Alexander/Heath Contemporary
is pleased to announce
an exhibition by photographic artist

Mary Zompetti

“The Lost Garden”

December 2 through December 30, 2022

Art-by-Night Friday, December 2nd, 2022, 5-9 pm

New Downtown Location:
109 Campbell Avenue SW, Roanoke, Virginia


Opening Night / December 2, 2022

Artist Biography:

Born in New Haven, CT, Mary Zompetti is a photographic artist living and working in Roanoke, VA who utilizes traditional and experimental analog photographic methods to investigate land, home and environment. Her recent cameraless photographic work explores the delicate and resilient nature of film emulsion exposed to environmental conditions, where she collaborates with light, weather and time to create unique photographs that embrace chance, mistake and deterioration.  She received an MFA in Visual Arts from the Lesley University College of Art and Design and a BFA in Visual Arts from Northern Vermont University. She is a recent recipient of the 2020 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant in support of new analog, cameraless photographic work, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA; the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum in Roanoke, VA; the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA; the Mjólkurbúðin Gallery in Akureyri, Iceland and the A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and in a virtual exhibition hosted by the Strange Fire Collective/Humble Arts. She has attended artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and at the Gil Residency in Akureyri, Iceland, and her work is also held in several collections, including the artist book libraries at Yale University and the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity.  From 2004-2020, she ran a public-access community darkroom and digital lab in Burlington, VT, and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Hollins University.

Artist Statement:

My creative process is driven by curious experimentation with analog photographic materials – not in the quest for the perfect, captured moment, but rather for the possibilities that exist when control is relinquished, and chance helps guide both the process and questions being asked by the work. This curiosity excites and drives me to push the medium further, seeing what is possible outside the parameters of traditional photographic processes.

The cameraless photographs in The Lost Garden series are created by exposing large-format film to environmental conditions over extended periods of time.  The physical remains of wildlife and other remnants of the natural world are placed on the film’s surface – a starling frozen in the depths of winter, a woodpecker electrocuted by overhead power lines, plants and flowers gone by. Bodily fluids and plant matter putrefy on the surface and these deteriorating effects are recorded into the film. Light and weather further alter the surface, cracking and pulling the delicate silver emulsion, leaving time and place-specific impressions outside of my control. Both delicate and resilient, the film becomes an imprint of the fragile body, a witnessing of transformation through loss, and a map-like record of time and place during this moment when our natural environment is on the precipice of irreversible change.

Mary Zompetti     @maryzompetti    CV

The Lost Garden is partially funded by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibition is on display through December. 
Access available during special exhibition hours or by appointment:
Contact Ed Hettig for an appointment or call 607.226.2473 to arrange a visit.