Laurie Beck Peterson

Studio & Gallery

Herman St. Studios 20 East Herman Street Philadelphia PA, 19144

Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.




Artist's Biography

Laurie Beck Peterson (Philadelphia, PA, USA) is an alternative process photographer primarily working in gum bichromate, cyanotype and platinum palladium. Her current work focuses on cyanotypes on ash wood stumps and she has recently started using the sustainable plant-based processes of anthotype and chlorophyll printing.

Most of her images are film-based, using a holga or pinhole camera. Her cyanotypes on tree stumps and work in sustainable plant-based processes, are ephemeral which provides the viewer with an experience that can be transient. Her gum bichromate and platinum palladium prints on paper are archival.

Currently, Laurie teaches alternative process photography at Tyler School of Art + Architecture. It is there that she started a collaborative project between photo and architecture students to build a giant walk-in camera obscura on wheels. Her most recent project We All Fall Down began at The Schuykill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in many private and public collections. Two bodies of work were awarded at the 15th Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Awards on view in 2021 at FotoNostrum in Barcelona. Examples of her work can be seen in the book Gum Printing, A Step-By-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice, by Christina Z. Anderson, Focal Press, The Hand Magazine and in the online publication Lenscratch - Art + Science II. She is a past board member of First Person Arts.

Artist's Statement

My photographic alt-process work explores impermanence and the growth and decay of the natural world, as a result of invasive species or through natural life cycles. I use 19th century historic processes of gum bichromate, cyanotype, platinum/palladium and more recently am exploring eco-friendly plant based processes.

The gum bichromate prints of trees and woods are part of a series that explores the symbiotic relationship between process and subject matter. Woods and the trees, evolved over centuries. The cambium of trees grows in rings, then divides to create new tissue. Some of this tissue dies each year to become part of outer bark. The trees themselves grow, die, and eventually become soil, out of which grows more trees. Layering and revealing, adding and subtracting, all play a role in this slow yet dynamic process. Mirroring and interpreting this in the process of gum bichromate affords me the opportunity to align myself with elemental forces of nature.

The cyanotype works on paper and wood explore the impermanence of the landscape caused by invasive species.The cyanotypes on paper are sketches of history. Using this 19th century process - whose origins began as means of documentation of flora and fauna - I present a series of prints that records the time when affected ash trees were intentionally removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.The tree sections printed with cyanotype are record keepers of a different kind. The wood stumps take on a new form as totems marking a significant point in environmental history when the emerald ash borer was introduced to the western world through infested shipping containers. Once the ash trees die or are removed and are no longer integral to the forests. However, their remnant stumps are now colluding with the cyanotype for the remainder of their existence.

The ephemeral nature of the ash woods stumps has lead me to begin working in plant based processes such as chlorophyll printing on leaves and anthotypes made from beet juice and other naturals materials. These eco-friendly works are impermanent and once completed, they begin the process of decaying and disappearing over time.

Selected Exhibitions

Visible Obscured, Kol Ami Gallery, Elkins Park, PA

Infinite Light, Olde City Jewish Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA

Allens Lane Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

The Living Land, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY
Curator: Bradley Butler

Chiaroscuro Spring, InLiquid at Park Towne Place, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Clare Finin

Alternative Processes, SOHO Photo, New York, NY
Juror: Aline Smithson

Reciprocity - Collaborative Artist Pairs, Women Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
Jurors: Barbara Clurej and Lindsay Lochman

Art + Science 2, A. Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX
Juror: Linda Alterwitz

A Woman’s View, SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
Juror: Elinor Carucci

15th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, Fotonostrum Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

Vistas, A. Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX
Juror: S Gayle Stevens

Focal Points - Women Advancing The Aperture, The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington, DE
Curator: Katherine Page

We All Fall Down - Artists Respond to the Emerald Ash Borer, The Schuylkill Center, Philadelphia, PA

Rebirth - An Exhibition of Arts Faculty and Staff, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Making Contact, SPE National Conference, University of The Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Alchemical Ensemble - New Visions in Historic Photographic Processes, Columbia College Sidney Larson Galley, Columbia, MO
Curator: Scott McMahon

Ways of Making, GoggleWorks, Reading, PA

Past Imperfect Time, Museum of Contemporary History, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Curator: Harris Fogel

Local Alternative, The Light Room Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Sandra Davis

Bed, Umbrella Arts, New York, NY
Juror: Harvy Stein

Ellarslie Open XXVI, The Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ

Undressed – Looking at Nudes, Umbrella Arts, New York, NY
Juror: Harvey Stein

Hand Made, Wired Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

National Alternative Processes Show, Soho Photo, New York, NY

Handcrafted, Viewpoint Photographic Art Center, Sacramento, CA
Juror: Kerik Kouklis


The Hand Magazine, Issue 33

"Artifact as Memory," Analog Forever Magazine
Online Exhibition

The Hand Magazine, Issue 31

Anderson, Christina Z., "Gum Printing, A Step-By-Step Manual," Focal Press

Sensational Photography Exclusive, "After Photoville from NYC," MUG Publishing,

Santa Fe Photographic Workshop Portraits, "Winners," A&I Books

Professional Experience

The Halide Project, Photo 20/20 Festival, Philadelphia, PA
Workshop Instructor, Cyanotype Alternatives

Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY
Workshop Instructor, Cyanotype on paper and wood

Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Lecturer, Alternative Process Photography

Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Juror and Lecturer, Being There, Alternative Process Photography

2018 - Present
Tyler School of Art + Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Adjunct Faculty, Photo Process

2016 - 2019
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Lecturer, History of Non-Silver Photography

Tyler School of Art + Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Workshop Instructor, Platinum / Palladium

Tyler School of Art + Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Professional Practices Presentations

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Reading, PA
Workshop Instructor, Gum Bichromate

2011 - Present
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Senior Lecturer, Nonsilver Printmaking Process

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Workshop Instructor, Cyanotypes and Sun prints

Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA
Professional Practices Presentations

1984 - Present
Beck Photography, Rochester, NY and Philadelphia, PA

1985 - 1986
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY
In-house Photographer

Awards and Honors

Artist Grant, The Living Land, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY

Visitors Award, Two Pair Section, A. Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX

(postponed until 2022)
Artist Residency, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY

Semi-finalist, National Park Artist in Residence, Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor, MA

Pinhole Featured Photographer, Art Blog, Chris Keeney, San Diego, CA


Cover Art, Explorations of a Mind-Traveling Sociologist, by Renee C. Fox, Anthem Press


The Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY


Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
BFA, Photography