Caleb Charland

Paddling Toward the Sun Three Times.jpg

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein

In Charland’s own words: “The way we understand the world relies so much on our ability to measure it. Given that many measurements are based on the proportions of the human body it’s clear we measure stuff to find our place amongst it all and to connect with it in some way. By exploring the world at hand, from the basement to the backyard, I have found a resonance in things. An energy vibrates in that space between our perceptions of the world and the potential the mind senses for our interventions within the world. This energy is the source of all true art and science, it breeds those beloved ‘Ah Ha!’ moments and it allows us to sense the extraordinary in the common.

For me, wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty. It is the basis of my practice and results in images that are simultaneously familiar yet strange. Each piece begins as a question of visual possibilities and develops in tandem with the natural laws of the world. Serendipitously, this process often yields unexpected results measurable only through photographic processes. The human presence and artifacts of the process provide a clue to the creation of the photograph while adding to the mysterious nature of the image. My hope is that this work affirms that even within the well tested laws of science there are, and must always be, pathways to reinterpretation and discovery.”

(All images are created in-camera, on a flatbed scanner, or in the darkroom. No content is created or added digitally)

Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, 2004
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2010


2016 - Pollock-Krasner Foundation
2015 - Hewnoaks Artist Colony, Lovell, ME
2010 - Artist-in-Residence, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME
2009 - Showhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME


Smithsonian American Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fidelity, Dow Jones Corporation, Portland Museum of Art, Comcast, Portland Art Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, The Progressive Collection
Last, First. Book/Pub. City: Publisher, Year. Print.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017
    ”Under the Arc of the Sky,” Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA

  • 2016
    ”Redshift,” Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York, NY
    ”Shadows of the First Law,” Capsule Gallery, Houston, TX

  • 2015
    ”Brain Motel,” Central Gallery, Bangor, ME

  • 2014
    ”Artifacts of Fire and Wax,” Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2013
    ”From the Basement to the Backyard,” Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME
    ”Fathom and Fray,” Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL
    ”Backscatter,” Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA