November 3, 2022

Newspaper Profile: "Helping Us See With New Eyes", plus Autumn Exhibitions

The Montague Reporter chronicled my artistic life and teaching experiences. (After the clicking the link scroll down to page B1.) 

The report mentions upcoming exhibitions of my art as well as my December online Zentangle drawing workshops.

My double exposure using a film camera, Now and Then, is in a juried group show at The Lava Center, 324 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301 On view: 11/5 - 12/17, Opening reception 11/5 11 am - 2 pm

Now and Then

Artist Statement: I shot film as an internationally travelled and published photojournalist in the 1980s and 1990s. As I shifted to teaching in the 2000s, standard camera gear shifted to digital. I discovered with my digital camera that I could purposefully create in-camera multiple exposures, layering images to abstract reality. In the late 2010s, I picked up film cameras again. Employing techniques refined using modern digital tech, I used old school tools in a new way. I currently teach visual and digital arts courses at American International College.

Speaking of digital in-camera multiple exposures, Sea, Sand, Sky, from my Reality-Based Abstraction series, will join the work of my teaching colleagues in the Massachusetts Art Education Association Members Exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum, Higgins Education Wing, 55 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA. Please use the entrance on Lancaster St (off Salisbury) On View, November 2, 2022 – December 2, 2022 Reception: Saturday, November 12 , 2022 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Sea, Sand, Sky

Artist Statement for my Reality-Based Abstraction series:

This set of images evokes in me the excitement I felt 5 decades ago watching my first photographs emerge in a developing tray.  Today I eagerly watch the screen on the back of my digital camera as the machine develops a series of exposures into these multilayered offerings.  As the image combining occurs in-camera, the spirit of my art is photographic rather than digital. 

 The raw files that emerge, however, are flat and gray looking, so I use a computer darkroom to reveal rich detail, texture and color. 


The art of the Cubist painters shimmers with life.  These painters have inspired me to utilize multiple views simultaneously to portray the essence of a subject.   


Engaging light and graphic beauty draw me to subject matter, which usually relates to the constructed environment.


The “zzt” sound of the camera’s shutter encourages me.  I joyfully bend, stretch and strain while photographing.  Heart, technology and technique combine to reflect the overlapping planes in which I see the world these days.


I have been working on this series since 2007.


A print of Art Museum Columns resides in the collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

John Nordell teaches courses in the Visual and Digital Arts Program that he created at American International College in Springfield, Mass. He blogs about the creative process at and teaches online Zentangle drawing workshops. Instagram: @john.nordell