Thirza Devlin
Pattern, Education, 1988

14 in H x 11 in W
Catalogue Number
Current Location

About the Artist

Thirza Devlin

BirthplaceCleveland, OH
CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American
Light Work RelationshipLight Work Grant, 1989
Light Work PublicationsContact Sheet 65


Light Work Grants

Each year for the last 15 years Light Work has awarded 3 to 5 grants of $500 each to photograhers, critics and photo-historians who live in Central New York. The aim of the Light Work Grant Program is to provide support, encouragement and congratulations to the artists selected, and to foster the appreciation and understanding of the photographic arts in Central New York. The work submitted by this year’s recipients was on exhibit in the Light Work Gallery through July, 1989. 

The four recipients for 1989-90 are:

Thirza Devlin, Rome, NY – The color photographs in Devlin’s portfolio make multiple references to construction. Fabric, sewing patterns and paper dolls interface with media images from magazines and television. The stereotype of woman as homemaker is fragmented with the collaged elements that Devlin uses to challenge the notions of fashion determining gender and economic class. The piecing together of public self is built up with a steady media diet and selection of outfits of which even the color has special meaning. 

Devlin’s work has been in several exhibits and she has won local awards for her photography. Her Light Work Grant award will be applied toward the purchase of equipment to increase the size and format of her work. 

Stephen Mahan III, Syracuse, NY – Mahan’s striking black and white photographs are created in his camera where exposures are combined to make a multiple image. Mahan works with fashion advertisements that are also projected as slides onto live models and mannequins and photographed. The layering of object and projection expresses the merging of present and past and his collage of appropriated media with personal portraits reflects the complexity of reality overlapping fantasy. 

Mahan is employed as a river guide in the Grand Canyon during the summer and works with photography in the off season. His award will help finance his plans to photo-document the Spanish mission churches in the southwest. 

Mary Warner Marien, Lafayette, NY – Marien submitted a partial manuscript entitled, Photographic Studies in the 1990’s, that is earmarked as the introductory chapter to the book she is writing, Cultural History and Photography. In this comprehensive undertaking Marien examines the historical development of photography in the U.S., Great Britain and Europe and delineates the preconditions and social contexts from which photography has grown and influenced modern thought. 

Marien has served as Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Syracuse University since 1979. She writes regular reviews of art and photography books and exhibits as well as contributing editorial essays on cultural affairs to The Christian Science Monitor. Her reviews appear in numerous publications and she lectures about photography and art history on campuses around the U.S. Marien’s award will go toward completing her book. 

Adrienne Salinger, Syracuse, NY – The 20 x 20 inch color prints by Salinger combine elements of sculpture, drawing and narrative form. Salinger works in her studio where she cuts out shapes from such prosaic materials as paper, corrugated cardboard, and foam rubber. The flat cartoon like characters are then animated by drawing with spray paint, acrylics, chalk and string. The scenarios are riddles of dimension where depth is not fixed but implied and framed by the photographic act. 

Salinger is a Professor of Art Media Studies at Syracuse University. She has an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been widely exhibited and published.