On Site….on view now. Recent work by Professor Liz Donadio


Description:  On Site is a collection of recent photographic works by Liz Donadio. It combines two recent projects from 2018 and 2020-2021. The Lumen prints are from a series that documented the water and plant life along Rock Creek, a 32-mile-long tributary of the Potomac River that stretches from Maryland to Washington, DC. The Cyanotypes and digital prints are from the artist’s long-term visual study of Adkins Arboretum, a native plant sanctuary on the Eastern Shore of MD.

Process descriptions: Lumen prints consist of black & white photographic paper, physical objects, sunlight, and time. Each variable in this camera-less process can be manipulated and shifted to produce mysterious, one of a kind pictures. Organic materials are placed in contact with gelatin silver paper and exposed to sunlight. The prints are scanned to preserve them before fading and digitally printed in large-format editions. These visual impressions depict my experience walking along Rock Creek, collecting plants, and getting lost in the landscape.


Some of the first photographs ever made were created using the Cyanotype and the Anthotype processes. A Cyanotype uses the sun to develop a natural emulsion into a vivid blue image, which can be further toned and manipulated. The Anthotype takes photosensitive plant material to prepare a photographic emulsion. Over days or weeks of exposure to sunlight, in combination with plants or objects placed on the coated paper’s surface, an image emerges.

Along with these messy, hands-on methods, I documented my visits with a digital camera, archiving the changes in the environment as months passed. The images shown with On Site are a fragment of this collection, displaying the breadth of colors and textures that one can see at the Arboretum.

Bio: Liz Donadio is a Baltimore-based artist and educator whose visual practice is centered on the nexus of art, ecology, and architecture. Her photographic prints and installations conjure meditations on the natural and human-made world. Donadio received an MFA from Towson University in 2012 and a BFA from Purchase College in 2006. Her work has been exhibited and screened nationally and is in the collections of the Albin O. Kuhn Library at UMBC and the Maryland Historical Society. Donadio is an Assistant Professor of Photography + Media at Northern Virginia Community College, Woodbridge where she teaches digital and analog processes and the history of photography.