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Gallery Picks of the Show

Photographs by Jay Boersma

 Peter Marr and Gallery Partners' have chosen their "Picks of the Show"

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All images copyright by the individual photographers

Peter Marr's Picks

Photographs by Jay Boersma: In this excellent and enlightening exhibition, Jay’s images make strong visual statements that have a spirit and vitality that is unsurpassed. Like all photographs, these works of art are frozen in time, so that every viewer can explore them internally in their own time. What is remarkable, is that many of the scenes the author has so superbly captured, particularly streets, alleyways and intimate building details, appear as though they are unchanged for countless years. Furthermore, there is a remarkable similarity in whether these images were taken in Israel, Cuba, Sicily or Mexico, where ethno-cultures are so vastly different. A wonderful example of this are the two images displayed side by side on the first wall of the Gallery, one was taken in Jaffa, Israel, the other in Havana, Cuba. I hope everyone who visits the Gallery in the next  month, will take extra time to immerse themselves in studying these masterful images, and put themselves in each print to explore and enjoy photographic art at its best.

Havana Cuba 2015 by Jay Boersma

Havana, Cuba, 2015
by Jay Boersma

This is a creative, stellar, and thought- provoking image. Certainly, there is no such thing as objective vision, for one chooses all the time what we see. That is why most viewers of this powerful print, will envision two compelling eyes on an imaginary face, with perhaps the man taking the place of the nose. What is evident is a very large wall or side of a building, side-lit by warm, ambient lighting. It is apparent that this wall has changed little over countless years, being subjected to many paste and paint applications, resulting in an uneven and pock-marked surface. Near the top of the wall are two large openings, possible windows, more oval than circular, their surrounds suffering from crude masonry and paint modifications. Above these two portals are what looks like drainage pipes, their presence being emphasized by the sun’s rays casting strong diagonals across the wall’s surface. At the foot of this massive structure is a concrete pathway that slopes upwards from left to right, and separates the wall from the old cobbled street, which is partially shaded from the sun. Importantly, there is a middle-aged man walking up the path, his eyes looking straight ahead, his figure casting a strong pattern on the ground. He is casually, but neatly dressed, but his manner has the air of avoidance from the bright yellow ochres and the menacing objects above, even from the bright blue sky which overlooks this dramatic scene. Although it may be just symbolism, and just what I imagine in this image, this is what I see in this uplifting print. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a decisive moment. Towering above this man are two powerful apertures, which resemble eyes in the sky, as though his presence and his purpose are being carefully monitored. He does not look at these eyes, but he is aware of them. Hopefully, he is cognizant that he is walking up a slope, and the strong diagonal shadows from the drainage pipes are encouraging him onward. He may realize that change in this country is almost non-existent, and will probably not benefit him in his lifetime. Nevertheless, although the man’s stride may not quicken in anticipation of a better life ahead, deep down he knows that his people and his country will change for the better, and hopefully in the not too distant future.

Peter A. Marr


Oia, Santorini, Greece by Jay Boersma

Oia, Santorini, Greece, 2013
by Jay Boersma

Oia, is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages of Santorini. It has been the subject of a myriad of photographs and calendars, almost all of them taken in bright sunlight, that emphasizes a blaze of saturated hues set against dazzling white buildings, or as the foreground for spectacular sunsets.

Jay is an artist and a master observer, and he is very aware that in visual art, the most important thing is how the image is depicted, rather than the image itself. This is what activates the brain’s reward circuit. I am reminded of a poetic quotation from Thomas Merton which states, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” This delightful image that Jay has of Oia, expands the viewer’s vision, thoughts, and personal horizons. What makes this print so penetrating and evocative is the lighting, and the exquisite manner in which the village is framed inside the surrounding landscape. Gone is the bright, powerful sun that normally pervades this setting. Instead, there is a soft ambient illumination that results in lovely visual continuity that accentuates the wonderful diversity of color, especially in the pastel renderings of the buildings. Lowering the lighting values only enhances the impressive detail and color harmony of every building, especially revealing the broad swath of pastel colors, hues which are lost in bright sunlight. It is very evident that there is no universal architectural plan for this village. It is perched on a steep outcrop, and every available piece of land has been utilized to the fullest. Most buildings emphasize vertical rather than horizontal structures, and the streets are as narrow as possible to minimize loss of precious land. Even in a more subdued lighting environment, there is no loss in detail, color and charm for this very beautiful village. What really makes this image so awesome is the way that Jay has creatively framed the imposing subject matter. The foreground in particular is dramatic and compelling, in deep shade, but with subtle shapes and content that are still visible, all of which adds intrigue and mystery to the entire piece. This entrancing foreground is complemented creatively by the darkened sky and subtle detail in the area across the water enhancing the feeling that the village appears to float in space. Like the majority of Jay’s wonderful images, there is a complete absence of people, which gives the added dimension that viewers can imagine they are really there, and have the freedom to explore every segment of this village without ever going there in person.

Peter A. Marr

Partners' Picks
Downtown by David Bleich

by David Bleich

David Bleich has dusted the detailed elements of a downtown Rochester photograph with a palate of soft colors.  With its subtle pastel colors the image provides delicate color contrast.  However, the sharp details of the bridge and buildings within the photograph produces, high structural contrast. The combination of structural sharpness in combination with soft color contrast produces an artistically pleasant landscape photograph.

Compositionally, David has placed the major pinkish building slightly off center and nicely nestled under the arch of the bridge.  The horizontal details in the river counter balance the wide arch of the bridge, thus enhancing the photograph’s panoramic format. Careful examination of the photograph reveals good definition within the elements of the buildings.  Interesting color patterns are presented on the surface of buildings and within reflections on the building windows.  We congratulate David Bleich for creatively producing this wonderfully surreal image of Downtown Rochester.

Amelia by Tim Fuss

Revealing Neutrality – Amelia
by Tim Fuss

Tim has displayed a wonderful series of black and white portraits far removed from the traditional high school graduation picture standard look. We all have seen these kinds of photographs, where every student has an almost identical expression and really tells you nothing about the individual.

Instead of just capturing what Amelia looks like, this photograph gives insight into her personality. Her eyes are wide open, staring at the camera. She is not symmetrically framed in the photograph which adds to the “off kilter” feeling the viewer gets.  Tim has taken these photographs possibly as a way of rebelling against the homogenization of student portraits, in a very effective way.

An interesting exercise would be to stare at this photograph for at least five minutes and then sit down and write a story about Amelia. Is she a young lady who likes to make funny faces? Challenge the status quo? Dislikes being photographed? Is trying to hypnotize the photographer? Or any other number of possibilities.

Communication by David Perlman

by David Perlman

David’s photographs often incorporate whimsy, in a very clever way. Many of his photographs in this East Gallery show display this trait. The whimsy is still there in this photo, but in addition this photograph Communication is a wonderful example of a characteristic of excellent photographs, displaying “gesture”. Gesture can be between people or with inanimate objects and focuses on interactions and display of personality.

David conveys the feeling of mystery in this photograph of a man and a woman. What is she saying? What is the relationship between the two people? What is the significance of her hand gently upon his shoulder which is barely in the photograph?  

Unlike a traditional portrait the subjects are not completely in the frame, the man is barely seen, just the glint of his eye looking at the woman. This leads to this air of mystery about what the communication really is between these two people.

This photograph makes the viewer ask these and other questions, providing an opportunity to think about what is being conveyed by David about this relationship.

Any photograph that makes the viewer ponder its meaning, rather than just acknowledging it and passing on, deserves praise.

Peter Marr Photo
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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