Category Archives: Bloggers

Bruce Myren

170 Market Hill Road, 2009 Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Kayafas

Bruce Myren is a artist and photographer whose landscape-based work considers ideas of place and space. He holds a BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and earned his MFA in studio art from the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 2009. Shown nationally, Myren has been included in group exhibitions at the Houston Center of Photography, TX; The Gallery Project, MI; and the William Benton Museum of Art, CT, among others. His latest solo exhibitions include showings at the Workspace Gallery, NE; Danforth Museum of Art, MA; and Gallery Kayafas, MA, where he is represented. The current Northeast Regional Chair of the Society of Photographic Education, Myren has taught at the University of Connecticut, New England Institute of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Dwayne Butcher: What brings you to CAA? Any particular panels, sessions, or interviews?

Bruce Myren: As an artist, I come to CAA to hear about current thinking in art, art history, and theory. I am interested in work and ideas beyond photography and find inspiration in a broad range of topics. I am currently the Chair of the Northeast region of the affiliated Society of Photographic Education (SPE) and attending CAA helps me stay connected and allows opportunities to see and meet colleagues from across the country. In addition, this year, I am also on the job market and exploring opportunities.

DB: Are the sessions CAA has for photography adequate?

BM: In general, I do think there are enough photography-related presentations. Almost all current issues in art touch photography, thus many panels concerned with contemporary issues discuss photography or light-sensitive media in some way.

DB: Can you talk a little bit about your work? Are you currently working on a particular series?

BM: My work investigates issues of place and space and boundaries and borders through the exploration and employment of various locative systems. I am most interested in how macro systems relate to micro experiences of land and landscape.  My recent series include an investigation of the Fortieth Parallel of latitude via large format photography and GPS technology; a study of the poet Robert Francis’s one-person house in the woods of Amherst, Massachusetts; and a piece that documents the view from every place I have lived to where I live now.  Work can be seen on my website:

DB: Do you have any exhibitions, workshops or the like upcoming?

BM: I have an upcoming solo exhibition at Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska (March 3 – April 30, 2011),  In addition, on April 12th, I will be giving a visiting artist lecture at Kansas State University.  While on both trips, I hope to photograph six new confluences for my project “The Fortieth Parallel.”

DB: What is your favorite artist? book? color? smell? food?

BM: This is hard…! Artist: Hamish Fulton; Book: Immortality by Milan Kundera; Color: almost all colors; Smell: Ocean, fresh cut grass, and pine; Food: I like all food.

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We are Pretty Hot

(from L to R) Joy Garnett, Charlotte Frost and Dwayne Butcher.

Here we beautiful people are at the Centennial Celebration last night at the Met. I an not wearing the blackest black, Oh well. But Charlotte is wearing a HOT HOT HOT coat.

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Perfect storm

Just want to share a small observation that has come encapsulate the experience of a CAA conference. While milling around the Hilton, utterly astounded by the sheer number of folks, I glanced to the escalators, when I spied two gentleman, one ascending and another headed below. In their moment of recognizing a friend, they perfectly timed a handshake across the handrails and a quick salutation as they passed each other. How quick one needs to be to see a colleague, learn that a person standing in the corner is well respected scholar, writer, artist, teacher, make the gesture of saying hello and introducing oneself.

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Slow start

Fair warning, I began composing this post on the way into New York and completed the last paragraph nearly 10 hours later on my trek back after the reception at the Met. Hence the strange shifts in time…

I’ll be honest, I’ve got conference envy. As the conference proceedings have begun in full swing, I’ve been in teacher / student mode. After holding my class this morning, gathering last minute conference items I am happily writing from the commuter train to New York. I am arriving in time to get registered and head up to the Centennial reception at the Met. Super excited to see the Temple of Dendur all dressed up!

In all of the bustle of the beginning of term I haven’t been able to give particular attention to the conference sessions and events I’d like to attend. This evening on the commute back, I spent time making selections from the conference agenda and plan to hit the ground running Friday. Beginning the day with the “Parallel Practices: When the Mind Isn’t Focused on Art” with Janine Antoni, Vija Celmins, Petah Coyne, Robert Gober, and Philip Taaffe. In the afternoon visiting several sessions, including “Where is Tradition in American Studio Craft?” and “Us and It: Sculpture and the Critique of Display Cultures.” I’ll be sure to be stopping by the Student Lounge and ARTspace too…ah, so much!

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Getting into the New York Flow

Typically, I’m pretty open to the everyday challenges life in New York throws at you. Before moving back to the slower, quieter San Francisco Bay Area, I fought it out here for seven years. Yet, these past 2 days have been challenging, even for me.

As a blogger, wireless access is essential. However, I’m relegated to just a couple of spots where access is “free,” and find that many, many people have the same idea. My poor, 7-year old computer slows to a crawl from the heavy internet traffic, if I can even find a place to sit down long enough to log on and write. A smartphone, you ask? Maybe an iPad? Or dare I say, pay into the hotel’s wireless service to work anywhere? Ah, only when I’m no longer among the millions of unemployed, and I can actually afford such beautiful devices and services!

In conferences past, my agendas for attendance have been fairly predictable: to present a paper, to chair a panel, to serve as chair of a committee and steer the committee meeting (and make sure it’s session ran smoothly). As a graduate student, it was great to do all this and meet new people. And share a cushy hotel room close to the conference with fellow students, hit the events, the museums, etc. As I moved up the educational administrative and managerial mountain, my institutions paid my hotel bills in exchange for the assistance I provided for the alumni receptions, the hiring committees, etc. One could get used to this level of luxury, as I continued to build upon my CV with more papers, panels, and service.

It all crashed, along with the economy, in 2009.

I have been out of graduate school for a long time. Yet, this year I feel more like a student than ever before. With no institution supporting me, in fact no job at all, it was a difficult decision to even come here this year. My spouse (who is job-hunting here for the first time) and I scraped together airline miles. We are staying with friends in Park Slope, Brooklyn—not an easy trek when sessions start early and events run late. We are even frugal with food—tough in NYC. It’s a fact we knew going in.

Am I happy to be here? Absolutely! With or without fancy electronic devices. Unemployment brings with it an unpleasant and lonely isolation, interpersonally and intellectually. So, while I am finding it stressful at times to be the dutiful blogger, my inner art nerd is definitely being fed, and seeing dear friends and colleagues is filling me with much-needed camaraderie.

Posted in Bloggers, CAA, Hotels, New York | 1 Comment