Making a final selection is always difficult because there are so many works worthy of exhibition beyond the ones chosen. Though I was able to narrow down an exhibition to around 40 works from 33 artists, there were an equal number of images in my “runner up” file.
The works chosen represent a broad range of processes: collage, gum bichromate, hand colored albumen, pinhole, lumen, gold-toned salted paper, cyanotype toned and untoned, ziatype, polaroid lifts, chromo, encaustic, chrysotype, chrysotype over ink jet, platinum/palladium, gum over kallitype, chlorophyll over platinum/palladium, platinum/palladium over pigment, tintype, xerox transfer on wood, gum over cyanotype, gold-leafed vellum, and gum over kallitype. The range of processes in this exhibition illustrate that handcrafted prints are alive and well. Artists are often combining processes in their final prints which shows a level of expertise, conceptual thinking, and willingness to experiment which I find quite exciting.
Process is never the whole story, though; an image has to first be well-executed visually. Some examples that come to mind are Tom Wise’s spiny cactus (gum over kallitype) and “cactus landscape,” Travis Lovell’s moody, pictorial tintype, Barbara Wilson’s hand colored albumen with the age-old theme of the alluring apple, David Marsh’s confident road runner, Denise Oehl’s primordial foggy landscape, Jodie Hulden’s softly lit trees, Louise Russell’s juxtaposed wild landscape/ wild graffiti, Lynne Buchanan’s twisty path, Oriana Poindexter’s documentation of sea plants, Robert Oehl’s soft-focus nude...every selection in the show has something noteworthy like this about it.
The Juror’s Choice award goes to Marek Matusz, specifically his Peonies gum bichromate work. It is a standout for me for two reasons: he had used the gum bichromate process in a unique and more painterly way than is typically done today with gum printing, and he has integrated the border of the gum print effectively with the image—the border doesn’t compete, but compliments. That is harder to do than it seems, actually!
I thank The Photographer’s Eye Collective and Gallery for allowing me to be the juror for this show and I thank all artists for taking time to submit their work to it. I loved spending time with each and every submission, living their creativity vicariously. It will certainly be an exciting show to visit in person.
Christina Z. Anderson
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