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Peter Marr's Picks of the Show

our 4th Annual Juried Show

January 5 - January 23, 2011

click here to return to the details of the exhibit

Peter Marr picked his favorite photos from the show by the guest photographers
and also describes the strength of the images he has chosen.


All images copyright by the individual photographers

On a Wire by Lauren Bentley

On a Wire
by Lauren Bentley

In admiring this wonderfully delicate portrait, which has a poignancy and intensity that is very moving, I am reminded of a statement from Walker Evans, namely, “Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.” We are aware of a very contemplative young lady softly captured by Lauren in an almost high key fashion, except for her dark hair. Her eyes are closed as she gently supports herself. There is a dreamy and romantic mood, but also there is a heightened awareness which leads to drama and atmosphere. Powerfully, we are cognizant that the left side of the image embraces an exquisite, sheer chemise or gown, suspended on a wire structure, which not only seems to float in space, but it also partially masks the lady’s right hand which is resting on part of her head and face. This enigmatic image offers everyone the opportunity to not only enjoy the photograph for itself, as we must surely do, but to endeavor to lift the veil regarding the mystery of what is really happening here. One certainly could envision many scenarios as to what the young lady is thinking about, and what she intends to do next, that is the true beauty and fascination of such an esoteric masterpiece. Rather than pursuing my own thoughts, I would much rather step back and admire this image for its visual immediacy, intricate delicacy, and for its sublime impact on a precious moment, captured so beautifully and majestically by the author. 



 Pool of Light by Timothy Fuss

Pool of Light
by Timothy J Fuss

This is an outstanding, powerful image that reminds me of what Jennifer Barton once said, namely, “The art of photography is to make that which seems unbeautiful, beautiful.” Certainly we are looking at massive vertical support structures, surrounded by many decaying elements such as an aging brick wall, wanton graffiti and infiltrated, sullied water. Furthermore, the foreground has an ill-defined ragged element, that gives the impression we are looking through a jagged fissure in a rock pile. The reddish bricks in the background certainly give a welcomed color relief to the starkness of the other components, but why would I think this is a beautiful image? The answer is the presence of a shaft of light which caresses the important vertical columns, illuminating lovely detail, texture and contrast, culminating in a small reflected pool of light in the murky water. We can now clearly see that in their time, these columns were very essential in supporting important structures above. Timothy’s compelling and impressive print, inspiringly captures detail from a bygone era, and whilst having a sentimental beauty of its own, it also offers the hope of a generation of change that may resurrect this area to mirror its former beauty and importance. 


Flying In by Nancy Guzauski

Flying In
by Nancy Guzauski

Nancy, like many photographers, carries within herself a sense of wonder, for without it, she would not produce the outstanding work that she does, images which I greatly admire. Her prints invoke powerful feelings, and trigger something very profound within the observer. In “Flying in,” we can delightfully explore the one element that is absent in most photographs, namely, time. In this inventive and evocative print, we experience the starkness and decay of past years, and then move through a portal into a world of bright scenic splendor. To add to the intrigue, we are very much aware of two flying birds, whose presence may well be mystifying to many. Personally, I would like to think that we are viewing a time warp, where the birds are messengers that allow us to travel between the past and the future, allowing us brief stops to contemplate on what has gone before, and what lies ahead. We can certainly conjecture on how this building came into such disuse, and perhaps who the occupants were who lived and worked here. The rich colored door and doorway are probably just as old as the room in the foreground, with its walls of peeling-paint, except that the former has aged more gracefully. The question is whether we want to live or linger in the past, or travel beyond up the scenic highway into a more colorful, but equally unknown future. The birds are apparently holding us back, reflecting perhaps that they want us to stay in the past, as they seem to want by both flying toward us. This montage has been impressively created to give us a truly marvelous thought- provoking image.

Morning Dry by Philip Lange

Morning Dry
by Philip Lange

This is an exhilarating blaze of sumptuous colors, dynamic shapes and intersecting lines, that is a sheer delight to marvel at and to explore every facet of this impressive print. We certainly know that the people who live here, celebrate their happiness and emotions with joyously varied colors, with a stunning example of analogous and harmonic hues, all of which express movement, energy and a definite sense of unity. It is fascinating to see that the warm red and orange colors of the walls, doors and the balcony stairs, are often reflected in the hues of the articles of clothing drying in the courtyard. Our eyes are constantly drawn to the intriguing display of intersecting clotheslines, which support an imaginative range of apparel, artfully hung, to maximize their drying potential. The geometric lines form interesting spatial relationships, which contrast strikingly with the many strong verticals and diagonals of the buildings and metal roof structures. Visually, there is also a definite connection between the bright blue circular bowl and the yellow element in the extreme top left of the picture. Although this relationship was not intended, it is really fortuitous, for our eyes in trying to make this connection, have ample time to reside and explore all the fascinating details in between. This is a photograph to both enjoy and inspire, and one should also admire it for its exquisite story telling potential, for it uniquely offers an opportunity to relate all that we see to the people who live here in this fascinating courtyard complex.


West Meadow Sunset by Steve Malloy Desormeaux

West Meadow Sunset
by Steve Malloy Desormeaux

Wonderfully seen and superbly photographed and printed, Steve has captured this serene and idyllic landscape for all of us to enjoy and admire. The sun, that has just disappeared over the horizon, has resulted in a setting that is bathed in magical diffuse lighting, that has enough directionality and reflectance to delineate every line, shape, texture and color, in the rocks, sand and the majestic small group of trees. Every rock exudes power and responsibility in this location, and one can only marvel at how nature has enabled these lovely trees to thrive in a less than fertile environment, and display such an imposing stature. This outstanding panorama is strikingly complemented by an impressive sky in which delicate clouds form a lovely tracery that augments the entire image so well. We are of course aware of the river that quietly disappears into the distance, adding a subtle backdrop to nature’s grandeur and beauty. This print has great breadth and beauty and is truly an enchanting, outstanding image


Autumn Cemetery by Nancy Richards

Autumn Cemetery
by Nancy Richards

This is a unique, revealing and compelling print that incorporates a gorgeous, highly colorful image of the entrance to a cemetery, supported in the bottom quarter of the picture by an individual B/W depiction of details, which are probably from the same cemetery. The overall effect is quite stunning, very original, and certainly this print combination will be much discussed, and definitely much admired. The digitally enhanced cemetery entrance, with its massive stone walls and elegant metal double gate, is bathed in the most resplendent autumnal mix of vibrant colors, together with an equally chromatic and dramatic background and sky. Even the headstones that we can clearly see, have striking hues that blend beautifully into the rest of the image. Suffice it to say that this print alone is magnificent as a stand-alone print. The author, as a compelling addendum, has chosen to also display a B/W amalgamation of details from the cemetery. We can clearly see parts of a metal gate, with a raised tomb in the background, together with a mysterious feature in the center of the gate, that resembles a large plant with long drooping narrow leaves. My interpretation, is that we are looking at the wonder and beauty of life as depicted by the spectacular colored image, whilst being painfully aware of the dark and somber side of “life” below the ground, as evidenced by the stark outlines in the B/W print. Together, these images combine to give us an incredible final print, superbly conceived, photographed and printed. 


Mystical by Ed Welch

by Ed Welch

This is a truly impressive landscape that exquisitely details nature’s awesome power and beauty. The autumnal setting gives an especial grandeur with a muted color vibrancy that complements the entire panorama. The magic of the cascading, churning water and the vitality of the small, isolated island, vividly displays how nature both gives and takes. Here in this picturesque glen, the water has nurtured the trees and vegetation over a long period of time, but especially in full spate, it has eroded the river banks, undermining many trees, and precariously endangering others. The raging waters have created an “oxbow-lake” environment for a small island that is anchored by a fairly large tree, a scene not lost to the group of much smaller trees in the right foreground. Here, these saplings have over time, produced a strong, contorted root system, maximizing every available foothold to sustain life as long as possible. The author has compellingly captured the relentless force of nature in relation to the land, to give us an outstanding, breathtaking vista, one that is superbly seen and captured for all to marvel at and enjoy.

Chay by Justyn Sweany Wolf

Chay – My Healing Journey
by Justyn Sweany Wolf

As Justyn states in her bio, this is a traditional print of a digital collage, that depicts highlights, memories and remembrances of her dramatic journey through 10 years of serious illnesses. The idea of such a collage is not necessarily unique, but I think that the final result is so powerful and dramatic, that I had to include it as one of my “picks” for this show. We cannot personally know what each of the individual icons mean or represent, but that level of detail is not important, for we understand that they represent pinnacles or troughs in a tortured journey of pain and sorrow. Thankfully, this was a quest in which there was always love, caring and endless longing and desire for a favorable outcome. This hope culminates in the sun’s rays bursting through a dark and dramatic sky, and from which an outstretched white bird of peace and love is seen emerging. Artistically, the river of life is beautifully captured, one that contains countless small stones that clearly represent setbacks along the way. As the stream flows into the distance it narrows, and the stones are more infrequent. The icons strewn along the way possibly remind us of Salvador Dali paintings, although the significance is not the same. The resulting print of the collage and the story that it tells is both impressive and heartwarming, a great tribute to the artistic skills of Justyn, who has all of our hope and best wishes for good health and a peaceful and long- lasting future.


Peter Marr

We are very grateful to Peter for his thorough review and selection for Peter's Picks. Peter was born in England in 1935 and came to live in the United States in 1968. He worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 34 years, retiring in 1998. During his employment and continuing into retirement, he has been an enthusiastic photographer. His photography has won him numerous awards throughout Kodak and in International Salons, including 5 George Eastman Medals, which is the top honor awarded to the most outstanding picture in the Annual Kodak International Salon. He has served as a judge in both local and international photographic competitions for the past 20 years, and is a Past president of the Kodak Camera Club and past chairman of many of the Kodak Camera Club organizations. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his photographic skills and interest into nature photography, notably bird photography. His bird photography has been the subject of several one-person exhibits, the most recent being at Ding Darling NWR, in Sanibel, Florida, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, and at the Webster Public Library in Webster, NY.

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