“Impermanence” photo essay by Kevin McGowan

House Fire, Durhamville, NY (1985) by Kevin McGowan

“Impermanence,” a photographic essay by Kevin McGowan, is on display in Edward G. Miner Library through May 31. McGowan is an employee of the University of Rochester and works for the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Optics and Imaging Sciences Group.

The black and white images, taken between 1976 and 2011, have been selected by McGowan to represent the continuously evolving stream of our lives, where nothing is fixed or permanent. The exhibit challenges the viewer to think beyond the very real aspects of impermanence that we experience within our aging bodies and minds. How do we face its many signs in the world around us—environmental degradation, economic instability, societal upheaval.  Is it possible to do so without becoming overwhelmed, paralyzed or demoralized?

Having received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, McGowan is a veteran of numerous solo exhibits, including exhibits at the Diego Rivera and Atholl McBean galleries, in the Bay area. McGowan also teaches and lectures on photography and photographic technique. He has been affiliated with the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education since 1979. In April 2003 he gave a talk at the George Eastman House on the process of hand applied color to black and white photographs.

McGowan collaborated on a book authored by Dr. Roxanne Kamayani Gupta. A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance was published in 2000. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs taken by McGowan, documenting the authentic dress, exacting hand gestures, postures, and movements of Indian classical dance.

Among other art-related endeavors, McGowan participated in a fundraising exhibition of the paintings of self-taught Peruvian visionary artist, Francisco Montes Shuña. McGowan is proud to say that the exhibit helped expand and protect land at the Sachamama Ethnobotanical Garden in the Amazon Forest of Peru. The garden comprises 150 acres of land, holding thousands of species of cultivated medicinal trees, plants, vines, and herbs. McGowan saw the results of his efforts during a visit to the Amazon and Andes Mountains in 2005.

An avid outdoorsman, McGowan became an Adirondack 46-R in September 2007.


About Miner Library

Edward G. Miner Library is an academic health sciences library serving the University of Rochester Medical Center, including the Eastman Dental Center, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Strong Memorial Hospital, University Medical Faculty Group, and members of the public in the eleven county area surrounding Rochester, New York.

This article was submitted by Susan Andersen.

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