Creative Spaces: Angela Cappetta’s Love Letter to Medusa

A photograph in the "Medusa" series (Photo by Angela Cappetta)

Photographer Angela Cappetta has a new show opening this weekend at the Medusa General Store as part of their MGS Projects series. “Medusa: A Love Letter to the Mountains” reflects on the working farm community of Medusa in Upstate New York. The hamlet is tiny–it had a population of only 376 people during the 2000 census. Cappetta’s photographs of Medusa were handprinted in her own darkroom, which is pictured below.

Negatives drying in Angela Cappetta's darkroom (Photo by Angela Cappetta)


Cappetta's basement darkroom. A Lee Friedlander poster hangs above the sink. (Photo by Angela Cappetta)


Legend has it that Cappetta's print flattener once belonged to Gary Winogrand (Photo by Angela Cappetta)

Cappetta’s photography has been collected by institutions like the Corcoran Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and by private collectors like Agnes Gund. Some of you may be familiar with Cappetta’s documentary and commercial work, which has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazar, and The New Yorker, but this new show is an opportunity to see another side of this versatile photographer. These contemplative images of Medusa have a real sense of place and are quite intimate for a series comprised largely of landscapes. Each photograph is a like a visual poem, capturing some small, quiet moment in the rural Upstate hamlet.

Legless deer in Medusa, NY

A Photograph from the "Medusa" series (Photo by Angela Cappetta)

The opening reception for “Medusa” takes place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2nd at the Medusa General Store.

And if you can’t make it, don’t worry. You can peruse Cappetta’s photo series from the comfort of your own living room. To see more of Cappetta’s work, please visit her website.

A photograph from the "Medusa" series (Photo by Angela Cappetta)

This is the second installment in Gwarlingo’s “Creative Spaces” series. To see the first feature on MacArthur fellow Anna Schuleit, click here.

If you’re a writer, visual artist, composer, filmmaker, architect, etc. who would like to have your own desk, studio, or work area considered for “Creative Spaces,” please email quality photographs to michelle (at) gwarlingo (dot) com. Your space doesn’t have to be large, fancy, or organized. (Readers enjoy seeing all types of work spaces in varying states of disarray!) Submissions should include a bio and a link to your website. We regret that we’re unable to publish all of the submissions we receive.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Gwarlingo home page, which is updated regularly. Right now, you can preview new music by Gillian Welch and PJ Harvey, see the latest Gwarlingo recommendations and reader comments, plus view Gwarlingo’s Photo of the Week.

If you like Gwarlingo, I hope you’ll consider subscribing by RSS feed or email (it’s easy, safe, and free). You can also follow Gwarlingo on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment about Angela Cappetta’s work or the “Creative Spaces” series, click here and scroll to the “Comments” section at the bottom of the page.

By | 2016-11-11T21:56:04+00:00 06.30.11|Creative Spaces, Images, Process, Spaces|1 Comment

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.

One Comment

  1. Tammy July 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Michelle, I grew up right next to Medusa…it IS tiny. And a beautiful area. I’m so delighted an artist of Cappetta’s caliber is choosing to work there and show her work there. Thanks for making me aware of this so I can let some of my high school friends know.

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