Photo exhibit pushes limits

Posted: Thursday, October 05, 2000

Photographs printed on silk and sewn into a kimono share the gallery with more conventional images in Alaska Positive.

The biennial exhibit, which attracts photographers from across Alaska, opens this Friday at the Alaska State Museum. A reception will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and will kick off the museum's monthly First Friday series of free special events.

Museum curator Mark Daughhetee said Juneau is particularly well-represented in the exhibit. Carpenter Brad Cure, musician Terri Tibbett and attorney Joe Sonneman have work on display, as well as Juneau professional photographers Michael Penn, Marilyn Holmes and Art Sutch. Other locals include Bob Johnson, Jay Crondahl, Shar Fox, Jeff Brown and Kay Close.

Computer-manipulated images, multiple exposures, Polaroid transfers, blue-tone cyanotypes and multi-media images demonstrate the range of artwork now open to incorporating the photographic process.

"This show will have a lot of different interpretations of photography, which is one fun thing about Alaska Positive," said Daughhetee.

Sheryl Reily of Ester printed an image on watercolor paper instead of photographic paper, and then applied gold leaf to the surface. In his photograph "Phonehenge," Jeff Brown photographed Stonehenge, then used the Photoshop computer program to replace one stone pillar in the famous monument with a phone booth.

Anchorage photographer Matt Johnson earned a Recognition Award for "Faith," an entry that incorporates two black and white photographs with a rusty nail. Johnson also was commissioned by Perseverance Theatre to create the poster for the current play "Wit."

The Juror's Choice Award went to Beverly Cover of Anchorage for a traditional black and white process. Her gelatin silver print titled "Drift" is a semi-abstract exploration of form and texture.

"Her technique is exquisite and her vision unique," said Daughhetee.

Internationally renowned photographer Ralph Gibson selected 65 images from more than 250 submitted. Daughhetee said Gibson was generous, including about 15 more images in the show than past judges had done.

"He's a great guy, and really is a key figure in the history of photography. We've been lucky with the caliber of jurors we've had, and I have to say it's because we're in Alaska."

As with past judges, the appeal of a trip to Alaska served as part of the incentive for working with the museum on the show.

Gibson, based out of New York City, has published 27 books of his photographs and shown his work in more than 150 exhibits in galleries throughout the world. He has returned to New York, but many of the photographers will be present at Friday's opening reception. Alaska Positive will be on display until Nov. 4.

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