Co-curated by Frank Konhaus and MJ Sharp.
December 3, 2011—January 28. 2012
an artist talk and photography demonstration with MJ Sharp

Tuesday, January 17th, 5 – 7  p.m.
presentation begins at 6:00

wine and cheese will be served

Please join us for LIGHT CACHE LIVE, a special event featuring MJ Sharp in a gallery talk and photography demonstration in conjunction with her exhibition, Light Cache.  The artist will create one of her signature long-exposure film images during the talk, and will involve interested audience members in the composition (look for the resulting image on our website and at the gallery!).  Sharp will  illuminate the process of using large-format, mid-century bellows cameras, and give insight into what it is like to capture a four hour exposure in the middle of a winter’s night on the moors of Scotland–or in a Durham backyard.  The “Light Cache” exhibition continues at the gallery through January 28th.

Photographer MJ Sharp stays up all night making photographs. Her images, which she typically exposes for anywhere between 2 minutes and 2 hours, reveal scenes that are markedly different from those able to be seen with the naked eye.  While human perception of a scene is limited by the available light, film exposed for minutes or hours has no such limitation. Light can accumulate on film to reveal exquisite details that we perceive in real time only as undifferentiated shadow. Whether that scene is a domestic one exposed by refrigerator light or a lone Scottish sheep by the North Sea, exposed by the bright moon of deepest winter, the resulting photographs are eerie, poetic meditations on what we otherwise overlook.
“With the moon as her muse and mid-century large-format bellows film cameras as machine, she creates imagery not possible with modern digital equipment,” says photography collector and co-curator of the exhibition Frank Konhaus. “She quite literally awakens the night and makes the darkness sing. Light Cache is a unique body of work.  MJ joins other Triangle artists like Beverly McIver, Patrick Dougherty, and Heather Gordon who are reaching a national and international audience with singular breakthrough work.”


MJ Sharp is an artist and educator based in Durham, North Carolina.   A Tennessee native, she came as an undergraduate to Duke University ready to major in chemistry, but one art history survey course with Professor Rona Goffen completely derailed that original ambition, and ever since that time her favorite compositions remain those from fifteenth century Flemish altarpieces.  She was the staff photographer at the Independent for most of the 1990’s while also freelancing regionally for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, PBS’s Frontline, the Columbia Journalism Review, and the Ford Foundation, among others.  She went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 and has often been a visiting lecturer at area universities since that time.  She loves North Carolina in general and the Triangle region in particular, and while she often strays far afield for her work (the Texas Panhandle; the Scottish Highlands), she always loves coming home to Durham.



Frank Konhaus, a graduate of Duke University, is founder and principal of KONTEK Systems, Inc., an audio/video system design and integration firm based in downtown Durham, NC. Frank and his wife,
architect Ellen Cassilly, have created an award-winning contemporary home and artist space called Cassilhaus, where he directs an artist residency and curates an exhibition program. They brought French photographer and installation artist Georges Rousse to Durham for a major community public art
project in 2006. He served as executive producer for a documentary film about that project and is
currently working in the same capacity on a documentary about sculptor Patrick Dougherty.
Mr. Konhaus currently serves on the collections committee at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke
University, is active in the Friends of Photography at the NC Museum of Art, and is a passionate
collector of contemporary photography.

MJ SHARP has uploaded her long exposure photograph that she took during her January 17th
talk and demonstration. This photo is very interesting as are MJ’s notes on the piece.
It’s like a mystery revealed!

in the news: Light Cache by MJ Sharp

 In The Independent Weekly, Chris Vitiello reviews LIGHT CACHE by MJ SHARP

Blue Greenberg writes about LIGHT CACHE in the Durham Herald Sun.


Night light


DURHAM – Taking pictures at night slows things down. Photographer MJ Sharp shoots not just at a decelerated time of day, but with longer exposure times, too. Her results are on exhibit in the Craven Allen Gallery on Broad Street through Jan. 28.

Read more: The Herald-Sun – Night light

Blogging about MJ Sharp and her exhibit, LIGHT CACHE

Stacy Lynn Waddell, who was a compatriot of MJ’s in the MFA program, blogs for Daylight Magazine. This is a preview to a longer interview! Stay tuned.

John Wall teaches literature at NCSU and is based in Raleigh but photography is also an enormous passion of his.  He blogs for Southern Photography.

photos from the opening reception

on flickr