CEAM presents "Courtney Asztalos: Bourbon Street"

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (08/19/2014)(readMedia)-- The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum and Flagler College are pleased to present an exhibition entitled "Bourbon Street" by Syracuse-based artist Courtney Asztalos. "Bourbon Street" opens to the public with a reception on Friday, September 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. and will continue through October 18. The artist will give an artist talk in the museum at 5 p.m. on September 5, prior to the reception.

In congruence with the exhibition "Hand, Voice, and Vision: Artists' Books from Women's Studio Workshop," "Bourbon Street" will feature photographs, screen grabs, and an artists' book by Courtney Asztalos. "Bourbon Street" investigates a specific area that is occupied by mysterious histories and alluring tourism in New Orleans, Louisiana. The sequencing of images is framed and timed by Asztalos' engagement with people on the street and their consent to be photographed, as well as through screen grabs of herself and interactions through the street's ephemeral 24-hour Earth Cam. The works in the exhibition reflect direct experiences of compressed time in physical and digital spaces, and reveal ideas on the source of an event and its versions through artistic-hand and surveillance imaging.

Geographer Richard Campanella succinctly stated, "for some, the 'Bourbon Street' image is a delectable mélange of historicity and hedonism; for others it's iniquitous, crass, phony and offensive. Americans on either side of the culture wars hate Bourbon Street, but they hate it for entirely different reasons. The Right hates it for its commercialization of sin; the Left, for its commercialization of culture. The Right hates it because it is dangerous pretending to be safe; the Left, because it is safe pretending to be dangerous. The Right, because it's funky and honkytonk; the Left, because it's neither." Through the aestheticization of Bourbon Street by way of street photography and Meta data surveillance, Asztalos' decisive choices and interactions with herself and others as subjects posits an angle of this territory as one of leveling authenticity. It is the binary differences and the collective mixture in between -- from locals and tourists -- that contribute to the culture of Bourbon Street.

Courtney Asztalos is a photographer currently living in Syracuse, NY. Prior to moving to Syracuse, NY, Courtney received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography from Florida State University. Her work has been exhibited and is featured in several special collections including UCLA Arts Library, Duke University, Texas Tech University, Vanderbilt University, University of Central Florida and the University of Miami. This fall Courtney will be attending Syracuse University as a candidate in the Master of Fine Arts program for Photography.

Staci Bu Shea is a curator, organizer and writer based in Jacksonville, Florida. Through presentation and contextual exercises, Bu Shea works closely with artists who are primarily interested in site-specificity, criticality in concept and practice, socially-engaged art, and net art. Recent exhibitions include Fermentation (2014) at CoRK Arts District, Jacksonville, FL, along with nullspace projects, Significant Work (2014) at the Florida Mining Gallery, and The Apartment Exhibition (2013) in the Avondale neighborhood, Jacksonville, FL. In collaboration with artist Jim Draper, she is currently forging a journal of literature, essays, and artist projects on radical and organizational thought entitled Wild Apples. Bu Shea completed her B.A. in Art History at the University of North Florida and in September 2014 will begin the graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

For further information on the exhibition and related programs, please visit the website at www.flagler.edu/crispellert, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or crispellert@flagler.edu. The museum's hours while classes are in session are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4pm, and Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m.


Flagler College is an independent, four-year, comprehensive baccalaureate college located in St. Augustine, Fla. The college offers 29 majors, 34 minors and two pre-professional programs, the largest majors being business, education and communication. Small by intent, Flagler College has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, as well as a satellite campus at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla. A Flagler education is less than half the cost of similar private colleges, and competitive with many state universities. A relatively young institution (founded in 1968), Flagler College is also noted for its historic beauty. The centerpiece of the campus is the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, a grand resort built in 1888 by Henry M. Flagler, industrialist, railroad pioneer and co-founder of Standard Oil. The Ponce has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. For more on Flagler College, visit www.flagler.edu.