In Conversation: Artists Consider Andrew J. Russell’s Photography

Saturday, August 24, 2019, 2–3:30 pm | Lecture Hall
Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 2:00pm

Join us for a discussion on how photography is used to document changes in community, environment, and more moderated by OMCA Programs Developer Patricia Cariño Valdez. As part of OMCA's exhibition Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell, this conversation brings together three Bay Area-based artists, Keith Secola, Jr., Mike Battey, and Britt Bradley, whose works explore themes within Russell’s photographs. Get a behind-the-scenes look with OMCA Curator of Photography & Visual Culture Drew Johnson to learn about Russell’s photographs and the Museum's collaboration with the Native Advisory Council to create the exhibition. Meet local artists and gain insight into their artistic practices, and connect with stories from across history as we take a deep dive into the archives and relate them to contemporary conversations.

» buy tickets


Mike Battey
Mike Battey is an artist that concentrates in experimental and antiquated photosensitive processes to discuss land, water and agriculture in the Western United States, specifically in California. Originally inspired by his backpacking travels deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, many of the works created in the Downstream Collection use on-site environmental conditions and elements, like snowmelt and temperature shifts, to impress upon the chemistry in real-time. Progressive techniques and expired materials meet to create one of a kind works that put fragility, destruction and innate beauty on display. Historical scientific glacial reports and early 20th century records of water management are also re-purposed within the work of locations visited by artist himself to further the investigation of past versus present conditions. 


Keith Secola
Keith Secola grew up in the Southwest and belongs to the Ute Indian tribe and Anishanabe Nation. He graduated from California College of the Arts MFA in San Francisco, with a focus on silkscreen printing. The earliest influences come from his father, who is a musician, traveling and exposing him to contemporary Native arts at a young age.  These early experiences would influence a life in creative arts. Finding a balance between contemporary life and tradition, Keith blends printmaking, archival photography, illustrations, and murals derived from Native American life to transmit indigenous voices and identity.


Britt Bradley
Britt Bradley's photographs evince personal reflections on identity and reclamations of history. Bradley was born in Alameda, California and raised in the rural mountain town of Groveland. Bisexual, Bradley often experienced a struggle to identify and assimilate in her hometown. Bradley’s work makes use of the 19th-century process of wet plate collodion. "Much of collodion practician, both modern and historical, is a perpetual representation of the white male gaze.  A perspective that has not truly shifted since the medium's conception over 150 years ago. I am interested in how a medium that has continually been used to exploit marginalized voices, could instead be adapted to empower. I’m looking to make the images that were missing from the version of history I was presented in school.”