Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Meet Timothy Gerken

Meet 39th Street Gallery‘s upcoming artist, Timothy Gerken. Gerken, a writer and photographer who lives the Leatherstocking region of Central New York, teaches writing and runs the SUNY Morrisville gallery space.

His upcoming show, Contradictions and that Line about Self-Destruction, runs September 12-October 24, artist reception September 12 from 5-8PM. RSVP on Facebook.

Gerken’s photographic work includes desolate and often eerie landscapes that host remembrance of post human habitation with careful attention to composition and color. Purposeful choices of composition and photo clarity give viewers a distinct view of the world Gerken has created through his lens.

Art Lives Here has the opportunity to ask Gerken a few questions about his artistic journey we’re thrilled to share with you:

How did you discover the medium you currently work in?

“Growing up, all the adults in my life had Polariod cameras (I actually inherited all of them and recently started using them again). Though they seemed to only get used around the holidays. I started using my parents’ Polaroid when we went on vacations. For my 18th birthday, my father gave me my first SLR an Olympus OM-10. I used that camera until I bought my first digital Olympus in 2006. I still use the lenses I bought for that original OM-10. I learned by burning through a lot of film. I continue to develop by shooting everyday, looking at the photos, and trying to understand what worked and what didn’t. “

How do you define an “artist”?

“It means I work everyday, either taking photos, editing photos, looking for places to show my photos, and thinking and/or writing about my work.”

How did you discover the Gateway Arts District?

“John Paradiso, the curator at the 39th Street Gallery, and I have known each other for over 20 years. Last summer we were in a group show at a gallery in Troy NY and we started the conversation about me showing at the 39th Street Gallery. I look forward to learning more and visiting the area.”

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about being an artist, who would it be?

“Buy a life time supply of Kodachrome 25 film.”

What drives you?

“I have always been a teacher, so photography was something I could attend to without the pressure of needing to do it as a career. I don’t feel driven as taking photos is something I just do. It is not something I have to think about, but it is something I have to do.”

What is your greatest challenge as an artist?

“Time. There is never enough time to get through all the photos I take. There is never enough time to promote the work. There is never enough time… “

Timothy Gerken’s show, Contradictions and that Line about Self-Destruction, runs September 12-October 24, artist reception September 12 from 5-8PM. RSVP on Facebook.

Visit Timothy Gerken’s website here:

Visit the 39th Street Gallery’s website here:


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

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