October Artist Alley Exhibit
An Untourist in New York City
Photographs by Gillian J. Furniss
Gillian J. Furniss
Gillian J. Furniss (b. 1966) is a visual artist and art educator. She exhibits her artwork (drawing, photography, printmaking, and papercutting) in solo and group shows. She studied printmaking with Michael Pellettieri at Art Students League of New York. She was a freelance graphic designer for several years. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She studied graphic design at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught art to children including those with disabilities. She is the art teacher at Columbus Christian Academy in Columbus, Mississippi. She was born and raised in New York City. Her screen print Lotus Flowers, No. 4 is in the Permanent Collection of Art Students League of New York.
This collection of digital photography is born from nostalgia for my home city. I took hundreds of photographs using my iPhone 6 camera. Born, raised, and working in NYC for five decades, I documented the beauty, rush, and intensity of urban life to ease my homesickness. Moving to Mississippi caused my sense of aesthetics to shift. I took shots along my favorite routes to capture familiar scenes with a fresh perspective. After September 11, there are security cameras everywhere making the concrete island even more public. The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1973) and his style of “street photography” using small format cameras still influences photojournalists to this day. He states, “The most difficult thing is on your own country. You know too much…when it’s on your own block, it’s such a routine…But your mind must be open.”