Susan Seubert at the Froelick Gallery and the Venice Biennale

Susan Seubert at the Froelick Gallery and the Venice Biennale

For Portland Photo Month the Froelick Gallery has mounted an exhibition of my photographs entitled, “Not A Day Goes By.”

The 2016 rise of a racist, xenophobic, sexist, bigoted, extreme-right political climate in the U.S. presidential political cycle profoundly depressed me. Climate change in both its literal and figurative sense was being denied as a hoax. Lies and fake news were accepted as “politics as usual.” It seemed to me that America was smothering all the positive ideals historically it has stood for. Unbearable emotional pain motivated me to explore showing this issue visually as suicide.

The show is a body of work produced to illustrate suicide. The images in the series, “Manner Of,” present common objects used to take one’s life. The muted black and white palate and soft image quality of the print rendered on tissue paper is then further obscured by the encaustic medium. This treatment of the photograph underscores the veiled nature of the option of suicide. The portraits of people with their heads wrapped in plastic illustrate acts of asphyxiation. The cool tonality combined with the highly reflective, almost mirrored surface of the work adds a performative aspect to the piece: a glimpse of the viewer’s image is reflected, offering a space to contemplate suicide.

You can read a review of the show by Bob Hicks on Oregon Arts Watch here.

Five works from the “Asphyxiation” series will be included in the Personal Structures show, curated by the Global Art Affairs Foundation, at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and hosted by the European Cultural Center at the Palazzo Bembo.  This work will be on display from May 13 – November 26, 2017 in Venice.  For more information, you can download a press kit here.

 

artist: Susan Seubert, title: Asphyxiation #16, size: 40×30″ (101.6cm X 76.2cm), year: 2017, medium: metal photographic print

“Manner Of: Noose”, From the series, “Manner Of,” as part of the show, “Not a Day Goes By.” 12×12″ digital pigment print on silk tissue, edition of 10, 2017, artist: Susan Seubert

 

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Photographer Susan Seubert in Smithsonian Magazine

The April issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a photograph that I made on assignment in Washington, D.C. last November.  I was invited by the magazine to make an image of the Green Book, a guide first published in 1937 for African Americans who traveled by car and needed to navigate the segregated United States.  The magazine was started by Victor H. Green, a black postal carrier from Harlem.  It began as a slim, 15-page directory with recommendations in the New York area and listed safe places for black travelers to visit. These included gas stations, hotels, beauty salons, golf courses and even individuals who welcomed people into their homes.  The guidebook grew as people contributed to the directory and eventually this publication encompassed areas outside of the U.S. You can read the story here.  The image was created using the wet-plate collodion technique, known as an Ambrotype, a photographic process that dates back to about 1851 and was used as documentary photography tool during the American Civil War.  I have used this process for a variety of applications from magazine stories to personal projects.

The Green Book, photographed at the archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Green Book, photographed at the archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

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Susan Seubert Photography 2015: Year in Review

From Australia to Antarctica, Albany to Alaska, 2015 was filled with photographic adventures!

January 2015 began with the National Geographic annual photographers’ meeting in Washington, D.C.  This is always a fun event – an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, old and new.

The Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument glow in the evening light as seen from the Tidal Basin

The Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument, as seen from the Tidal Basin, glow in the evening light.

 

I trained for back country emergency medicine with courses through REI and NOLS, rounding it out with CPR certification.  It was an enlightening experience. The course is taught outdoors, and the weather was nice enough that it was actually fun to work through all sorts of emergency scenarios.  I now am prepared to help first-responders in the event of an emergency, should one arise while I’m on assignment in a remote area.

Wilderness First Aid class taught outside of Portland, Oregon

Wilderness First Aid class taught outside of Portland, Oregon

February 2015

…took me whale watching in Maui.

One of the best times to visit Maui is February when the population of Alaska Humpbacks migrates to the ‘Au ‘Au Channel to mate and give birth, right outside our back door.  It’s amazing to sit on the beach and watch these gigantic animals frolic in relatively shallow water.  If you stick your head underwater, you can hear the males singing.  It’s truly magical!  I took several whale watching trips and have settled on my favorite – the VIP Ultimate Whale Watch out of Lahaina. We will be returning February 2016 to go and see these majestic creatures.

Humpback whales in the 'Au 'au Channel, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Humpback whales in the ‘Au ‘au Channel, Maui, Hawaii, USA

March 2015

…was dominated by working with the crew at Staples on a shoot in Los Angeles.

It was so fun to work on a back lot at Universal Studios plus it’s always nice to go to sunny climates for work.  It was great to make new friends and I look forward to working with Staples in 2016!

 

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on "Wisteria Lane."

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on “Wisteria Lane.”

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot. We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed. I wonder how many selfies we all took? #wisterialane

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot. We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed. I wonder how many selfies we all took?

Happy client. Smiles all around.

Happy client. Smiles all around.

April 2015

…opened my show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight,” at the Froelick Gallery.  I was pleased with the response, and it was covered well by the press. The opening also overlapped with the highly regarded Portland photography event, Photolucida.

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

May 2015

…and we were back to our island home in Maui for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf.  Mid-trip I headed to New  York City to give a talk with Ralph Lee Hopkins, Dan Westergren, Bob Krist, and Art Wolfe for a very well-attended OPTIC 2015 conference.  I was one of the 5 keynote speakers on the first day of the OPTIC event.  Working with National Geographic, Lindblad, and B&H was a very satisfying experience.  I look forward to OPTIC 2016!

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Holding a 1200mm prime on stage at the OPTIC 2015 Conference in New York City

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Speaking to a packed house with over 700 people in attendance – standing room only!

June 2015

… on the train from Seattle to the Jasper/Banff areas to photograph a story about the Rocky Mountaineer for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. This was a technically challenging shoot, but good planning helped me get “the shot” of the train at sunrise.  It was also the first time I worked on the side of a mountain – the Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay – where I had to photograph while rock climbing.  It was exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat!  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the people were fantastic, and the landscape was breathtaking.

The Rocky Mountaineer passenger train as seen at dawn near Exshaw, Alberta, Canada, with Heart Mountain reflected in the Bow River

The Rocky Mountaineer passenger train as seen at dawn near Exshaw, Alberta, Canada, with Heart Mountain reflected in the Bow River

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On location at Peyto Lake in Banff, Canada

The Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park, Canada. Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Road) is a trail making method used in the mountains to make passage easier and more secure. It is done by a installing steel steps, handles, ladder rungs, and a steel cable in the places where the trail steepens. Travellers are secured to the rock by wearing a harness that is always attached to the steel cable. The Norquay VF is designed to accommodate beginners seeking a taste of the alpine, and to accommodate folks who already have a little alpine experience. The Norquay Via Ferrata is located on the cliffs above The Cliffhouse Bistro at the top of the North American Chairlift. In total there’s about 300m of Via Ferrata and about 1350m of trail.

The Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park, Canada.

July 2015

… found me trekking across the globe to Broome, Australia, where I met the National Geographic Orion for an adventure with National Geographic Expeditions on the Kimberley Coast of Australia.  The geology is some of the most unique in the world and there is an abundance of wildlife.  Sea snakes, crocodiles, sharks, dolphins, wallabies, and a myriad of bird species made this trip spectacular.

Man tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Naturalist David Cothran tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Crocodile, King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Hugging a Boab tree for good luck at Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia. Photo by Cristiana Damiano

At the top of twin falls. King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

At the top of Twin Falls, King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

August/September 2015

…exploring the inside passage of Alaska, one of the most unspoiled places on earth, is best visited by small ship. This expedition is one of my favorites.  On this expedition we explored small fjords and remote islands, then transited into British Columbia where several First Nations tribes reside, including the Haida people. This area includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of SGaang Gwaii.  While anchored outside of Glacier National Park, we were treated to a display the Northern Lights. Among the amazing wildlife sightings were the rare displays of cooperative bubblenet feeding by humpback whales, the very same population that I had seen earlier in the year in Maui.

Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

The Eagle Dance, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA

A much larger cruise ship at Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA

Humpback Whales bubble net feeding south of Morris Reef, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Humpback Whales bubble net feeding south of Morris Reef, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather Mountains as seen from a ship, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather Mountains at dawn as seen from a ship, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Northern Lights as seen just at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Northern Lights as seen just at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

October 2015

… I headed to Tucson, Arizona for a shoot with the Tanque Verde Ranch and J Public Relations.  I love riding horses. It was great fun riding through the desert landscape and quite a contrast to the lush green of my Pacific Northwest.  There were also the unforgettable prickly pear margaritas!

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

Riding at sunset at the Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Spa at Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

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Joe Valdez, legendary cowboy, at Tanque Verde Ranch

 

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Prickly Pear Margarita at Tanque Verde Ranch

As a digital photographer, I must keep current with the software I use to process those thousands of files. In my experience, the finest training is the D-65 course taught by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer, offered only in their home in Florida.  The side benefit of the class is the great wine and food!  If you are looking to take your digital workflow to the next level, I recommend this course.

D-65 Lightroom Training Course in Florida

D-65 Lightroom Training Course in Florida

Castagna Restaurant has been a long-time commercial client. This year I photographed a gallery refresh for their cafe and restaurant, two of my favorite places to eat in Portland.  We had a great time making images for their photography needs.  This award winning restaurant is not to be missed whether you are a native to the city or an out of town guest looking to sample some of the finest Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Mobile studio!

Mobile studio!

Working on the classic Castagna burger.

Working on the classic Castagna burger.

Cucumber, Egg Yolk, nasturtium at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR, a clean-lined, minimalist restaurant serving fixed-price, high-end modernist Northwest dinners.

Cucumber, Egg Yolk, nasturtium at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR.

Nasturtium dish at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR, a clean-lined, minimalist restaurant serving fixed-price, high-end modernist Northwest dinners.

Nasturtium dish at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR.

November 2015

…and I’m flying from coast to coast twice in one week!  I enjoyed sharing speakers’ duties with Ralph Lee Hopkins, this time at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY for National Geographic Seminars.  We had a great day with good attendance. What a pleasure it is to work with personable and talented colleagues.

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Speaking for National Geographic Seminars at the New York State Museum

As soon as I touched down in Portland, it was back to the East Coast to do a shoot for Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C.  Keep your eyes peeled for the April 2016 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.  Here are some behind-the-scenes shots to give you a taste of what’s to come.

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On location at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

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Working my magic back in Portland to finish up the project with Smithsonian Magazine

Having returned from DC, I headed straight to Netarts, Oregon, where I was on assignment for National Geographic Traveler to photograph a story about salt for their upcoming issue which will feature water as a theme.  Keep your eyes peeled for that one, too!  Here are a few BTS to whet your appetite.

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Photographing Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt, in Netarts, Oregon

Jacobsen Salt Company in Netarts, Oregon, USA. The salt is harvested from sea water pumped from Netarts Bay in to their facility located on the shore of the bay. Jacobsen Salt was founded in 2011 by owner Ben Jacobsen. Their main products are flake and kosher sea salts available for sale in their store in Portland, Oregon. Contact Ben Jacobson sales@jacobsensalt.com or 503-473-3952. Pictured here is the salt being harvested from the evaporation pans using specially adapted shovels by facilities manager Tom Gibson

A shovel full of sea salt at Jacobsen Salt Company in Netarts, Oregon, USA. The salt is harvested from sea water pumped from Netarts Bay in to their facility located on the shore of the bay.

December 2015

…headed all the way south, down to Ushuaia, Argentina, where I boarded the ship, the National Geographic Explorer, for 3 weeks of exploring the Antarctic peninsula with National Geographic Expeditions.  Penguins, whales, seals, and ice were the dominating subjects of this adventure.  Our amazing Expedition Leader, Lisa Kelley, along with the captain, worked hard to make sure that we did not miss a thing.  We hiked in waist high snow, we sat and watched Elephant Seal pups, we watched Humpback Whales feeding, and then there was the ice.  Blue is the dominant color, and in Antarctica we saw miles of it.

Fast Ice, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Our fearless Expedition Leader, Lisa Kelley, on the bridge as we pass tabular icebergs around midnight.

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A “weaner” elephant seal trying to suckle at my knee in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Photo by a very nice passenger.

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Icebergs, Antarctica

Icebergs, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Juggling snowballs at the top of the trail at Orne Harbour, Antarctica

Juggling snowballs at the top of the trail at Orne Harbour, Antarctica. Photograph by guest Courtney Thompson.

An Emperor Penguin with Adelie Penguins on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

An Emperor Penguin with Adelie Penguins on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Adelie penguins and a Weddell Seal on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Adelie penguins and a Weddell Seal on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please remember that these images are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and may not be used in any form without prior written permission from Susan Seubert.

Susan Seubert’s Fine Art Exhibit, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plate Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

April 2015 is “Photo Month” in Portland and to celebrate I’ve mounted an exhibition at the Froelick Gallery entitled, “The Fallacy of Hindsight.”

You can read a review of the show by David Stabler here.

“Looking back, all of us could have made different choices that would have affected our lives today. A job taken or not. A relationship pursued or not. A relocation at a pivotal moment. Susan Seubert’s small, evocative photographs at Froelick Gallery spring from her past, documenting choices she made over the past 25 years.”

The work addresses notions of hindsight bias and memory. In conjunction with the Photolucida Events, I’ll be speaking at the gallery on April 25th at 11am.  The talk is free and open to the public and I hope to see many of you there!  The Froelick Gallery is located near the intersection of NW Davis and Broadway at 714 NW Davis in the DeSoto Building.

Following is the press release:

“In her solo exhibit, renowned photographer Susan Seubert will exhibit two distinct bodies of work on the subject of hindsight bias. 100 Memories, a series of 100 5″ x 5″ photographs recreating moments from the past 25 years of her life, alternating between literal depiction and emotional interpretation of events. Through these she examines her own choices and biases. The High Arctic is a series of photographs taken in June 2014 in the archipelago of Svalbard, where “the vast fields of broken ice sheets demonstrate global warming in the most literal of lamentable illustrations”. Entwined, a stand-alone work, shows its subject holding a large ball of twine which wraps around her face, conjuring feelings of being bound by one’s own thoughts while also possessing the means to control them.”

Here is a glimpse of the installation:

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

 

 

 

Wet Plate Collodion Photographer Susan Seubert shoots for Smithsonian Magazine 101 Objects Issue

This was one of the most challenging assignments I’ve had in recent years.  I received a call from my editor at the Smithsonian Magazine asking if I would be available to shoot in Washington, D.C.  It was going to be in July, (read: hot!), and would take about a week.  The editors at the magazine were busy coordinating  seven photographers from around the United States, including Dan Winters, David Burnett and Albert Watson, to photograph a collection of objects at various Smithsonian Museums. I have been working in wet-plate collodion for about five years now, and was surprised to learn the photography department was interested in that work for an assignment. It was the first time anyone had ever commissioned work from me based on my “fine art” portfolio.

The title of the issue is called, “101 Objects That Made America.”  The segment I photographed is entitled, “America In the World,” and all the objects that were chosen have to do with America as it relates to the world. You can see the pictures online here.

The pieces I was assigned to photograph span five centuries.  The oldest “object” was a Novus Orbis map from 1532, based on tales from Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci.  It depicts the world as round, which at the time was a new idea, South America takes up most of that hemisphere and Cuba is where North America lies.  The youngest object that I was assigned gave me the most pause and I felt a bit of a chill when the curators brought it to our makeshift studio.  It is from 2001 and was donated to the Smithsonian by the New York City police. The stairwell sign from the 102nd floor of one of the twin towers that was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th was gently put on the set.  It had been found at the dump where the debris from the site had been taken in order to find any human remains or other significant evidence from that terrible day in American history.

When the issue was launched, the letter from the editor invited people to discuss the objects chosen for the special issue and to participate in a dialogue about what was included and why.  I cannot imagine the vetting process of choosing only 101 objects out of 37 million.  However, to be in such close proximity to things such as the Pocahontas engraving – the oldest piece in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection – was an extraordinary experience and one I will never forget.

The opening spread in Smithsonian Magazine for the section I illustrated, "America In the World."

The opening spread in Smithsonian Magazine for the section I illustrated, “America In the World.”

The second spread in Smithsonian Magazine where the oldest and newest objects are placed alongside a gas mask from World War I, the sign from the TV show, Mash, and a salvaged nuclear fallout shelter.

The second spread in Smithsonian Magazine where the oldest and newest objects are placed alongside a gas mask from World War I, the sign from the TV show, Mash, and a salvaged nuclear fallout shelter.

Susan Seubert in National Geographic Traveler’s Best Photos of 2012

Dan Westergren, the senior photo editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine, has named his ten favorite images that were published in the magazine in 2012.  I am very proud to be included in this selection of photographs!  Last summer, I was assigned to photograph two of the ten Travelers of the Year for the magazine.  Both of the people happened to be in Honolulu, a quick, direct flight from my home town of Portland.  I shoot regularly in Hawaii because I’m based there for four months out of the year.  It was fun and challenging to try and create images that were not only interesting, but spoke to the identity of both nominees.  I blogged about the shoot in a previous post which you can read here.  Dan chose to select the image I made of Theron Humphrey while on assignment for the magazine for inclusion in the Ten Best Traveler Photos of 2012.  Thank you Dan and National Geographic Traveler for this outstanding honor!  You can see all ten pictures and Dan’s comments by clicking on the image below.

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Fine Art Photography: Artist Susan Seubert shows at Kittredge Gallery and Blue Sky

I am pleased to announce the opening of a show at the Kittredge Gallery at the University of Puget Sound in Washington State.  The show opens today, August 21st and runs through September 22nd, 2012.

The show is entitled, “Nerve-Wracked,” and includes pieces from the series, “Panphobia,” and, “Neurasthenia.” Examples from the exhibit are below. 🙂

The opening reception is on September 5th.  Unfortunately, (or rather fortunately!), I have an assignment on the Oregon Coast at that time so I will not be in attendance.  However, I encourage anyone in the area to go and see the exhibition.

More information, including gallery hours and location, can be found here.

Information about Susan Seubert’s show, “Nerve-Wracked,” at the Kittredge Gallery

 

If you aren’t in the Puget Sound area, my work will also be included in a show opening September 5th at the Blue Sky Gallery/Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts  in Portland, Oregon.  The show is entitled, “The Unseen Eye.” My piece that is being shown is part of curator W.M. Hunt’s personal collection.  He purchased, “Neurasthenia #1,” and it has been chosen for exhibition at Blue Sky.

Title: “Equinophobia” Medium: Platinum Print, on view at the Kittredge Gallery from August 21 through September 23

Title: “Neurasthenia #1” Medium: Dry Plate Tintype, on view at the Blue Sky Gallery beginning Sept. 5th, 2012

To view more of my personal work, you can do so by visiting seubertfineart.com

If you are interested in purchasing available work, you may contact any of the following galleries:

The Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon

The Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, California

The G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA

Thank you for your time!