read that on a clear night the unaided eye can see five planets, ten thousand stars in the Milky Way, and the glow of three other galaxies. That over one hundred times more stars fill the sky than sand grains on all the beaches of our world. That the nitrogen atoms we breathe on Earth are identical to the nitrogen atoms on Mars. That the laws of physics really are universal.”

Intellectually I know all this and yet, in the everyday, my world is small and my cosmology is shaky. Often, I’m as oblivious to the brilliance of the night sky as I am to those I love. The phase of the moon, the paths of the stars and planets, they move above me unnoticed. And too often, like those I love, I neglect the sun’s warmth and radiance until it’s gone, its light faded to darkness.”

Bill McDowell is the Chair of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Vermont. He has also taught at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Rochester Institute of Technology. McDowell received a M.F.A. in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, and took classes at Visual Studies Workshop.

He is a recipient of the Artist Fellowship in Photography from the New York Foundation on the Arts (NYFA), an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, the Texas Photography Society Grant, as well as several artist research grants from the University of Vermont and Texas A&M-Commerce.

His selected solo exhibitions include Jan Kesner Gallery, in Los Angeles, Houston Center of Photography, Robert  B. Menschel Gallery at Light Work, Kenyon College, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Vermont. His group shows include the Dallas Museum of Art, Blue Sky Gallery, Society for Contemporary Photography, in Kansas City, and the Triennial of Photography at the Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg.

His work is represented in collections at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Deichtorhallen Museum, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Vermont.

His photographs have been published in Light Work’s Contact Sheet 96, Art in America, Art Issues, The New Yorker, Spot, and Exposure.

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Gallery Opening, “In Progress”

This Friday, August 5, 2010 we are having an opening reception for “In Process. This show will feature all of Booksmart’s employees work. Included in the show is David Ohl, Mark Nacey, Dylan Knapp, Sean Dyroff and Alex Broderick. Each employee has selected a few pieces to display in Gallery Kunstler.

The reception will be opening from 6-9PM at
Booksmart Studio
250 N. Goodman St.
1st floor
Rochester NY, 14607

Come join us!



June 6, 2008 marked the opening of Circulation, an exhibition of artist works that confront, explore, exploit, challenge, and investigate the many modes, methods, and effects of circulation and dissemination. The show features a roster of artists from around the continental United States as well as several international artists.

Featured artists include:


Works traveled between continents and across oceans to arrive in Rochester, NY for the exhibition, which will run through July 2, 2008. By the time the works return to their creators or newfound appreciators the art will have traveled over 41,000 miles for the exhibition(more than one-and-a-half times the circumference of the earth).

The curator’s statement reads-
The strength and value in art is located not solely in its visuality, but also in its ability to circulate as an object, or at the most basic level- its grounds in a circulating idea.

-Within a tiny droplet of blood, there are some 5 million red blood cells. It takes about 20 seconds for each of these red blood cells to circle the whole body. These red blood cells will each make approximately 250,000 round trips of the body before being replaced by another red blood cell.

USA Today has a daily circulation of 2,528,437. In one year, that amounts to 922,879,505 reads.

-By the end of the Civil War, between one-third and one-half of all U.S. paper currency in circulation was counterfeit.

-The ice age cycles were influenced by changes in ocean circulation arising from changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Responses to the call for entries included works inspired by corporeal circulation, tectonic movement, transfer of currency, reformation, reappropriation, and the library’s ability to circulate information.


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If you are looking to purchase a Libro Portfolio or have Booksmart Studio produce your prints for your portfolio. Please be sure to visit our dedicated Libro shop website at http://www.librocollection.com.

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