Millee Tibbs and Ernest J. Zárate: Altered Landscapes

Exhibit Dates: 
Monday, Sep. 8 to Friday, Oct. 3
Artist Reception: 
Friday, Sep. 12 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm
2nd Saturday Opening: 
Saturday, Sep. 13 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Millee Tibbs: Mountains and Valleys

Millee Tibbs is interested in surfaces and their relationship to what lies beneath – the discrepancy between what we see and what we know. “I am drawn to photography,” Tibbs states, “because of its ubiquitous presence in our culture and its duplicitous existence as both an indexical representation of reality and a subjective construction of it. It is a slippery medium that easily shifts from scientific documentation of a moment in time to a subjective construction of reality. I am interested in the space where these qualities contradict each other and coexist simultaneously.”

Mountains and Valleys uses images of the American West as a starting point to interpret and confront cultural myths surrounding our relationship to that landscape,” Tibbs explains. “Titled for the two primary folds in origami, the work uses physical alterations to create relationships between formal geometries and natural spaces that question the illusionistic representation of the photographic image. I print these images, fold them, and then re-photograph them. These images are simultaneously manipulated and yet photographically real. The geometric impositions onto the photo-object impress an aesthetic ideal onto the landscape, scarring the very thing they attempt to embellish. The fantasy of an untouched and untouchable vista is interrupted.”

Millee Tibbs is an artist residing in Detroit, where she currently teaches at Wayne State University. She holds an MFA in photography from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her work has been exhibited at galleries across the U.S. and at both the Museum of Modern Art and Spanish Cultural Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; is currently held by the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum; is included in the Pierogi 2000 Flat File (Brooklyn) and the online database at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum; and was published in the Humble Art Foundation's Collector's Guide to Art Photography Vol. 2. She has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony, and an artist-in residence at the Wassaic Project and the Santa Fe Art Institute. More information is available at her website,

Ernest J. Zárate: Apparent Realities

The work displayed in Ernest J. Zárate’s exhibit Apparent Realities represents two bodies of work: a collection of still photographs in the form of backlit transparencies, from an on-going project also called Apparent Realities; and a three-minute series of projected photographs of a single vista called Time/Flux.

The still photographs from Apparent Realities, Zárate states, examine but do not resolve the two opposed meanings of apparent: “plain, clear, and obvious” as well as “appearing to be real or true on the basis of evidence that may not be valid.” The photographs are accurate renditions of their subjects, he explains, “made using long exposures, low ISO, and minimal corrective processing – they are, technically speaking, straight photographs” that “are viewed via transmitted rather than reflected light. The enigma of what was in front of the camera remains, existing somewhere between what is and what may be. The result is that the photographs are apparent.”

For the projected sequence Time/Flux, Zárate used a tripod-mounted camera to take several 30-second exposures of the same view during one night. “The selected mise-en-scène presented to the viewer is static and in flux, unmoving and ever changing,” he states. While the ... series is a compression of time, with several hours reduced to a handful of minutes, it is also an expansion of time, as each 30-second exposure enlarges those moments and records the events happening. The ebb and flow of a variety of activity within the tableaux creates a rhythm.... The viewer is allowed the opportunity to meditate on the flux and rhythm within the frame, though briefly. The ephemeral nature of projecting the photographs onto the gallery wall creates fleeting glimpses which cannot be grasped.”

Ernest J. Zárate is a teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District and an adjunct professor at Cosumnes River College. “Education and creating art have been my passions and mainstays for decades now,” he says. “They are closely related: both ... involve knowledge and skill as well as creativity and a willingness to reach out for the unknown, and the unknowable.”


Millee Tibbs: Mountains + Valleys (Yosemite #1), pigment inkjet print, 2013


Millee Tibbs: Mountains + Valleys (Yellowstone #2), pigment inkjet print, 2013


Millee Tibbs: Mountains + Valleys (Half Dome, Tetraptych), pigment inkjet prints, 2013


Millee Tibbs: Mountains + Valleys (Arches, Diptych), pigment inkjet prints, 2013



Ernest J. Zárate: Untitled (Hwy. 50), transparency in lightbox, 2012


Ernest J. Zárate: Untitled (San Francisco), transparency in lightbox, 2007


Ernest J. Zárate: Untitled (Time Flux 7768), digital projection, 2014


Ernest J. Zárate: Untitled (Time Flux 7776), digital projection, 2014


Thank you to our sponsors!

Kenneth Meyers
Meyers Investment Group of Baird

Platinum Sponsor


Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is the proud recipient of a SMAC Cultural Arts Award grant.

Individual Sponsorships
(Luminance Level & Above)

Diane Tempest

J.B. Jones



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