Custom exhibitions, publications and collections
As part of its main activities, PROJECT B conceptualizes and produces curatorial projects. Our specialty is vintage vernacular photography and material culture and working with artists, archives and unusual collections. We also offer art and management consulting for unique spaces and multi year projects. We put form to ideas and our work is a culmination of more than 20 years' experience in the fields of fine art, photography, folk art and ephemera. We work with public and private cultural organizations, artists, collectors, interior designers, set decorators, publishers, commercial clients and individuals to curate memorable exhibitions, installations, publications and sometimes, we are called upon to help organize generations of family photos (!). If you need form for your idea, contact us!
We are also artists who collect and archivists who curate. Our art and approach tends to cross traditional boundaries in ways that are inspired by, and even unavoidable in the world of vernacular imagery and telling personal stories. We cull anonymous images from the margins of history and showcase, edit, re purpose, animate, collage or simply re frame them to create new associations and narratives about the tension between the familiar, the remembered and the mysterious. We are simultaneously dedicated to preserving (often resucing) the original work - honoring it as a reflection of specific time and place - but also fascinated by mixing vintage photos with contemporary artistic methods, technologies and imagery to create new ways of experiencing the photographic image.
Below are a few of our favorite commissions and curatorial projects-
Artist Collaboration for Cherryhurst House. A series of six collaborative photographic collages by Martin Venezky and Barbara Levine. Using the horizon line as a starting place, the challenge was to put form as artists/curator to the idea of mixing together vintage photos with contemporary artistic methods, technologies and imagery to create new ways of experiencing the photographic image. The series was included in the Cherryhurst House exhibition (more on CH below), Strangely Familiar, and part of the series was included in Houston Center of Photography and FotoFest International's Fall 2015 exhibition, This Side of Paradise.
Cherryhurst House, Houston. Cherryhurst House is an artist in residency program in a private home environment that presents exhibitions, artist guided tours, events and workshops. Project B conceived and developed the residency with the owner in 2013 and was brought on board the following year to direct, curate and manage all aspects of the project located at the owner's restored residential compound in central Houston. To date, we have curated 4 resident artist exhibitions and programs: CAMERA ERA, with an accompanying book by the same name; Out of Place; Strangely Familiar, both featuring works by artists in residence, Daniela Edburg and Barbara Levine; and, In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful, by Heather L. Johnson.
Installation views of Out of Place: Photographs and Other Fictions by Daniela Edburg and Barbara Levine
Installation views of Heather L. Johnson's "In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful" Bottom photo of Heather by George L. Shea.
Exhibition & Catalogue (curated by Project B). CAMERA ERA. Cherryhurst House, Houston, Texas, 2014
Project B’s founder Barbara Levine—artist, curator, collector—has long been sensitive to the unique mystery of found photographs. Together, she and Paige Ramey find and preserve anonymous images from the lively margins of history and recast them as large format archival pigment prints. What results from this practice is a fresh encounter with the past and with photography itself: the humble original images take on unaccustomed starring roles as freeze frames from a world long gone, while their meticulous, breathtaking enlargements invite us to engage with that world in contemporary ways. The catalogue, named a photo-eye 2014 Best Photobook, was co-authored and designed by Martin Venezky.
Publication. Finding Frida Kahlo, Barbara Levine with Stephen Jaycox, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.
Vintage photographs for set decoration.
Set for Warner Brothers A to Z, 2014. (photo credit: Ken Haber 2014)
Vintage photographs for set decoration.
(below) Set detail from NBC television show, How I Met Your Mother, 2013
Exhbition view (below) , Snapshot Chronicles, Cooley Gallery, Reed College, 2007.
Exhibition & Catalogue (curated by Project B). Out at the Library: Celebrating the
James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Main Public Library, 2005