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Beekman Street Arts Fair 2017

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Sunday, June 11, is the Beekman Street Arts Fair in Saratoga (NY) and I’m really excited to be there again, sharing some brand new artwork.

Here are a few finished photo transfers of my work at Cold Antler Farm (on wood)

I’ve been experimenting with photo transfers on wood thanks to an upcoming public art project for LARAC (nothing like the incentive of a deadline to get you moving), and am having so much fun with it, i decided to just keep going.

…and a few photos from the Women’s March in Washington DC (fittingly, transferred onto boards broken at our Tae Kwon Do tests)

If you happen to be Upstate NY on Sunday, come one by (10am-5pm)! I could hug the organizers for putting me in between my two favorite food/libation places in town: Kraverie and The Local – I’m a lucky gal!

There are over 50 artists with vendor booths (be sure to check out Grace Gunning‘s boxes and fellow photographer Greg Cuda); awesome food, music and great camaraderie. See you there!

Hunting with Hawks

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I love the title of this article by Christopher McDougall. I also love that images from my series Hersteading: Cold Antler Farm were chosen to accompany his words in the New York Times. It is a short and insightful article with depth–not easy to do because Jenna Woginrich, the girl that hunts with hawks, is such a complex renaissance woman.

Yet he managed to capture her humor too. For as serious as she is with caring for her animals, there is always laughter and a bit of the absurd. For example, her last two hawks were named after actresses she admires, Anna Kendrick and Aya Cash:

“I have got to stop naming hawks after people,” Jenna says. “It’s really going to mess up their Google results. Someone out there is going to find my stuff online and think the star of ‘Pitch Perfect’ killed a mouse in my living room.”

So grateful to Jenna for letting me photograph her world; there’s never a dull moment.

To read Christopher’s full article in the NYT (you should), click here.

If you would like to own the book from the Hersteading exhibition (you know you do!), click HERE or the button below. It’s 38 pages of strength, struggle, sass and dedication.

If you prefer smaller and sharable images, Jenna and I partnered on this set of giftcards, here. But by all means, if you love to read be sure to check out Jenna’s blog, as she is also the girl that tells stories.

I need that photo of the hawk!

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Hersteading Gift Cards (set of 5)One of the most common comments I hear about my Hersteading: Cold Antler Farm series is:

Is that a REAL HAWK? 

followed by,

I need that photo!   

Well folks, here’s your chance. Jenna (Cold Antler Farm) and I have joined forces again this Solstice to create a new set of 5×7″ gift cards. It’s a limited edition, and last year’s sold out fairly quickly, so go ahead and peruse your options in my new STORE.

If you are looking for framed prints or want to see your options in person, head on over to LARAC, where I’m part of the Holiday Shop through Dec 24th (love how they take us procrastinators into account! Evening hours on Dec 22 too). I have work there ranging from $5 (cards) to $200 for larger framed photos.

For matted prints, check out the Gift Shop at Saratoga Arts, also carrying my work – AND, the framed prints on view at Saratoga Springs Public Library are also available for purchase through them until December 31st. Oh, and I’m not done yet! The exhibition Sul do Brasil at Berimbau in NYC was extended until the end of January (and yes, you can have one of those too).

Happy holidays to all!

PS – and speaking of Holidays, Jenna is also featured in the Holiday issue of Simply Saratoga, along with some of my photos (p68-71)

Magazine spread of Jenna & I, Simply Saratoga Magazine

 

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Humbled by greatness: Tsuneko Sasamoto

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In October I received a call. Would I be willing to create a two-minute speech to introduce a Lucie Award recipient? Having collaborated with them before, I didn’t hesitate. And then I learned who the awardee was. The incredible Tsuneko Sasamoto. I am so humbled.

Lucies 2016: Miriam Romais introducing awardee Tsuneko Sasamoto

Lucie Awards 2016: Miriam Romais introducing awardee Tsuneko Sasamoto (photo by Lucie Awards)

How on EARTH do you compress an entire life of photography (102 years to be exact) into a two-minute speech??!

Panic ensues. Nail biting. I admire her moxie and persistence, but more than anything want to share a tribute that will honor her and everything she has worked hard for. Holed up in my mom’s office for two days researching and writing, I’d like to share my speech:

“Trailblazer.
Pioneer.
Non-conformist.
Independent-minded.
Ambitious.
Infinitely curious.
Dedicated.
Driven.
… and full of hope.

It takes all sorts of moxie to believe you can accomplish something when the world around you tells you, what you want is not a choice. Tsuneko Sasamoto is such a person. Born in 1914, she knew from a young age that she wanted something different for herself – and for all women. As a child, she wanted to be a painter. As a teen she wanted to have a professional career – perhaps a writer or journalist – while her classmates wanted to be brides. I can imagine her teachers frowning, her determination so unheard of in an era where marriage and motherhood are synonymous, and expected. Her chosen path, one against her family’s wishes.

She was often told, “you’re just a woman, how could you even think of becoming a photographer?” And yet she created a career in photography that spans most people’s lifetimes.

Can you think back to your 20s, and what you were doing? In her 20s, she became Japan’s first female photojournalist – which was around the same time WWII started brewing. The things she has seen, and photographed – from daily life to documenting pre-war preparations. The pain, destruction, political and economic turmoil and then rebuilding. Women gaining the right to vote. An evolving shift for her nation and culture. All this through the eyes of hope, dignity and joy for life. She felt compelled to share what she saw in the world.

She had no issues of carrying her camera equipment and all the bulbs necessary for each shoot – but hated having to do it in a skirt and high heels, because it got in the way of climbing ladders and always looking for better vantage points, and different angles. To make a point, she opted for bigger cameras, fearing that if she used a smaller leica, people would think its a toy and then not take her seriously.

Determined. Breaking barriers.

The thing with trailblazers, is they are so busy doing, they don’t realize what a path they have carved for the rest of us. Ms. Sasamoto turned 102 last month and is still just doing her thing. She believes gender and age should have no bearing on a person’s capabilities – she didn’t let the fact she was a woman get in her way, and today she is not letting age get in her way either.

“If I tell people I’m 100,” she says “they’ll ask if i can still press the shutter, or still see ok – but I don’t feel any change in me, even in getting old – probably because I keep photographing. I see the movement of the world, and want to see that all the time.”Miriam Romais holding Lifetime Achievement Award for Tsuneko Sasamoto

Unstoppable. Lets learn more about the Lucie Foundation’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awardee, Tsuneko Sasamoto.”

I’ll admit to being a giddy 5 year old holding her prize afterwards. I am half her age, and still working on having at least half of her persistence and grace.

Check out Holly Hughes’s follow up article in PDN here. Take a moment to google Sasamoto and while you’re at it, look up other amazing women around the world making a difference in their communities.  We can be humbled, but stay inspired to keep doing good.

NYC Exhibition: Sul do Brasil

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SUL DO BRASIL
Photographs by Miriam Romais

EXHIBITION EXTENDED THROUGH FEBRUARY 13, 2017.

Meet the Artist Receptions:
Tuesday September 13 & Friday October 14, 2016

Romais photo exhibit, photo by ©Fernando Navarro

“I am not the same, having seen the moon
shine on the other side of the world.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher

With Brazilian Independence Day around the corner (Sept 7 but in NYC we’re celebrating on Sept 4), it is a great time to share my exhibition at Berimbau again, along with the photos from the first opening reception on July 26 – thanks to the amazing photographer and friend, Fernando Navarro. I’m grinning like a fool in most of them; could not be helped… I was surrounded by family and friends and loving every second of the gathering.

I’d like to have another reception or two before the show closes (happy-hour get togethers), so be sure to follow my photo page on Facebook for the latest announcements (@miriamromaisphotos).

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Thanks to everyone that made the opening: Lola Flash, Groana MelendezRon Herard, Ray Llanos, Jill Waterman, Phyllis Galembo, Leticia Lunardi, Veronica Commock, Dani Cattan, Fernando Navarro, my parents and Mario de Matos (owner of Berimbau)!

About the series:
Sul do Brasil is a personal journey through southern Brazil, where my family still lives. Even though I lived there as a kid, the series is still a process of discovery for me and a somewhat nostalgic one at that. The images show the southern countryside of Brazil as I criss-crossed my way to visit relatives, bringing up long forgotten memories and making new ones.

Berimbau do Brasil is worth the trip (brazilian food, caipirinhas & art!); it’s located at 43 Carmine Street (bwtween Bedford & Bleeker). Tel: (212) 242-2606
brasil@berimbaunyc.com

Hersteading & Creating the Life You Want

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romais_galleryIt has been an exciting few months leading to the exhibition, and a joy to see these images up on the wall. Feedback from visitors and curators has been great – comments regarding the depth of the project, the kudos about the non-traditional installation and all the well wishes that come along with all that. Best of all for me, is that Jenna loves the imagery too.

July 18, 6-8pm
Artist Talk • Book Signing • Reception

So we’re getting ready for the artist talk and slide presentation with yours truly, and homesteader and author Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm.  Exhibition catalogues will be available for purchase and signing, as well as several of Jenna’s books thanks to Northshire Books. The Reception (7-8pm) features a delicious tasting from Bon Bon Brazil NY and Druthers.

“Hersteading:Cold Antler Farm” is a photo project about the energy, life, love, and challenges of a young woman building her dream life on her own farm in upstate NY. A renaissance woman, Jenna Woginrich not just a homesteader: she is an apprentice falconer, archer, fiddler, martial artist, designer, author and fierce believer in creating the life you want, even if others don’t quite understand. Certainly not many can keep up with her, as she has lived several lifetimes worth of experiences and adventures when compared to the average tv-watching americano.

I hope you can make it to our artist/author talk on Monday JULY 18. For those of you that can’t make it to the show before it closes, do not fret: the exhibition catalogue is available for purchase HERE!

The Theatre Gallery at Saratoga Arts 
320 Broadway • Saratoga Springs NY
www.saratoga-arts.org

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-5pm + Sundays in July, 11-5pm, with extended hours on performance nights (check events calendar for evening hours)


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images  logo for Bon Bon Brazil NY       30th Anniversary Logo

 

A HUGE thanks to support by Saratoga Arts, Northshire Books, Druthers Brewing Co, Bon Bon Brazil, Canson Infinity and Archival Methods. Saratoga Arts has made part of this program possible with a Community Arts Grant funded by the NY State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature. 

Hersteading: a One Woman Farm

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Hersteading.

a photo project about Cold Antler Farm by Miriam Romais
On view at Saratoga Arts, June 11 – July 31, 2016

July 9, 6-8pm
Opening Reception for 10×10 and Hersteading exhibitions

July 18, 6-8pm
Artist Talk • Book Signing • Reception
Artist talk and slide presentation with Romais and homesteader and author Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm.  Exhibition catalogues will be available for purchase and signing, as well as Jenna’s books thanks to Northshire Books. The Reception (7-8pm) features a delicious tasting from Bon Bon Brazil, with Druthers providing beer and yummies.

The Theatre Gallery at Saratoga Arts 
320 Broadway • Saratoga Springs NY
www.saratoga-arts.org

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-5pm + Sundays in July, 11-5pm, with extended hours on performance nights (check events calendar for evening hours)


 

canson_logo

images  logo for Bon Bon Brazil NY       30th Anniversary Logo

 

A HUGE thanks to support by Saratoga Arts, Northshire Books, Druthers Brewing Co, Bon Bon Brazil, Canson Infinity and Archival Methods. Saratoga Arts has made part of this program possible with a Community Arts Grant funded by the NY State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature. 

Celebrating… winning a grant!

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Heading over to Saratoga Arts tonight (April 7) for a Reception in honor of the 2016 Community Arts Grant Winners. I am very exited and grateful to be receiving one of these grants – it was their most competitive year with over 200 applications! Thirty four grants were awarded, and four of those went to individual artists. I am loving being amongst those four!

In the meantime… more photographing, editing, and writing. I have been sharing my work with trusted colleagues, curators and friends – it feels good to stretch the wings of this new project.

Nourish

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One of my images from Cold Antler Farm was accepted into a group show (February-March 2016). What excites me the most about this, is the show’s complex theme:

Nourish: Food as Sustenance and Pleasure

Here I am documenting Jenna, a former vegan that now raises animals as food. Complicated? You bet. The food industry and its politics constantly feed us ideas (pun intended) about what food should be, or what it should look like.

Our society –in the U.S. for example–is vastly disengaged from the reality of where our food comes from, how it gets to our tables. I am quite certain my image in the show (below) will be appalling to some – but it doesn’t change the truth that human beings consume living things in order to survive, and some of that happens to be animal meat.

“Traveling Butchers (Sam, his father and his son) make quick work of the harvesting; Jenna feels this is much more humane than having the animals taken to a slaughterhouse, scared and stressed until they are dispatched days later. She says her animals have only one bad moment in their lives (ie, when they are put down for harvesting)”

Jenna and I have spoken at length about this, and because she writes and blogs about her life – she has been questioned about this for years, sometimes aggressively (see Huffington Post article). Her switch back to eating and raising animals for food is her way of not ‘buying in’ to the factory farm industry which is horrid to animals, people and the environment.

Jenna tells me, “the truth is there is no meal we can eat without killing. None. A trip to your local grocery store for tofu and spinach leaves may not include a single animal product, but the harvesting of such food costs endless animal lives.”

I eat animals I raise myself, because I want to eat local food
that causes less animal suffering and empowers my local community.

If I take a step back and look beyond my backyard, I think of the deforestation in the Amazon that made way for cattle ranches (thanks McD‘s), and commercial crops that destroy the habitat of countless wild animals. Birds and bees fall prey to pesticides, and fertilizers are being made from petrochemicals. I had no idea that vegetables were such voracious beings although I often wondered about the “organic materials” and bone meal ingredients in plant food… then I think back a hundred years to what farmers did before current technology and practices. They had to use what was on hand, not some chemical imbued concoction.

Being a vegetarian/vegan will remove oneself from participating in the factory farm cycle, but might not be an effective mechanism towards changing it (which was one of Jenna’s goals). Some people don’t have an economic choice and opt for processed food which are filled with chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. Others will rely on packaged beef or chicken in the market without considering how it lived or died. Few are afforded a choice of where their food comes from, and I devour stories about urban gardens and programs that are teaching kids to grow their own vegetables. Cue young farmer, stage right.

Maybe I tend to think about how food is made because of childhood memories on my grandmother’s farm, where pigs I knew as piglets eventually became the food on our table (and I also maaaaaay have named all the chicks after they hatched). Or maybe it comes from understanding hunger. Frederick Kaufman, author of Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food, says that hunger may be the most horrible symptom of the global food malady, but it is just one symptom. “The price of basic farm goods drives world hunger, but it also drives the push for sustainability, the rise of long-distance food from nowhere, the scourge of cheap and unhealthy foods, the single-minded drive to own the smallest molecules of food, the declarations and pledges of the politicians, the global mania for markets and the profit margins of many of the world’s largest corporations.” They very people that raise our food often can’t afford to keep it or their farms.

Food choices in general, start with a personal preference but are so much more. I say “choices” deliberately, because food decisions are often based on hunger, not the privilege of choice. After all, “worrying about tomorrow can be a luxury if you don’t know how you’ll survive today.” Food is our nourishment, yet it comes embroiled with questions of ethics, socio-economics, geography and politics. I can’t help but respect the practice and ideology of raising one’s own food. A complex issue? Hell yeah, and one of the motivators behind creating this documentary (solo show coming this summer at Saratoga Arts).

Until then, enjoy the exhibition and accompanying catalogue Nourish: Food as Sustenance & Pleasure, the 15th Annual Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition, curated by Dr. Rebecca Senf, Center for Creative Photography & Phoenix Art Museum.

On view: February 15 to  March 9, 2016
East/West Galleries, Texas Woman’s University
Fine Arts Building, corner of Texas & Oakland St, Denton, TX 76204
Gallery Hours: M-F 9-4pm, and weekends by appointment

Click here for a list of participating artists.

Image: © Miriam Romais. Pig and Sheep Become Food, 2014. Homesteading: Cold Antler Farm series. Archival pigment print, ​10″ x 15″   “Traveling Butchers (Sam with is father and his son Josiah) make quick work of the harvesting; Jenna feels this is much more humane than having the animals taken to a slaughterhouse, scared and stressed until they are dispatched days later. She says her animals have only one bad moment in their lives (ie, when they are put down for harvesting).”