First Friday

November 6 · Happenings

Join us Friday, November 6 at 6 p.m. for a virtual First Friday!

InVision Photography Festival

November marks the launch of the InVision Photography Festival. The festival looks a bit different this year, but we have maintained our commitment to impactful exhibitions, engaging programs both virtual and in-person, and unique classes and events. We are excited to be able to kick off this year’s festival at our Virtual First Friday. The evening begins with livestreamed concert from George Hrab of Philadelphia Funk Authority. At 6:30 you can join us for a free virtual panel discussion with photographer Lucy Baber. Lucy’s exhibition, the 100 Black Dads Project, is currently on view at the Banana Factory. Our 10th annual juried exhibition is themed around Emily’s Dickinson’s poem, “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark,” a response to her personal loss and national uncertainty during the Civil War. We also offer a juried digital exhibition that features photographs of the iconic Bethlehem Steel, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Last Cast at the Steel. Finally, we welcome photographer Alyssha Eve Csuk with her exhibition, As Time Goes By, which features an abstract exploration of the Bethlehem Steel site. Her work is on view at the Banana Factory and the ArtsQuest Center.

In addition to exhibitions, you can join us for in-person workshops at the Hoover Mason Trestle and the Crane Iron Works Site in Catasauqua. We have virtual classes and in-person guided gallery tours. There is also an Instagram photography challenge where you can share your work with our nearly 10,000 Banana Factory Instagram followers. In short, there are many ways to engage with this year’s festival.

We hope you will join us virtually or in-person for InVision programs throughout the month of November. Photography reveals the world around us like no other medium. Now more than ever we appreciate the quiet reflection of the works featured in this year’s exhibitions.

Suggested Itinerary:

6-6:30 p.m.: Kick off the night with a livestreamed concert from George Hrab of Philadelphia Funk Authority on the Banana Factory Facebook page

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Lucy Baber’s 100 Black Dads Project Virtual Panel Discussion
Join Lucy Baber (photographer, discussion moderator), Sabrina Guyton (Photographer), Ore Adisina (Photographer), and a panel of dad’s ( Kalif Troy, Reginald Lamar, Daniel Lawrence, and Cobbina Frempong) from the 100 Black Dad’s Project to discuss the origin, development, and future of the photography project, discussion with the dads about their lived experiences as Black fathers, suggestions for community engagement to support the Black Lives Matter movement as well as local Black communities, and a quick word about the artist’s local charity of choice, Water Arms Over Firearms, which will take donations in lieu of print sales for this exhibition.

Advanced Registration is required. Registration is free, with an optional donation to ArtsQuest. All registered individuals will receive a zoom link prior to that evening via email.

7:30 p.m.: Check out the InVision Digital Exhibitions:

10th Annual InVision Photo-Based Art Juried Exhibition
Juried by: Sarah Stolfa; President, Chief Executive Officer, and Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
Winners Announced at 7:00 p.m.
This year’s theme for the 2020 Juried Exhibition is inspired by Emily Dickenson’s poem “We grow accustomed to the Dark,” written in response to a time of personal loss in her life and at a time of national uncertainty during the Civil War. “Dark” in this context stands as a metaphor for the unknown, and the poem details how humans have a unique ability to prevail onward and slowly adjust to new circumstances of the world around them. To many of us, this year has had numerous new uncertainties. The inspiring, but in many ways challenging, the acts of social solidarity in response to the global pandemic changes and shapes all aspects of our lives around us. This year, we ask artists to consider this new “Dark” and how we adjust our eyes to see the road forward again through the lens of photo-based artwork.
Our staff has selected three main topics for artists to follow under this year’s theme:
Unexpected Heroes
Connection & Community
A Light in the Dark
Lucy Baber’s 100 Black Dads Project
Letting Black Fathers Share Their Stories:
100 Black Dads came about through my involvement in learning about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the desire to contribute to this movement through art. In 2016, I teamed up with two other talented photographers to explore what it means to be Black while raising children in today’s culture.

We hope to use this as an opportunity to listen and learn from each of the volunteers. Each father shares what it means for them to be a Black father raising children in today’s culture.

The photographers behind this project are trying to use this time to listen. We want to make sure to keep ourselves out of the way and just let each dad’s unique story unfold in front of the camera organically. Once the project is complete, we hope that it will find a broader audience for exposure about this important perspective.

Alyssha Eve Csuk As Time Goes By
What does the passing of 25 years look like? Just as men turn grey and age, metal rusts, and even stone fades. There is death and rebirth. In these images I seek to capture the beauty that only time can reveal. Really, the bloom of time, if you will. Time is not as simple as 1995 to 2020 but a series of truly endless journeys that we only get momentary glimpses into. Imagine being a hundred feet in the air a generation ago, blasting rust off of a furnace so it could be painted. What was it those workers saw? At each view, like a snowflake, they encountered a pattern and image wholly unique, but one that was a mere stage in the multi million year history of those iron molecules. They also initiated the next phase of the journey, paint that would protect, but ultimately fade, peel, and create the autumn-like beauty we experience today. Just as the iron, steel, and workers have moved to and from Bethlehem, so have I. My journey, sparked by the sunlight glistening on the mill, has taken me around the country to connect the same dots that Bethlehem Steel brought together, reformed, and sent back into the world for well over a century. Take a closer look. I think you will be amazed at the diversity of imagery that many likely have intersected at Bethlehem Steel and how each one of them offers so much more than meets the eye when one simply takes a few moments to see them not as just a picture of lifeless material, but a reflection into your own imagination. Most abstract art flows from the hands of an artist, but my images are curated from reality. Did you see what I did as you casually passed that bloom of rust 25 years ago? Today? What will you see in 25 more years? These abstracts initially inspired by my exploration of the defunct Bethlehem Steel site, has evolved to other facets of industry – slate quarries and scrapyards. Works from the Slate Abstracts collection features ancient deposits of slate, millions of years in the making, unearthed and roughed by the hands and tools of quarrymen. Works from the Abstract Portraits of Steel and The Yards collections capture an ephemeral beauty of the various incarnations between the fiery rebirths of steelmaking. I recall learning early in my art studies that Leonardo Da Vinci had made note that if you want to really learn to see, if you want to improve and master then study nature. I took that to heart while exploring the industrial ruins with my camera… it was with patience, careful study and observation that I was able to capture painterly abstract photographs that lay bare unlikely beauty in these unexpected places
Last Cast 25 Community Art Juried Exhibition
November 6 – January 3, 2021
Juried by: National Museum of Industrial History’s Glenn Koehler, former Bethlehem Steel worker and photographer Bruce Ward and ArtsQuest’s Nicole Gencarelli.
Nov. 18, 1995, marked the end of an era, as Bethlehem Steel produced steel for the last time. Known as the Last Cast, this event will be commemorated and celebrated for its 25th anniversary with a planned series of events running in November 2020. Last Cast 25 is designed to respect and remember the history of Bethlehem Steel, while also looking forward to the bright future of the Lehigh Valley region, with an innovation aspect as well. As part of Last Cast 25 and InVision, this digital exhibition is focused on photography and photo-based artwork featuring Bethlehem Steel.

8 p.m.: Sign up for one of our InVision programs!
In-person workshops, guided gallery tours, virtual classes, and more!

Check out a dance performance by danceEthos Performance Company:
danceETHOS Performance Company
Choreography: Alexandra Pobiedzinski
Music: “Sahara” by Kreis / Freakadelle Records
Performance: Nicole Maliszewski, Jackie Moyer, Alexanda Pobiedzinski, Morgan Rakay