‘In Focus’ exhibit opens at Greenwich Library

Barn Doors by David Ottenstein will be a part of the new exhibit.

Barn Doors by David Ottenstein will be a part of the new exhibit.

“In Focus,” an exhibit featuring the photographic visions of seven artists, opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30 and runs until Dec. 3 at the Flinn Gallery on the second floor of the Greenwich Library.

Famous photographer Ansel Adams once said, “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication; it is a creative art.”

Providing individual creative testimonies to this idea are photographers: Carolyn Conrad, Sandi Haber Fifield, Francine Fleischer, Patricia Lambert, Amanda Means, Dan Nelken and David Ottenstein, whose works are featured in this exhibit. They have opened their lenses to varied subjects ranging from nature to architecture to light bulbs, but their works all reflect the creativity inherent in their viewpoints.

Curators for this exhibit are Barbara Richards, Linda Butler and Joann Terracciano. They have recognized the value of varied imaginations in assembling a disparate group of artists who do not simply “take” photographs, they “make” them.

On Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. artists Francine Fleischer, Amanda Means and Dan Nelken will present a Gallery Talk. The gallery is open daily Monday to Saturday, 10 to 5, Thursday until 8 and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

In Sag Harbor, N.Y. Ms. Conrad combines her experience in painting, sculpture, and assemblage to construct rural scenes that “evoke moods of romanticized isolation” by “creating human dialogues using structures rather than people.” The advent of digital photography enabled her to use studio constructions to express a “minimalist and conceptual aesthetic in her photographs of “concepts of ‘home’ and memory of place.”

Ms. Fifield writes, ”My work is born of collisions and alignments. I gather images from experiences, exceptional and mundane, intentional and spontaneous.”

She works in her Westport studio “from an inventory of images collected over time” seeking to “suggest meaning in the apparent randomness of experience.”

The concept behind her digital, archival prints of either three or four images supports the “Gestalt implication that we perceive the whole before we see its parts.”

Relying on the intricate interplay between light and water Ms. Fleischer, also of Sag Harbor, focuses her lens on an ancient, magical swimming hole which she views as if she were ”looking down a rabbit hole into another world.”

She envisions random scenarios in the contradictions of light and dark, levity and gravity, reality and reverie and, of course, sinking and swimming.”

Ms. Lambert concentrates her attentive eye on the contrast between light and dark in the design elements of tools. The digital compositions rendered in her Stamford studio make a statement about both “the design and the people who spend their lives with tools and machinery.”

Ms. Means’ distinctive light-filled style stems from the technique she developed in her Beacon, N.Y. studio.

She projects images seen through an enlarger directly onto light-sensitive paper producing “tightly cropped, revealing portraits of ordinary objects”. Subjects ranging from leaves to light bulbs appear with the light emanating like a force from the image itself suggesting the “duality in both natural and human built environments.”

Mr. Nelken approaches his subject matter in a color-filled, thematic vein. Photos from the whimsically titled “The Cows Come Home” series narrate his exploration of county fairs from America’s vanishing agrarian past. He regards the produce, the livestock, and the human participants with a keen, sensitive eye, capturing the vitality of spirit that drives the farmers to cling to tradition although such events are facing “their sunset years.”

Mr. Ottenstein of New Haven turns his camera’s eye to architectural subjects which he captures with precision and clarity, using the setting and the structure itself to emphasize its relationship to earth, sky, and light.

The lines of the buildings demonstrate its present status while intimating a history contained by the walls as they rest against the sky’s vast backdrop. An absence of humans lends a dignified silence to the images.

The imaginative variety reflected in the works of these seven artists acts as an invitation to the public to visit “In Focus.”

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