Arts4All Blog

Amazing Altered Photos Workshop

Posted March 26th, 2018  |  By A4A.admin

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This Spring, CSMA is hosting a variety of one-day art workshops. Get to know the Amazing Altered Photos workshop instructor and local visual artist Marianne Lettieri. Marianne has taught several workshops and classes at CSMA utilizing mixed media. Learn more about her background and get an inside look at the upcoming workshop.

Marianne Lettieri, visual artist

We learned a little bit about you and your work in our Story Box Workshop post. What significance or influence do photographs have on your work?

Because my art practice involves working with found materials, I often visit antique shops and estate sales. Typically there will be a box of old photographs among the other discards of time. It’s fun to rummage through them, wondering what their backstories are. Once in my studio, I take their history into my own hands to produce new narratives and imagery.

Where do you gather your photographs from? Do you use any personal photographs?

I’m always on the lookout for interesting photographs. There are several vendors in the Monterey area that have been great resources. Occasionally someone will pass along inherited photos that have lost meaning because they are unidentified. One of my best finds was a 1920s album of professional photos of the graduating class of a women’s school. Oh, the pearl necklaces! I’ve incorporated personal photos in many of my mixed media creations. In particular, there is one mysterious photo of an ancestor’s hand that I’ve used multiple times. For the art installation, Memory Bank, I attached more than 200 photo fragments to skeleton keys with string. Many of those photos are of people, places, and things special in my life.


Memory Bank by Marianne Lettieri

What kind of photographs work best for the projects in this workshop? Should students bring originals or photocopied prints?

For this workshop students will work primarily with photos I’ve collected from Ebay, SCRAP, and local photographers. I’m also providing pages from periodicals. Students are welcome to bring originals or photocopies from home to use or share. We will explore a range of altering techniques, including bleach, paint, sanding, cutting, stitching, embellishing, collaging and doodling over them. Ink-jet printed photos will not work for some of the techniques that use water.

What can students expect from this workshop?

At the end of the class, students will have a portfolio of altered photos. Some images will be ready to frame, others can be incorporated into larger mixed media works or even an artist book. I hope that people will discover a few techniques that inspires them to go further on their own after the class is finished.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

The printed photograph may be nearing extinction with the growth of digital technology, manipulation software, and virtual storage. So there is a sense of satisfaction to physically altering images by hand with traditional art materials. Many artists enjoy the act of transforming a bland photograph into something aesthetically and conceptually interesting.

Tags: art-school

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