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Eclectic photography exhibit opens at Cummings

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Shadows" by Frederick Fiedler

A Juried Photography Show showcasing some of the best photographers and serious practitioners of the medium in the Erie region opens Monday, Oct. 30, in Cummings Gallery at Mercyhurst University. A reception for the artists will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The call for entries garnered more than 150 submissions, from which juror Fred Scruton chose 42 photographs for this exhibit. The awards chosen by Scruton, a professor of photography at Edinboro University, will be announced during the artist reception at 8 p.m. 

The exhibit includes a wide range of subject matter, techniques, styles and presentations. There are silver prints, type C color prints, photographs on metal and fabric, and digital inkjet prints. Subjects span a wide spectrum, including still-lifes, landscapes, narrative set-ups, photojournalism and portraiture. Color and black-and-white photographs dominate, but there are also beautiful examples of photographs on encaustic, a process that uses wax in the final image; photo-montage, night photography, and traditional, formal studies of nature.

Scruton is originally from Buffalo, New York, and was a photographer in New York City before moving to Edinboro to teach at the university. His photographs have been exhibited nationally and he regularly has work in galleries throughout the United States. His work is represented in Robert Hirsch’s seminal book Color Photography, a textbook used in college photography classes throughout the country. Scruton showed many times in one-person shows at the OK Harris gallery, a major gallery of contemporary art in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

Both well-known and new photographers were chosen for the exhibit. Dorothy Kloss, Carol Posch Comstock, Michael Tkach, Nathan Sulecki and Jodi Staniunas Hopper (who chairs Mercyhurst’s art department) have works on display. Mercyhurst students Curtis Waidley, Erin Glass, Ashley Podrasky and Carley Moynihan are all represented.

Susan Barnett, the new curator at the Erie Art Museum, has two photographs in the exhibit.  Abigail Adams Greenway, the Tabla artist who will be featured in a Roche Guest Artists concert at Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall on Nov. 6, has one of her surrealist montages in the show.

Other local artists represented in the show include Sam Ward, Fred Austin, Derrick Fiedler, Christine French and Mike Bumbera.

Gary Cardot, who teaches photography at Mercyhurst, worked with new Cummings Gallery director Jessica Stadtmueller to organize the exhibit. The Mercyhurst Art Department offers a minor or contracted major in photography and many courses that use photography as a tool for art and documentation.

Cummings Gallery, located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, is open weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. It will be closed Nov. 22-26 during the university’s Thanksgiving break. The exhibit will hang through Dec. 12. For information, call 814-824-2092.