No. 34. Denmark Rising


Denmark Rising
Denmark Rising

Denmark Vessey, a well-educated and dignified former slave helped found “Mother” Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Charleston, SC. He planned a slave rebellion in 1822 and was hanged along with more than 30 others. In 2014 a statue honoring him was erected in Charleston, S.C. park. A year later the Confederate Flag, a symbol of racist terror, was finally removed from the State House. Since then removal of statues glorifying the slave-holders’ rebellion from public spaces is gaining momentum.

Considering the murder of Heather Hayer in Charlottesville, VA, by a racist thug while cops whistled Dixie, the struggle to recognize that Black Lives Matter assumes even greater urgency.

This piece is being exhibited at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education in an exhibit entitled “Make Art Great Again: Left, Right and In-Between.” September 7 to November 8, 2017.

Opening Reception September 7, 5:00 PM • 1100 Belmont Avenue, Wyomissing, PA 19610.

More details on the piece.


Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography, Encaustic Art, and Oil Painting He is an outstanding location photographer and painter, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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