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New photo exhibit highlights alternative techniques

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“Alternative Visions,” the next exhibit in Mercyhurst University’s Cummings Gallery, features works by five photographers who use special alternative techniques.

These older processes – cyanotype, gum bichromate, platinum and palladium – became too expensive and their materials too difficult to obtain by the end of World War I or earlier.

They were revived in the ’70s and ’80s as “alternatives” to the silver-based photographic methods that had become the rule. Artists found these older techniques had less detail and more tonal range than normal analog photography, and many art photographers now use these processes for their painterly effects and similarities to drawing and oil painting.

Gary Cardot, an assistant professor of art who teaches both art history and photography at Mercyhurst, organized and curated the exhibit.

The show runs from Oct. 3 through Nov. 6, with a reception for the artists on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Photographers represented include:

  • William Bergman of Buffalo, New York

  • Benjamin Haytock, a former dean and faculty member at Allegheny College

  • Dorothy Kloss, a regional photographer, member of the Northwest Pennsylvania Artists Association (NPAA) and a resident of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania

  • Alan Vlach of Trenton, Maine, a teacher at Maine Media College

  • Heather Wetzel, an adjunct professor at Ohio State University and a resident of Columbus, Ohio.

All of them have extensive exhibition records and work in many different types of alternative techniques. The subject matter in the exhibit ranges from images of European landscapes and architecture to still lifes, dolls, conceptual work, and mural and paste-up images found In New York.

Cummings Gallery is located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Oct. 13-16 during Mercyhurst’s mid-term break.

For information, call 824-2092.

(Image:  Alan Vlach,  palladium print from Wheatpaste Series)