By Stephanie Krings
Student photographers gathered in the Paul Collins Art Gallery to welcome the official opening of a photography and video show celebrating their work, which ran from the 10th through the 27th. Located on the 4th floor of the GRCC Main building, the gallery featured the work of 23 students, including dozens of photographs displayed on the walls and 33 videos playing on two TVs.
Filippo Tagliati and Jonathon Russell both wandered through the crowded room talking to their students and reminiscing about the artwork on display and the different ways it was created in their classrooms. The prints on display range from tiny black and white images processed in GRCC’s darkroom, to large colorful prints from the digital photography students.
One of these bright prints belongs Zeta Francosky, who composed the image during her fall semester in PO 106. In her image, Francosky is hovering mid-air above her chaotic living room, her face tranquil and her limbs in a meditation pose. “During the time I took this photo, I came down with a terrible cold. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch, sip tea, and watch Lifetime,” she joked. “That’s pretty much impossible to do with three kids. The idea of chaos ensuing me came to mind and the creative process began. I wanted to ‘float’ out of the noise into my own stillness.”
Jason Cardinal also has a large color print in the gallery that he created for his PO 106 class. “I picked that one because I love documenting industrial decay,” he said. “I also really like the tonal range in the shot, which made it a top choice for me.” His photograph of a rusting building crawling with red vines under a cloudy blue sky has a rich feeling of texture and tone.
One of the photos that caught people’s eye as they perused the artwork was Kay Brown’s color photo of what many took to be fractured ice. “It’s actually a cracked window from an old pickup truck, but it really does look like ice,” she said. Known for her intense use of color, Brown’s photo is at first glance a subtler color scheme, but on closer inspection there are sparks of blue, yellow and purple within the print that bring a strange beauty to the unusual subject.
Another standout piece was a photo by Katie Brennan capturing a surrealistic forest scene in which a young woman wearing a white dress hovers in a bright ring of light in the dark woods. “It all came together with the thought of a game I remember playing as a kid at sleepovers called ‘light as a feather, stiff as a board’”, Brennan said. “So I ended up in the woods at midnight with this creepy vibe and these creepy memories.”