Christine Elfman

Christine Elfman makes photographs about and through fading. By making images out of their own disappearance, Elfman explores the inseparability of permanence and fugitivity within pictorial representation. Elfman's interest in ephemerality has been influenced by her work with historic collections at the George Eastman House, University of Rochester Rare Books Library, and the Berkeley Art Museum. She is represented by Euqinom Gallery, San Francisco, and has had recent solo exhibitions at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center; Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College; University of the Arts, Philadelphia; and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. Upcoming exhibitions will take place at the Zona Maco Contemporary Art Fair in Mexico City and Euqinom Gallery in San Francisco.  She received her M.F.A. in photography from California College of the Arts and B.F.A. in painting from Cornell University. Prior to teaching at Cornell, she was a faculty member at San Francisco Art Institute, University of California–Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, Foothill College, and California College of the Arts.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Film/video/sound
  • Painting
  • Photography

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Classes (Selected)

  • ART 2601 Introduction to PhotographyThis course explores camera and lens as devices that frame and translate three-dimensional space to a two-dimensional surface. Through assignments and individual investigation, students acquire a deeper understanding of visual perception and photography as medium for personal expression. This course introduces students to film-based photographic processes and assumes no prior knowledge of photography.
  • ART 3604 Photography: Alternative Processes: Explorations in Photographic MaterialityThis course explores the composite image generated through various lens-based practices and equipment such as still and video camera, scanner, internet, etc. It is an intensive experimental studio integrating digital strategies of negative production to create images produced with traditional light-sensitive materials. Alternative photographic methods are approached as a printmaking process. Students are encouraged to work outside the camera and beyond the negative edge. The history of photographic print materials from the photogenic drawing of Talbot to the contemporary gelatin silver print will be introduced. Images will be produced using cyanotype, Vandyke brown, gum bichromate, and palladium emulsions.
  • ART 3699 Photography: Contemporary Photographic ProcessesThis course explores the composite image generated through various lens-based practices and equipment such as still and video camera, scanner, internet, etc. It is an intensive experimental studio integrating digital strategies of negative production to create images produced with traditional light-sensitive materials. Alternative photographic methods are approached as a printmaking process. Students are encouraged to work outside the camera and beyond the negative edge. The history of photographic print materials from the photogenic drawing of Talbot to the contemporary gelatin silver print will be introduced. Images will be produced using cyanotype, Vandyke brown, gum bichromate, and palladium emulsions.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • San Francisco Artist Award (2013)
  • Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts (2011)
  • Artist Residency, Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, New York (2009)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Lecture, "Picturing Impermanence," Society for Photographic Education National Conference (2018)
  • Solo exhibition, Even Amaranth, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (2017)
  • Solo exhibition, Objects Apparitions, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College (2017)