Vaune Trachtman

The Olcott Family Award

Vaune Trachtman (born 1966 Philadelphia, PA; lives in Brattleboro, VT) is a photographer and printmaker who works within historic processes, but without the use of toxic chemicals. She received a BA from Marlboro College, VT, an MA from New York University and studied at the International Center of Photography, both NY. Her work explores the evanescence of dreams and memory. Trachtman has exhibited widely including at the Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro; Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Soho Photo Gallery, New York; and the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA. She has received grants from the the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, Adolf & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Arts Council and has been in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50. Trachtman was a Semifinalist in The Print Center’s 95th and 97th ANNUAL International Competitions, and a 2022 People’s Choice Award Winner in Klompching Gallery’s FRESH ANNUAL.

Statement from the Artist:
“NOW IS ALWAYS,” is a series of photogravures that combines 127-speed film my father shot during the Great Depression with my own images of industrial and transitional spaces. My father took his photos near his father’s drugstore in Center City, Philadelphia. Nearly 90 years later, I found the negatives. I was struck by his subjects’ relationship to his camera, and to him; they all knew him better than I did, because he died when I was five. I began combining the people from his pictures with my own images of industrial and transitional spaces, and so began our collaboration across time.

There is obviously a personal aspect to NOW IS ALWAYS, but the work is more expansive than a dialogue between the father I didn’t know and the daughter he knew only as a child. With this work, I want to create a feeling of collapsed-yet-expanded time. I want you to look at the past, and I want the past to look right back. By combining images taken almost a century apart, I also want prompt the viewer to think about photographic technology and image-making history.