Hard Coal – Documenting a controversial industry and the people whose ties to it go beyond a paycheck


Joel Anderson

Exhibit Dates

Friday, March 6 –  Friday, March 27

Gallery Location & Hours

Coe Camera Gallery
220 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA   17601

Mon-Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat – 10am-2pm

Extended hours on Frist Fridays 10am-9pm

Artist Biography

I grew up on a farm in central Pennsylvania and moved to southern California after getting a degree in aerospace engineering. Unfortunately, that’s also when I discovered I’d rather be a photographer than a rocket scientist. I spent the next six years photographing when I could, and finally resigned to become a full-time photographer. I lived and photographed in a small town near Yosemite, California, for four years before moving back to a Pennsylvania farm which has been in my family for generations.

I’m as prone as anyone to photographing interesting places and travelling to exciting locations to photo but over the years of my career I’ve learned that my particular love is to deeply photograph particular subjects that become close to me.

Equipment isn’t the main point of photography but it affects the process and outcome. Although I’m an aerospace engineer and mathematician by training and digital holds no fear – and indeed fascination – I still prefer using film. The process of the film cameras and darkroom is now so intertwined in how I evaluate, shoot and then print that it’s a comfortable sequence which lets me ignore the equipment and concentrate on the image. I use three film cameras: a hand-built Phillips 8×16” ultra-large-format view camera, a 1940s-era 4×5” field view camera outfitted with modern lenses, and a medium-format Hasselblad 203FE. The photographs are printed in my wet darkroom using traditional darkroom techniques including silver gelatin printing.

– Joel Anderson


Awards and Exhibitions

  • Solo exhibition, Hoyt Center for the Arts, New Castle, PA 2014
  • Royal Photographic Society, International Print Competition, London, UK 2014
  • Center for Fine Art Photography, 2013 Portraits Exhibition, Curator: Charles Guice, Fort Collins, CO, 2013
  • Hoyt Center for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Juried Exhibition, New Castle, PA 2013, 2007
  • Pennsylvania State Museum, First Prize: Photography, Art of the State’ exhibition, State Museum, Harrisburg, PA, 2012
  • New York Center for Photographic Art, Rural Impressions exhibition, Juror: Aline Smithson, 2013
  • Pennsylvania State Museum, ‘Art of the State’ finalists exhibition, State Museum, Harrisburg, PA, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005
  • Awards exhibit, ‘Black & White Photography,’ Vermont Photography Workplace / Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT; juror: Dan Burkholder (April/May 2011)
  • Merit Award (Landscape/Nature) publication: Black & White Magazine, Single Image Contest 2011 (issue #80 Feb 2011)
  • Awards exhibit, ‘Flowers, Trees, Birds, Bees: Nature Explored,’ Vermont Photography Workplace/Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT; juror: Alan Nyri (January 2011)
  • Semi-finalist, ‘Hasselblad Masters’ International Competition, Copenhagen, Denmark 2008
  • Robeson Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, Summer 2008
  • Solo Exhibition, Lexington Art Gallery, Lexington, Virginia, October 1999
  • Yosemite Museum Gallery, Yosemite, California Fall 1998
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Natural World Photographic Exhibit, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1994 (Grand Prize, Natural World International Photography Competition, 1994)