September 28, 2006. Once again Studio Nocturne Open Studio returns to Fort Mason. The Nocturnes, a photographers collective based in San Francisco, will be hosting 13 photographers at Fort Mason, October 21 and 22, in Building A. This is the fourth Studio Nocturne exhibit at Fort Mason. While this group of photographers can usually be found practicing their art under the full moon or city lights, they will again brave the daylight to show their work as part of San Francisco Open Studios 2006.
Studio Nocturne is always one of the larger groups of artists showing their work at Fort Mason, but there is plenty of other art to be seen there during San Francisco Open Studios as well. As in years past, visitors to Studio Nocturne will have an opportunity to purchase fine art photographs at studio prices.
The Nocturnes, founded in 1991 by Tim Baskerville, is devoted to promoting and exploring all aspects of night photography. Many of the members of the Nocturnes are well-known and active in the Bay Area fine art photography community. All of the artists involved in Studio Nocturne are alumni of the various “full moon” photography workshops and exhibits produced by The Nocturnes group over the last 15 years.
This year marks a number of Anniversaries for The Nocturnes–15 years since the original exhibit, The Nocturnes, here in San Francisco; 10 years since the launch of the critically acclaimed Web site of the same name—and a number of special events are planned in various venues around the Bay area.
While the Studio Nocturne Open Studio will not focus exclusively on night photography, that is the theme that ties together the work of this very diverse and accomplished group of photographers, many of whom have previously shown their work with Studio Nocturne. “We wanted to be able to give this group of dedicated night photographers a chance to show the full range of their photographic talents,” says Baskerville. “For each of the last three years this Studio Nocturne event has welcomed more than one thousand art lovers over the course of the Open Studio weekend and we are tremendously excited at the prospect of showing at Fort Mason again.”
The Nocturnes has a long history of connection with Fort Mason, having hosted night photography workshops there, culminating in a well-received 2000 exhibit of night photos taken in and around Fort Mason and a 2004 exhibit of night photography along the San Francisco waterfront that garnered positive reviews from the local press. Biographies and examples of the work of the individual Studio Nocturne artists, along with links to their individual websites, can be viewed on The Nocturnes website at www.thenocturnes.com/exhibits/studionocturne06.html.
An answer to the obvious question–”Why night photography?”–can be found among the pages of the Nocturnes’ acclaimed website (www.thenocturnes.com), which includes archives of prior exhibitions and several galleries of beautiful images as well as a comprehensive bibliography that elucidates the long and distinguished history of night photography. Also of note is an upcoming “noctumentary” film by Nocturnes member Andy Frazer, which will be screened at the Fort Mason event.
It is apparent from the number of articles, interviews, calls for entries and scheduled workshops noted on the site that there is a keen and continuing interest in night photography in all its forms. As Baskerville says, “Surrealism, the mystery of place, solitude, and a heightened sense of the nature of things–night photography seems a worthy vehicle, a ritual to express these themes.”