Artist Spotlight: Joseph PodlesnikLast Edited:
Joe Podlesnik’s solo exhibit opens on Friday, July 20 (during Third Friday), from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, 22 N. High St., Millville. Podlesnik will be in attendance and all archival pigment prints are for sale.
Joseph Podlesnik lived in southern New Jersey from 1992 to 2009 with his wife Ami (the couple currently lives in Phoenix, Ariz.)
While in New Jersey, Podlesnik taught drawing and painting at a few colleges; he currently teaches online classes at Stockton University.
Podlesnik and his wife lived in Millville for about five years and exhibited at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in 2015.
“During that time, I still commuted to Stockton University to teach art/design classes part-time; I also taught part-time at Rowan University,” Podlesnik said. “My wife and I then became good friends with Millville resident Donna Pio and it was through her that we learned of the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts. It was Donna who helped facilitate an exhibition of my photographs in the Center’s atrium in 2015.”
In the late 1970s Podlesnik played around with a 35-mm film camera and was interested in the recording capabilities of it. He had no idea at the time that photography was a medium of expression or a way to show experiences to the world.
It wasn’t until he taught classes at Stockton and Rowan University when he picked up a camera again.
“It was through design classes, which I taught many years later at Stockton and Rowan, that I began to introduce myself and students to photography — first to study the formal composition found in the images [via gestalt principles], then I had myself and students going out and taking photographs in and around campus, as a way to learn about design,” Podlesnik said.
While out taking photos, Podlesnik took a self-reflecting image, “It’s a theme which I think I first saw in Lee Friedlander’s work,” Podlesnik said. “So since then, I find myself hunting for similar self-reflected images in strip-mall or storefront windows.”
“For my work, I suppose what drives it are attempts to see the world around me in surprising, confounding and visually poetic ways,” Podlesnik said.
From January to March 2019, Podlesnik will be showing this body of work at the Stockton University Art Gallery as well.
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