Cheryl St. Onge and Joni Sternbach: two-person exhibition

Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present the work of two extraordinary photographers. Joni Sternbach with her sixth exhibition in this gallery and introducing Cheryle St. Onge to our photography program.


Joni Sternbach’s large format wooden camera and portable darkroom create a sensation on beaches on both the East and West Coasts. The historic process of collodion photography finds unlikely but graceful footing in the contemporary arena of surf culture. Serendipitous in nature, Sternbach’s photographs are the result of random meetings and chance encounters with surfers. The resulting portrait is a stunning and almost mythic depiction of man and nature, history and the cult of surfing.


Sternbach’s most recent series, SurfLand received wide spread critical attention. Her solo museum show; Surfland, at the Essex Peabody Museum in 2009 was highly acclaimed. She was the 2008 winner of the coveted Photolucida Critical Mass Award and they published a monograph of her work. Articles about Sternbach and her technique have appeared in Surfer’s Journal, View Camera Magazine, PDN and Esquire (Russia), to name a few.


Her work is in the collections of many museums such as Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History as well as numerous public and private collections.


Sternbach teaches at International Center for Photography. The artist lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Cheryle St. Onge is a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship recipient in photography. This is her debut exhibition with a New York Gallery.


St. Onge cites making pictures with a view camera, as the pivotal point where she discovered her passion. Her art is intensely observant and deeply respectful of the natural world, focusing on a detail, a tadpole, an eel or gosling and expanding that to encompass one’s entire horizon. Creating worlds within her worlds, in a play of earth science like identification and one’s own childhood memory of natural findings.


Her photographs have been widely exhibited, most notably at Princeton University, University of Rhode Island, Massachusetts College of Art, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and in an American Institute of Architects traveling exhibition. Her work has been included in four books.


St. Onge received a M.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art. For over a decade, she taught photography at Clark University and presently is on faculty at Maine College of Art. She divides her time between Durham, New Hampshire and coastal Maine.