2023 Offsite Gallery “Missing the Mark” June 30 – August 11
John Runner’s objective is to create an experience that gives the viewer a border frame of reference to see the world. He uses anything at his disposal to create an emotional, physiological reaction in the viewer. In spite of being owner of Little Light Film Lab in Norfolk, VA, where he processes his own photos regularly, “Missing the Mark” at our Offsite Gallery at MacArthur Center will be his first solo photo exhibition.

John graduated with a BA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at El Paso and received his MFA in Visual Studies through a joint program with Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University. He is currently an Art Teacher at Woodside Arts Magnet High School.

“Missing the Mark” is a series that explores biases and assumptions. John states “We view the world through the lens of our own baggage. But, if we take a moment to pay attention to the context of what we are reacting to, we can achieve better understanding.

When Japanese students receive graded papers for feedback, all the questions receive a mark to de-stigmatize marking up the page. Different marks are used to denote correct, wrong, close, and perfect. To a western audience, the meanings of some marks may be obvious, some may seem meaningless, others may actually mean the opposite of what is expected. I have used these same marks to assess large black and white photographs. These are the first enlargements I have created at this size in a darkroom, which was a learning experience. I have evaluated this learning experience essentially by grading it. Only by recognizing the context of the marks can the viewer discern their true meaning. For those that fail to do so, they will be “Missing the Mark”.

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