Now Showing in the Café Gallery
STORIES FADING FAST: CAPTURING THE REMNANTS OF THE ALASKA GOLD RUSH
Photographs by J. Jason Lazarus
An exhibit featuring photographs by Fairbanks photographer J. Jason Lazarus will be displayed in the Café Gallery through November 2017. The series of photographs by Lazarus, an adjunct instructor of photography at the UAF College of Liberal Arts, documents the abandoned mines, dredges and Gold Rush communities of Alaska. Lazarus uses a process that combines brushstrokes and both digital and film technologies to create each one-of-a-kind, handmade print.
This presentation is part of a rotating schedule of exhibits featuring UAF adjunct artists.
J. Jason Lazarus is an Alaska-based photographer and educator who creates narrative-driven photographic work utilizing a wide range of alternative and historical photographic processes. "Stories Fading Fast" represents an intersection of multiple personal interests for Lazarus, from cartography and local history to archaeology and exploration. The mines of Interior Alaska are more than mere detritus to Lazarus - inside their neglected husks and creaking walls lie the unknown stories of the common men who once called these places home.
For the last ten years, Lazarus has worked to develop a way to link the lost stories of these miners with the forgotten remnants at the mines. Lazarus’ most recent photographic focus involves using Chemigrams, a cameraless photographic process, and expired, antique photo paper to create a deeply personal project involving oft-forgotten symbolism from the Second World War. Lazarus also spends the lengthy, dimly-lit winter months in Alaska creating unique portraits of its fragile tundra, finding an uncanny beauty among its bleak northern latitudes. Lazarus has served as a photographic educator at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 2005 and teaches both traditional darkroom and digital photography courses. Much of Lazarus’ creative process is rooted in creating unique, handmade photographic work with these under-appreciated and obscure photographic processes.
Hidden within the boreal forests of Alaska lie the overgrown remnants of the abandoned mines, dredges and Gold Rush communities. These neglected relics may seem like empty husks, idle for the last 60 years, but to the careful visitor, their walls vibrate, their machines hum and the air is alive with the latent life force of those that once called these places home. The stories of the Klondike Gold Rush are immortalized in the fictional tales of London and Service, yet the plight of the common man forging a home out of the unexplored tundra has been left untold.
With each passing year, another miner’s story is lost to the pages of time. With them, so fade the stories that define these hallmarks of Alaska’s pioneer past. Without a connection to the past, these derelict buildings and discarded artifacts lose their importance even though they represent all that remains: a poor substitution for a once rich and storied life. Treasure and preserve the stories before they’re lost. Respect and honor these places for what they represent as part of our collective past as Alaskans.
Process: These prints combine both digital and film technologies to produce images using a 160 year old printing process, called Van Dyke Brown. Each print is handmade, has unique brushstrokes and is one of a kind. They range in size from 8×10 to 11×17.
PRINTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. PLEASE CONTACT ARTIST DIRECTLY AT:
J. JASON LAZARUS