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Award Winner, David Jean, 'To Be Lost Graciously' (2015)
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A vibrant mix of photographic work on display at CEPA Gallery

Most of the hundred of so photographic works on show in the CEPA members’ exhibit currently at the Market Arcade building are offered for sale. Exhibitor Cheng Yang Lee has another idea. He’s giving his photos away. Stacks of them that he that encourages visitors to pick through and pick one they like and take it home. Smallish—about wallet size—city views of various residential and commercial locales, in various diurnal and seasonal and weather conditions. Day, night, rain, snow, sun. Some photos taken from the street, some from behind windows, literally the cat’s eye view. Occasionally we get a glimpse of the cat—from behind—part of the back of its head—one ear. Looking at what we’re looking at.

Award Winner, Ling Xiang Wu, 'Carnival' (2015)

Other subject matter in categories from nature to horror, formalist to photo-pictorialist, humorous to abstract.

In the nature category, Patricia Ambrogi—who had a solo show last year about a nature tract and attempted encroachments on it by developers—has a luxuriant Southern forest pristine nature view. Trees so covered with leafy climbing vines as to nearly conceal them. Nature encroachment on nature. And magnificent stand of fir trees on a long hillside slope, under a bleak winter sky, by Andrea Wenglowskyj.

Horror photos including one at first glance hard to decipher, by Sarah Garbin. Something wrapped in white plastic. Gradually you make out a face, trying to scream, trying to breathe. Another more horror surreal, by Liz Bukowski. A woman in a lacy white dress and black gas mask seated passively in an ornate chair in water up to the seat cushion, her bare feet visible under water.

The formalist category photos include one of a ballerina in a compact crunch stretch pose—or maybe collapse pose at the end of a tragic story ballet—all white silks and toe shoes, by Alicia Wittman. And excellent industrial heritage photo of hard-edge machined forms seemingly smoothed and softened with age, by Peter Meszynski.

In the photo-pictorialist category, Ed Healy’s dead tree mostly fallen into surrounding pond or swamp waters, doubled by reflection in the water, under a darkish sky. And somewhat similar photo by Mary Louise Bowen, called Dominus Vobiscum. Winter afternoon woods and water scene, the sun partially hidden behind clouds, reflected in the water brighter than it appears in the sky.

Humorous works include Laura A. Snyder’s photo of a young entrepreneur outside the Superbowl in New Orleans last year selling shots—or mixed drinks, if you like cranberry juice—out of the back of a pickup truck. Seven bucks a shot or mixed drink, according to the hand-lettered cardboard sign. What the Superbowl traffic will bear.

But high-end stuff, based on the lineup of bottles on the roof of the vehicle. Jack Daniels, Hennessy cognac. And a view from behind vendor Conehead at the ballpark, just pre-game it looks like, by Patrick Simmons.

Among abstractions, Kate Parzych’s large-format black and white possible soap bubbles origin work. A sense of night sky telescopic view and bacteria microscopic view amalgam. And sort of abstraction, Michelle Rutan’s busted-out glass block window. Chaos mix of jagged and glassy smooth.

Also, several excellent portraits. One of musician David Adamczyk street busking at the Allentown Art Festival, by Jillian Kenyon. And a facial portrait of an unidentified young woman, by Ally Spongr.

And wonderful industrial sociology landscape photo by Sean Wysong. Looking downhill, along a roadway descending toward a heavy industry zone, from the edge of a worker residential zone above, of old-style wooden houses in want of paint and upkeep.

And an out-of-category strangeness photo, by John Harrigan. Of a guy we see in two different versions—side by side—one at night, under eerie lighting, seated in a lawn chair outside his garage it looks like, one in normal lighting in a kind of ecstatic pose ghost image. Not clear in either case what’s his story.

The CEPA photography show continues through March 5.

Winners (pictured) chosen by Rachel Adams, Curator, UB Art Galleries

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