Click, and a photo has been captured of life for life. However, did you know that no two photographers shoot the same shot even if they’re standing in the same place? It is true, because it is the eye of the photographer, that complex inner self, that sees through with all the passion, imagination and emotion that makes each and every photo unique. With iPhone cameras and digital cameras becoming all the rage, just about anyone can take a good photo. However, for the art of the photograph, one can visit two of Connecticut’s photo galleries to see what the eye of the artist sees through a lens.
136 1/2 Pine St
Manchester, CT 06040
Hours: Tues – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed and Thurs – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Chris Huestis is the owner of PhotoSynthesis, a gallery that specializes in exhibiting photographs. He’s the first to acknowledge that many different venues like museums and art galleries will feature photo exhibits, but there are very few in Connecticut that cater specifically to photography exhibits. At PhotoSynthesis, one can observe the work of accomplished and fine-art photographers as well as partake in various photo workshops. Mounting six to 10 shows per year, each exhibition at PhotoSynthesis enjoys a few weeks in the spotlight.
Owner Huestis is a fine-art photographer himself who thoroughly enjoys 19th century photography. “I like the historical photographic process,” he said. According to Huestis, there’s a bit of a resurgence in taking a photo with a great camera and then going through the development process. “It’s more hands on, more of an art than a business of just shooting photo after photo,” he said. He also explained that it’s possible to practically deconstruct a digital photo and turn it into an art. First, take a digital photo. Then print it out on a clear negative material. You’ll essentially have a negative to work with and this raw material can then be put through the darkroom process the historic way. “It’s far more personal and it is a growing process,” he said. Because of the growing interest, PhotoSynthesis offers Historical Process Workshops.
Encouraging the fine art of photography, Huestis currently has an exhibit that features the works of photography majors from an area college. Photographers can submit their work for consideration to be included in upcoming exhibitions by checking out the details on the gallery’s website. You can also visit the gallery at its Manchester location.
The Gallery at Still River Editions
128 E Liberty St
Danbury, CT 06810
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lys Guillorn, an associate of Still River and its parent company Connecticut Photographics, pointed out that Danbury-based galleries and a few artist studios are going to be collaborating for the state of Connecticut’s Open House Day on June 9. There is substantial excitement surrounding the event and surely, plenty of interest for photography will be sparked on the day.
Owners Mark Savoia and Catherine Vanaria, have owned Connecticut Photographics for 25 years. They’ve operated the lab/print studio and a photography-based gallery for a long time, but took a multiple-year hiatus of showing new work until just last year. Not only does this gallery feature exhibitions of photography, but they also do video stills, a sort of cousin to photography. The gallery at Still River has hosted national and regional photographers and artists since 1989. After a brief pause, the gallery resumed hosting photographic exhibits. The mission of the gallery is to display digital prints and fine artwork as well as to be a creative center. The gallery is not accepting unsolicited submissions at this time.
“Photography certainly isn’t what it used to be,” said Guillorn. “However, we saw it coming,” she said, adding that the staff recognized how technology was changing within the industry quickly. The current exhibition, “Intellectual Property: Stolen #3” has been described as the most conceptual show the gallery has ever had. This exhibit runs through June 29, with an opening reception on April 21.
According to the description of the exhibition, it features “archival digital print editions of new work by multi-disciplinary artist Gene Gort. His new series reveals a hidden beauty that emerges from his interaction with the technology meant to keep from illegally copying movies. Some of the prints have elements that look familiar, while others are pure geometric abstracts.” Come see this uniquely impressive art while the exhibit lasts.