Alumnus Photographer Michael Starkman to Give Gallery Talk
About His Life and Work


February 27, 2014

Rachel Rogol, 413-542-2295

Amherst, MA - Amherst College graduate Michael Starkman will give a gallery talk about his photographic series Where Nepenthe Flows on Friday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m., at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. The six black-and-white photographs in the series are currently on view as part of the exhibition New Arrivals: Modern and Contemporary Additions to the Collection


Starkman graduated from Amherst College in 1974 with a degree in fine arts, and holds an MFA in printmaking and photography from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is currently based in San Francisco, where he teaches photography at ImageWork SF.


Previously Starkman was an assistant professor of art at Southeastern Louisiana University and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. His works are in the collections of the Georgia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, among others.  


The title of his series Where Nepenthe Flows alludes to the mythological potion that makes whoever drinks it forget their sorrows. Poets from Homer to Spenser have written about nepenthe's calming effects.


"These photographs began during the year following my mother's death," Starkman said of Where Nepenthe Flows. "They are about opening myself to the darkness at the edge of beauty, mourning, slow healing, and the awe of staring at the Veil." 


"At its best, my photographic practice is about receptivity - embracing luck, happenstance, or spirit, being quiet enough to hear the whispers in my head and heart. Rather than stalk the world for images, I wander, and sometimes I'm given gifts."


Starkman's gallery talk is one in a series of six that accompany the New Arrivals exhibition. Gallery talks are given the first Friday of every month at 4:30 p.m. from February through June and are followed by a reception. Like all events at the Mead, gallery talks are free and open to the public.


The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, spanning 5,000 years and encompassing the creative achievements of many world cultures. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. The museum and its gift shop-café are open year-round Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum offers extended hours during the academic term, staying open until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.  

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