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Deepness Begins at the Surface by Robert Herold PéCS

Gallery Space: Kodak Kaleidoscope

A primer on Columbus exhibits showcasing the fluid art of the photograph

By Chris Gaitten

Published March 1, 2013
Photo courtesy The Ohio Historical Society


Photography is progress – A digital shutter-click evolution of now into tomorrow, capturing every moment.

“It’s kinda like quick-draw photography,” said Daniel Colvin of the burgeoning movement toward mobile-phone-based, app-driven photographic art. “The world and technology [have] moved on to a point to where you don’t have any of those artistic regrets, to where you’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, I wish I had a camera right now!’”

Colvin and co-curator Amy Leibrand will celebrate the technologically empowered genre with their show, “Exposure. A Mobile Photography Exhibition,” at Colvin’s CS Gallery in Olde Towne East.

The exhibit features nearly 60 first-time and acclaimed artists, split between local and national/international, who will each show five, 8-by-8-inch pieces that were required to be photographed and post-processed (if necessary) on a mobile device or tablet. Leibrand said that artists sometimes spend more than 25 hours manipulating an image with complex apps to create their masterpiece.

“If anyone’s only exposure to mobile photography is Instagram, I can see why they would be turned away by it. And that was sort of the impetus for the show,” said Leibrand, who will also display her work. “I hope that their preconceived notions of what mobile photography is are shattered. I really hope that they can see that it can be legitimate. It can be a fine art.”

Photography exposes our world, artistically, realistically, permanently. And it can be anything we want.

“Exposure. A Mobile Photography Exhibition,” will show at CS Gallery, 66 Parsons Ave., March 16 through March 26, with an opening reception on March 16 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. All artwork will be on sale for $50 per piece.

Black Innocence

Photography is hope – A mirror to reflect a better version of self, an image used to transform a culture, a people.

“There is a special amount of innocence the black child embodies ... but we don’t naturally, subconsciously, think of black as being innocent,” wrote James Drakeford, aka Mr. King JD. “We need to tell a new story, and paint a new picture.”

King JD is the self-taught photographer and 2011 Ohio State graduate behind The Method Gallery’s “Black Innocence” exhibit, a 25- to 30-photo collection that aims to subvert the seemingly constant stream of negativity assailing his black community.

“I really hope that I make people think a little bit differently and feel a little bit differently about the African American image,” he said. “I hope they ultimately act differently because I feel like a lot of our actions are based on images.”

The exhibit will present portraits, candids, and lifestyle shots of five young black children from the Weinland Park neighborhood, ones he found to be genuine, authentic, hopeful. Short written pieces will accompany the pictures to tell each child’s story and give his hopes for their futures.

Once the gallery show has run its course, King JD plans to keep the project alive via his “Black Innocence” blog, which will allow the community to upload photos that embody the promising message.

“I wish for these children to flourish; to not live up to the negative premonitions,” he said.

Photography is positive, postmodern, digital…no longer negative.

“Black Innocence” will be on display at The Method Gallery, 889 E Long St., from March 9 through April 6. A reception will be held March 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an artist Q&A at 8 p.m. Photographs will be for sale, pending approval from the subjects’ parents.

Faces of Appalachia

Photography is history – An eternal memento to an instant stolen from time, an ode to the long-gone everyday.

A photographer named Albert Ewing from tiny Lowell, Ohio, traveled across the Appalachian foothills and mountains around the turn of the 20th century, crisscrossing the Ohio River to record the daily lives and milestones of people scattered throughout southeast Ohio and West Virginia.

More than 4,000 of Ewing’s original glass-plate negatives have survived the abyss of a century and form the backbone of the “Faces of Appalachia: Photographs by Albert J. Ewing” display at the Ohio History Center.

“Itinerant photographers really work to develop a sense of place,” said Lisa Wood, curator of visual resources for the Ohio Historical Society. “[The exhibit] documents the Appalachian community, but it also documents just the general life cycle, and so I think people see when they come in a lot of pictures that are very relatable.”

The exhibit features nearly 200 original negatives and reproductions of Ewing’s work, which depicts family portraiture of the middle class and includes photos of babies, dogs, weddings, graduations, one-room schoolhouses, newspaper offices, and telephone operators at work.

“There’s some isolation from living in a very hilly, rural environment, but you also get a sense that there was change coming to the area, that there was technology, and it may challenge some people’s ideas about exactly what life would have been like,” said Wood.

Photography is a testament to an era and a culture in upheaval.

“Faces of Appalachia: Photographs by Albert J. Ewing” will run through the end of the year at the Ohio Historical Center, 800 E 17th Ave., open Wednesdays through Sundays. The exhibit includes an interactive display on the main museum floor.