The juried art exhibition, “Organic Flow”, runs from March 15 – April 12, 2024 at the Saratoga Arts Gallery. The exhibition features work from four artists: Karen Gerstenberger, Jackie Zysk & Lydia Sharp, Susan Meyer, and Carol Bollinger Green.
Opening Reception is March 15 from 6-8 PM.
Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. Appointments also can be made outside of these hours during Saratoga Arts’ office hours Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.
Artist Statement – Susan Meyer
Living on the bank of the Hudson River is like having a front-row seat to a stage that is always in motion and constantly changing. This is true even in the winter, although you may have to slow down and get very close to notice.
From August 2022 to August 2023, I devoted myself to photographing the sunrise over the river every morning. While waiting for the first rays of sunlight to spill out from behind trees or clouds on the horizon, I made a practice of noticing subtle changes from one morning to the next: “The river is like this right now.” It was part of my meditation practice. There were so many possibilities to focus on, including: sounds, clouds, fog, wildlife, surface texture, reflection, and water level.
Most winters, there is a significant period when the entire surface of the river is frozen solid. However, that wasn’t the case during my yearlong project. For the most part, the river remained largely unfrozen, except for the areas near river’s edge. I zoomed in to notice intricate details and became fascinated with the changing ice formations. Often, I lingered long enough at the riverside to witness portions of the overnight ice formations become liquid again.
Wondering what the ice would look like brought me to the riverside even on mornings when the sky was too overcast for sunrise images. Photographing riverside ice became a project in its own right, adding to my pre-existing collection of such images.
Mindful photography is about much more than just seeing and creating pleasing images. It’s about how you relate to the present moment. Your camera becomes a tool to expand your awareness of the present moment. Mindful photography can enrich your life by cultivating: focus, presence, patience, beginner’s mind (seeing something as if for the first time), seeing beyond forms, and heart qualities such as caring, connection, and gratitude.
This program will take a contemplative, relaxed, present approach and will focus more on process than end result. (It’s not a “technique” class.). It will open you up to new ways of “seeing and being” in the natural world with your camera.
The session will will consist of an instructional lecture and guided practices. No certain kind of camera is necessary for participation. The best camera is the one you use most.
The program is offered through Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library. Please register online. (If the program isn’t listed on the library website yet, it will be soon.)
The instructor, Susan Meyer, is both an experienced, professionally certified mindfulness meditation teacher and an award-winning nature photographer.
Susan Meyer’s solo photography exhibition, Diverse Landscapes, runs from December 28 – January 31 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. The exhibition is part of Saratoga Arts’ Art in Public Places program.
Beloved poet, Mary Oliver, wrote: “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” This summarizes so well what the practice of contemplative photography is for me.
I am astonished by the splendor of the natural world and believe that if we look closely enough from the right angle, we can find something to appreciate about a place or living thing – and perhaps gain insight into our own nature, as well. With my camera as a mindfulness tool, I seek angles that serve as exquisite openings to the luminous spaciousness that is our essence. Just as I experiment with zooming in and zooming out with awareness during meditation, I practice the same behind the camera – shifting focus from the totality of the landscape to a smaller life form, such as a single blade of grass.
Being in nature connects us with something greater than ourselves. The landscape invites us to expand our frame of awareness beyond the body and experience ourselves as a small part of the landscape rather than a separate observer moving through it. It is a profound shift of focus from which an embedded quality of deep connection and intimacy arises with natural cycles, ecosystems, and life forms comprising the more-than-human world.
This is a collection of moments of zoomed out awareness: landscapes that have invited me into awareness. They include: the red rocks of Sedona, the Senoran desert in Phoenix, my favorite beach in Marblehead (Massachusetts), waterfalls of Ithaca, and the Hudson River that flows by my home.
When I was in Sedona, I overheard someone express the desire to return someday – to which someone else replied, “Well, the rocks will still be here!” Through this collection of images, I also want to express that whereas the world feels like a mess in many ways – chaotic and uncertain – it is also so very beautiful and wise. There are refuges, such as the landscapes I’ve photographed, that are greater and more enduring than our personal circumstances. They beckon to us to take the wider view, which I sense is good advice for navigating these times on planet Earth.
Susan Meyer’s solo photography exhibition, Home on the Hudson, runs from December 11 – March 29 at Country Corner Café in Saratoga Springs during hours of operation (7:30 AM – 1:30 PM daily). The exhibition is part of Saratoga Arts’ Art in Public Places program.
Living on the bank of the Hudson River is like having a front-row seat to a stage that is always in motion and constantly changing. You never know from moment to moment what will come down the river or what you will encounter when you go on the river, as I do in my kayak. In addition to being my muse, the river is one of my greatest teachers.
When the surface of the water is tranquil, it reflects everything around it. The magnificence of a sunrise or sunset is doubled when it’s reflected clearly, and river reflections are a favorite subject of mine.
However, it’s not just tranquil water that reflects. The life forms I encounter on the river are like mirrors showing me something about myself or life. You might see the same kind of wildlife, tree, or flower countless times, and it doesn’t make much of an impression. Then one day, suddenly you become transfixed by it. Perhaps it’s illuminated just right, seems to have a special message, or allows you to get closer than you’d been able to get before. Those are magic moments. This exhibition is a collection of magic moments offered as part of a story of awareness, gratitude, connection, caring, awe, and understanding.
For me, photography is a meditative practice through which I find angles that serve as exquisite openings to the luminosity that is our essential nature. I share my contemplative insights through words and images on my website, SusanTaraMeyer.com.
Join us for a winter solstice celebration of the sun (a few days early)!
From August 2022 to August 2023, award-winning Hudson River photographer, Susan Meyer, devoted herself to photographing the sunrise over the Hudson River from the exact same spot every morning.
In this program, she will present slideshows of the sunrise images she collected over the course of the year. You will experience a one-minute version that illustrates the changing location in the sky where the sun rises each morning, and a relaxing, longer version that allows you to take in the rich variety of sunrise images.
In addition to the slideshow presentation, Susan will talk about what she learned and experienced during this yearlong photography project: the insights, revelations, what else drew her attention, and how committing to this project added value and meaning to her life. She also will offer tips and suggestions for conducting your own long-term photography project.
Seating for this event is limited. If possible, please bring a portable chair to ensure that you have a seat. It is not necessary to register to attend this free program.