Many of us have known Hannah Freiser as a past Director of Light Work, the very long-running (since 1972) and well-regarded artist's residency for photographers, based at Syracuse University. Hannah is known for her deep knowledge of what is happening in the contemporary photography world but also, and this is more unusual, her experience with (and love of) photo-based artists' books. Many years ago she studied with Susan kae Grant at Texas Woman's University in Denton TX and I am sure that this is the source of her refreshingly open view of what a photobookwork can be.
In January Hannah started as the new Executive Director for The Center for Photography at Woodstock, (CPW) a long running photo gallery and center in Woodstock NY. It was originally started in Woodstock by Howie Greenberg and Michael Feinberg in 1977 and for many years run with an iron fist by the Kenyon sisters. When I worked as part of the Open Studio Print Shop, a non-profit artists' print shop in Rhinebeck NY in the early 1980s, we printed all of CPW's show invitations, their Center Quarterly, and the occasional poster. One beautiful tritone poster we printed was for a show of Kenro Izu's work. We also printed show invitations and other material for Howie's Howard Greenberg Gallery which he started in Woodstock, and later moved to New York City and is now one of the major photo galleries in Manhattan.
As her inaugural show at the Center, Hannah decided to curate and mount a show called Welcome: Page by Page. The show ran from February 20th and closed a couple of weeks ago, on April 10, 2016. The show "showcases artist books by an international cadre of photographers. The exhibition examines the art form of the small-edition book as a poignant expression of personal vision. CPW invites the viewer to come to the relaxed setting of the newly updated gallery and engage directly with the art. The viewer is encouraged to handle the highly collectible and sometimes fragile books. The books on display range in topic from a courageous self-examination in the face of cancer to the whimsical exploration of disposable cups. Two artists explores dreams, another finds global truth in the exploration of international travel, while yet another mourns the disappearance of her father-in-law." Freiser included my book Sanctus Sonorensis. It is great that this show exhibited the book works in a way that allowed viewers to handle and turn the pages of the books, the way they are meant to be viewed.
Some of the other artists included in the show were Keith Smith, Scott McCarney, Susan kae Grant, Raymond Meeks, Nate Larson, Marnie Shindelman, Ron Jude and Erika Diettes, among others.