Wednesday, January 21, 2004

For women photographers:
Secondsight will be having their bi-monthly meeting tomorrow!

Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities. Secondsight is committed to supporting photographers at every stage of their careers, from students to professionals. Each bi-monthly meeting includes an introductory session, a guest speaker, portfolio sharing and discussion groups. Each photographer will have the opportunity to present their work within a small group of other photographers, ask for constructive criticism, gain knowledge or simply share their artistic vision and techniques.

For info, directions and details call Catriona Fraser tomorrow from 12-6 PM at 301/718-9651.

Some mini reviews...

This year the Art League celebrates its 50th birthday. The Art League is one of the cultural jewels in the brilliant cultural tapestry of our area and I know that their impact and presence will be around for many more years to come. Happy 50th!

Their most recent show was juried by Walter Kravitz, and for the first time in my many visits and reviews of The Art League’s many wonderful group shows, which consistently are solid, good shows, I was disappointed.

Kravitz selected a mediocre show – not just because some of the artwork is mediocre – after all, those pieces were mediocre to me – just me, but also the show suffered from the clear fact that he obviously tried to have an all-inclusive show, with a little of everything, and instead ended with a mish-mash of too many disparate pieces and genres that looked like a student show rather than a professional, powerful and tight group show – as I have grown accustomed to see at The Art League.

By the way, I’d love to jury a show there and put my money (I mean selections) where my mouth (I mean words) is/are.

Anyway, from Kravitz’s jumbled show, I particularly liked some old proven names. In the show, the superb watercolors by Chris Krupinsky stood out as usual, as did the giant drag queen painting by Ardath Hill (which I’d seen before at Hill’s Studio Gallery solo), Glenn Friedel’s spectacular photograph titled “High Contrast Nude II,” and Sara Poly’s “Clouds Ascending.”

At the League’s solo show gallery, Caroline Emmet Heald gives us a painting landscape tour in a show titled “Wetlands” which as the title describes, are landscapes depicting various wetlands. Heald is a talented painter who skillfully avoids the trap of trying to create the illusion of perfect realism and instead uses the ability of color to deliver representational ideas to bring forth her landscapes. Yes, they are paintings of wetlands, but a closer inspection reveals the tenacity of a good painter who is also interested in exploring vigorous brushwork and the interactions of colors.

Upstairs, I visited the group show at Multiple Exposures Gallery (formerly Factory Photoworks) curated by Annie Gawlak of G Fine Art. I also found this show, titled “Multiples,” a little thin, and this was also surprising, as this cooperative is without a doubt one of the powerhouses of local photographic talent. Gawlak selected 17 pieces, most of which didn’t really appeal to me, with the exception of a beautiful selenium-toned photo by James Steele titled “Ecola Forest.” If I may fall on that old art criticism crutch of comparison, it reminded me of one of those Wayne Bullock photos sans the nude. It is a gorgeous, sensual and mystical photo of a moist, wet forest that showcases Steele's superb photographic eye.

I'll be jurying Multiple Exposures Gallery's next show in February, so let's see how I do when placed in the juror's place - although I juried a show for this gallery a few years ago as well and I am quite familiar with most of the phoptographers in the gallery.

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