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LIGHT + METAL: Closing thoughts from Gallery Director Anne Kelly


photo-eye Gallery LIGHT + METAL:
Closing thoughts from Gallery Director Anne Kelly
Today is the final day our current exhibition LIGHT + METAL. Though the exhibition has been on view for nearly two months, I feel like it opened yesterday. De-installing a show is always bittersweet; we are always excited about the upcoming exhibition, however, taking an exhibition down can be like parting with an old friend. That is absolutely the case with this exhibition.


Anne Kelly, Gallery Director


Today is the final day our current exhibition, LIGHT + METAL. Though the exhibition has been on view for nearly two months, I feel like it opened yesterday. De-installing a show is always bittersweet; we are always excited about the upcoming exhibition, however, taking an exhibition down can be like parting with an old friend. That is absolutely the case with this exhibition. During the course of the LIGHT + METAL, we shared conversations with all 13 artists from the exhibition, so we're pleased that the exhibition is archived in that sense. If you have not had a chance to read the conversations you can find links to all 13 below.

In the meantime, I would love to share some final thoughts: LIGHT + METAL is an exhibition that
slowly grew out of an exhibition that we mounted in 2014 called Photo Objects and Small Prints. A number of the pieces in that exhibition were one of a kind, hence spawning the idea of curating an entire show of photos that were all unique. I wanted this exhibition to be extra special, so I spent four years ruminating on the idea and making notes of artists I would invite to participate.

The basis of LIGHT + METAL  started with the simple criteria that all of the works included would be unique and for the most part made with traditional photographic materials. The title, LIGHT + METAL, speaks to the essentials of photography: light, time, and light-sensitive materials—most of which include metal in their compositions. This show is also a dialogue about photography in 2018.

Technology has transformed the medium, and it is not my intention to paint that in a negative light, but photography is different in the 21st Century. Digital imaging has made just about anything possible and has made the medium very accessible, but it has also limited to the production of chemically-based light-sensitive materials. As sad as it is to watch traditional darkroom materials disappear, this has also caused an emergence of photographers that desire to let go to of the controls of digital and return to the magic of the darkroom—the happy accident, the process of surprising and delighting one's self.

These are the artists that I was watching for inclusion in LIGHT + METAL. Some were artists we have worked with before, others I had been quietly watching, and some I met at portfolio reviews.  In the original press release, it states that this show challenges the notion of the photograph as a representational image, and yes it does that, but I came to realize that it also challenges notions about photography as a medium in the digital age.

Photography by definition simply involves light, time, and photosensitive paper, but in an era where it's common to have a high-resolution camera on your cell phone, it is hard for many to comprehend how a photograph can be made without a camera. This exhibition led to many fantastic, delightful,  and lovely conversations—even a few uncomfortable ones. I enjoyed all of them. On one level, this show feels very personal; the magic of the darkroom is a key part of why I fell in love with photography many years ago, but I know I am far from alone. Many of the artists in the exhibition and many of the viewers in the gallery expressed similar opinions. I am glad to have shared this experience with you. — Anne Kelly, Gallery Director

LIGHT + METAL Artist Conversations:

David Emitt Adams
Kate Breakey
Michael Jackson 
Nissa Kubly
Vanessa Marsh
Anne Arden McDonald
Kevin O'Connell
Heather Oelklaus
David Ondrik
Meghann Riepenhoff
Lori Vrba
Julie Weber
Vanessa Woods

» Select Gallery Favorites 

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541 S. Guadalupe St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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