June 2017

Featured Artist

Shawn Saumell


In a perfect world, we discover imperfect circumstances. Ascension, explores four seasons of life. Whether wandering aimlessly, seeking truth and knowledge, entering a path to death, or transcending, we are all creators and creatures of our own perception.

[curiouser and curiouser…]

In the midst of our existence, the way that art is experienced and perceived is sometimes not too far removed from the way that life is perceived and experienced. This is especially so in the realm of photography, an instrument used to document reality. Pareidolia, projection, transference are all common psychological and phenomenological responses to this work.

[further down the rabbit hole…]

A physically constructed reality, photographed and made a tangible image, becomes subject to mentally constructed realities. This still life tableaux utopian/dystopian maquette complete with mannequin surrogates become puppets to ones own content. Narratives and metanarratives are co-authored and adopted by each spectator. The realness of these photographs captured through a camera lens are then perceived through the lens of ones mind. Space, time, place, and actuality become irrelevant and elusive the more one chases the rabbit.

Ascension continues to break photographic conventions. Whether through its tableaux constructions, shape of the picture plane, print media, or multiple other aspects, the lines between photography and the future of new media become more and more blurred.

Shawn Saumell obtained his BFA from Texas Woman’s University, magna cum laude, and his MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design, formerly The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Before graduating, his work had been featured in over 100 exhibitions, nationally and internationally. He is one of the Top 50 MFA Painters in 2010, as well as a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize. His numerous international awards include, Director’s Choice, First Place, Best of Show, and Photographer of the Year.

The work of Shawn Saumell has been selected by Chrissie Iles, Whitney Museum of American Art; Rex Bruce, LACDA; Laura Moya, Photolucida; Blue Mitchell, Diffusion Magazine; Christianne Paul, Whitney Museum of American Art; Matthew Gamber, Big Red & Shiny Magazine; Rita Aida Gonzalez, LACMA; Elizabeth Spungen, The Print Center, Philadelphia; Julia Dolan, Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum; Tim Slowinski, Direct Art Magazine; Tere Romo, Mexican Museum of San Francisco and MACLA; Stephen Perloff, The Photo Review.

Shawn Saumell’s work can be found in various private and public collections, including the The State of New Mexico, NM; the Boston Public Library, MA; the Limner Gallery, NY; Center for Fine Art Photography, CO; Shah Alam Gallery, Malaysia; and the Mulafoco Museum, Uruguay.

He has current and upcoming shows in Somerville, MA, Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, and Dallas, TX.