Black and white photos stand out in exhibit

"Perception" by Elyana Foley(Photo: Tom Shafer/For the Journal & Courier)

"Perception" by Elyana Foley(Photo: Tom Shafer/For the Journal & Courier)

Tom Shafer,
Journal & Courier March 30, 2016

It seems that every year the Tri Kappa New Artists exhibit gets better and better. This year over 100 works of art from eight high schools in our area are represented in this annual competition.

The jurors have no easy task in selecting from so many excellent examples of the high level of art that comes from our area visual art classrooms.  Kudos should be given to Michael Crowthers, museum curator, for his excellent arrangement of the selected work.  That is not an easy job considering not just the number of pieces in this show, but also the multitude of smaller works that must be displayed.

Due to the fact that this exhibit holds so many interesting pieces this review will deal with just the photography.  Next week I will look at the rest of the media that fill two of the museum’s galleries.

At the very first New Artists exhibit just a few photographs were chosen, and all of them were black and white film-based prints.  Now of course with digital imagery taking over our photography programs the majority of the work is printed in color.

Interestingly enough two of the strongest prints were produced in black and white: Elyana Foley’s “Perception” and Monica Mesecar’s “Women on the Stairs."  Both works are expertly composed and contain a multitude of whites, grays and blacks.  Each piece captured in subdued light shows a young woman isolated in a somewhat challenging moment.  Both works are beautifully orchestrated.

Kerra Garner's "Ambrosial" (Photo: Tom Shafer/For the Journal & Courier)

"Excess" by Scott Dunbar (Photo: Tom Shafer/For the Journal & Courier)

These young photographers have presented our area art viewers with an interesting array of subject matter that include not only portraiture, but also still life, landscape, photo manipulation, abstraction, and product layout imagery.

Kerra Garner’s “Ambrosial” is a closely cropped vividly colored image of two orange slices.  The piece is visually delicious, and will draw the viewer very close to the piece due to its rich detail.

Scott Dunbar’s approach in producing his colorful print titled “Excess” was unusual in that he built a still life installation and then photographed it.  The image shows a mannequin’s head and a party hat with sparkling confetti spilling over its face.  A hand from the left of the composition holds a cup to the manikin’s mouth.  The word ‘MORE’ has been sloppily painted on the figure’s chest.  The piece is about extreme party excess and will make the viewer shake his or her head in agreement.

Shafer provides insight about art exhibits in Greater Lafayette. Email him at orieshafer@hotmail.com.