O. Winston Link was an early practioner of railroad action night photography, with his most famous project taking place on the Nofolk & Western Railway from 1955 to 1960. Author Tony Reevy will discuss his new book about O. Winston Link’s photography, Life Along the Line, at the 2013 "Conversations about Photography" hosted by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art in and Lake Forest College at Lake Forest, Ill., on April 12-14.
2013 "Coversations about Photography" Preview
Photos courtesy Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Founded in 1997, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, works with photographers, writers, and historians around the world to offer a new and unprecedented view of the railroad's influence on American culture through the preservation and presentation of art and photography. The CRPA does not maintain a museum space but collaborates with other institutions, using the majority of its resources for creative programs. Since the beginning, the Center's goal has been to offer high-quality public programs associated with photography and art works in all media. Their annual "Conversations about Photography" sets the pace for national discussion about contemporary railroad photography and encourages young photographers to become a part of the community. Consider attending their tenth annual "Conversations" conference, April 12-14, on the campus of co-sponsor Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. Here is a sampling of some of the work from this year's presenters.
Water Street Freight Terminal, 1943: Jack Delano
Pablo Delano will speak about the photographic work of his father, Jack Delano (1914-1997). Delano was employed by the Farm Services Administration, and produced a number of striking color images of railroading in the 1940s. Many of his images are part of an ongoing project in cooperation with the Chicago History Museum set to open in 2014.
Southern Pacific Steam in California: Steve Van Denberg
Steve Van Denberg will present his photographs from the Southern Pacific and its "Peninsula Commute" and quirky narrow gauge operation in California in the 1950s.
Railroad Monikers: Wes Carr
Wes Carr will discuss his photographic study of the hand-scrawled chalk railroad monikers that travel the nation's freight cars.
From The Main Line: Michael Froio
Through exploring both building and place, Michael Froio's work reveals an era where industry, wealth, and power impacted the land. Michael works at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he is an associate professor and facilities manager for the photography program, part of the Antoinette Wastphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Cate Kratville will talk about the railroad photography by her father, Bill Kratville.
Railroad Artist: Mitch Markovitz
"Sheridan Curve," opaque watercolor on board by Mitch Markovitz depicts the Prarie State Special passenger train on the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee in Chicago during the spring of 1930. Markovitz will share selections of his railroad art at the conference.
Nofolk Southern meets Amtrak: Casey Thomason
Norfolk Southern's company photographer will talk about his experiences at the conference.
Matthew Kierstead on artist Michael Flanagan
Michael Flanagan’s fascination with railroads led to his paintings taking on the darker, grungy quality of coal dust, railroad embankments and tunnels. What if that train was on such an old battered piece of paper covered with writing and stamps and notations? It would be like discovering a page from an old railroad journal. Indeed, he could create an entire, fictitious rail line with its stations and crossings and people and tunnels — its history. There are 38 paintings of the same size and format that comprise Stations. Each is painted in such meticulous trompe-l’oeil style that the viewer’s impulse is to reach for the surface to see if it is real or painted. Matthew Kierstead will present on the railroad paintings of the late Michael Flanagan.