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Peter Marr's Picks of the Show

Holiday Show 2010

December 1 - December 23, 2010

click here to return to the details of the exhibit

Peter Marr picked his favorite photos from the show by the guest photographers
and also describes the strength of the images he has chosen.


All images copyright by the individual photographers


Tree of Life by Mark Bangs

Tree of Life
by Mark Bangs

This is a wonderfully seen and captured image, that although it adds a definite element of sadness and loss, it evokes both the power and majesty of nature. The stump of the tree is like a fixed point, expressing a deep emotion to be infinitely interpreted, with an aura of timelessness and serenity. The photograph has a compelling and meaningful abstract quality, one that nature has magically constructed, to illustrate a story that encompasses countless years of life, growth, and the ultimate passing of a giant in the forest. Who could not be entranced by the fascinating outline of the tree itself, carved by nature out of the very stump that gave it life, and nurtured it for generations to enjoy. The curved tree trunk, lovingly carved out as though by water flowing through a deep gully, is emblematic that the tree itself, survived through many harsh times of wind, rain, and large temperature fluctuations. In spite of enduring torturous weather extremes, it proudly grew into a giant whose stature was the pride of the neighborhood. The tree’s magnificent profile is exquisitely captured in relief amid the soft grey tones of the massive stump. Each line, fissure and indentation, form striking patterns, reflecting many years of growth and environmental conflicts. Certainly we are saddened by the loss of a landmark, one whose long-standing struggle is finally over, but happily, we are delighted to see that the relief image of its canopy is filled with leaves and other detritus. Such a rich residue may well contain a seed, and surrounded by rich nutrients from the decaying matter, it may hopefully germinate to eventually mature into a companion tree, an inspiring example of nature’s renewal process.



 Last Show by Tim Fuss

Last Show
by Timothy J. Fuss

In his panel of dramatic and powerful B/W prints, the author has strikingly captured with visual vibrancy, the powerful and enigmatic relationship between the performer and the musical instrument, so much so, that we can hear and listen to the music emanating from each image. Timothy’s photographs make bold, and some would say unconventional statements, that result in vital, creative, and thought-provoking images. Here, I am reminded what Ted Grant so famously said, namely, “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes, but when you photograph people in B/W, you photograph their souls”. In the Last Show, the artist is impressively framed by the lid of the grand piano, and by deep-black areas of negative space. The powerful diagonals of the lid and the descending strings of the double bass, are entrancingly enriched by the majestic curves of the scroll of the instrument, and together, these features are wonderfully complemented by the artist’s head, face, and left hand. Focusing in on the bass player, we are very aware of the casual folds of his open-necked shirt, which is in direct contrast to the rapt and deliberate attention of the musician. The artist’s concentration is inspirational, and his left hand, although out of focus, dramatically draws our awareness, and our eyes are riveted on the upturned thumb and the gracefully poised fingers, which are about to cascade onto the awaiting strings. The musician is completely absorbed in the music that he is eloquently playing, and even though his eyes are closed, you can feel every nuance, every thought, and hear every note, as he persuades this large double bass to bring forth the most sublime music to inspire and uplift us all. We hear and appreciate every note and chord that comes from this creative and loving relationship between the artist and his double bass, at one with each other, both striving to give us the most exquisite sound and interpretation of the music.




Burano, Italy, #’s 485 and 723
by Scott Matyjaszek

Edward DeBono once stated that, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way,” and Erich Fromm also wrote that, “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Scott’s quintessential collages impressively break through stereotypical perception, to give us superb 3-dimensional images, which are a delight to explore both visually and mentally. Whilst I admire and appreciate the consummate artistic skills of the author, it makes choosing one image to comment on extremely difficult, for I like all of them. I chose to highlight the two residences in Burano, namely, #’s 485 and 723, for besides being adjacent to each other on the panel, and having a dramatic hue difference, these collages evoke a very different feeling in this observer. With these assemblies being next to each other, the interplay of the bright red and green building facades is intriguingly emphasized. The visual antagonism of these perceptually opposite primary hues, forces the observer’s eyes to constantly move from one collage to the other, resulting in visual and mental comparisons of each doorway. With #485, we are entranced by the strong, warm red color of the outside walls, but red is a danger sign, and the entranceway presents a less than inviting welcome. The door design is striking, as is the elegant metal screen highlighted by bold nature designs. Add to this a massive door knocker and ominous black metal vertical bars at the top of the door, and we have the decided impression that visitors would get a cold reception. Contrast this with residence #723, whose outside walls are an appealing deep green color, with the #723, displayed right over the door, and it has a much more modest entranceway. There is a screen behind the door, but it is more modest in design than that found in #485, plus the screen has an inviting colored background. Outside #723, one is welcomed by the flower box and the presence of a broom casually leaning against the wall, which are further indications that the occupants of this residence are probably much more down to earth, and certainly more friendly and sociable than those who live in #485. My brief comments on what I see or imagine regarding these two residences, are meant to stimulate every observer to both look at and explore all of Scott’s superb collages. He has certainly embraced creativity, so it is up to all of us to use all of our cerebral processes, to delve into these images and enjoy mentally what we cannot visually observe.
Clouds Pressing by Rick Mearns


Clouds Pressing
by Rick Mearns

Rick’s excellent and impressive images from the areas of the Grand Teton mountain range and the “Badlands” of South Dakota are clear evidence why these venues are important attractions for landscape photographers. In his bio, he pays tribute to the work of the legendary Ansel Adams for pioneering such photography, so I thought I just had to include one of Ansel’s celebrated statements, namely, “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.” There is certainly no disappointment here, for Rick has presented us with majestic examples of the above two areas in his splendid exhibition. In Clouds Pressing, there is a power and majesty that strikingly shows the rugged grandeur and nobility of nature. The author waited for that memorable fleeting moment, when all the conditions were just right to give us a captivating and inspiring image. I particularly love the great 3-dimensional feeling that this print portrays. Here we have lush greenery, bounded by a rustic traditional fence, which magically transports us back to the days of the pioneers who both explored and settled in this valley. From this vantage point our eyes traverse across the Snake River lowlands to the foothills of the Grand Teton range. This formidable awe-inspiring barrier has been imposingly captured under a dramatic sky that has the ominous foreboding of an impending storm. The massive mountains are streaked in snow, which emphasizes every fissure, crag and crevice, to expressively show us the breadth and beauty of this awesome western landscape.

Captured Leaf by John Williamson


Captured Leaf, White Mountains, NH
by John Williamson

Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect once said, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature – it will never fail you.” These words could never be more appropriate as we admire and explore John’s superb image. Life and impending departure has been magnificently captured in this vibrantly colored burst of nature’s awesome power and beauty. Here we have an enthralling eruption of dramatic shapes and a kaleidoscope of warm shimmering colors, made all the more impressive by the author’s use of a shallow depth of field, which isolates and emphasizes the principal components, whilst allowing the viewer to be very aware of the exquisite background. The pine needles intimate embrace of a fallen maple leaf, poignantly reminds us that with winter approaching, for many, life is fragile and often fleeting. One senses that the conifer tree is proudly extending the pine needles to temporarily capture the fallen leaf, and to thank it for being such a good neighbor, before the leaf finally glides to the earth below. The maple leaf, for its part, is magnificently attired with gorgeous reddish hues, colors which contrast so majestically with the deep saturated greens of the pine needles. This is a leaf which has lived its life to the fullest, has been rewarded with the rich mantle of fall color, and is content to return to the earth below, to enhance the rich nutrients in the soil, and so help its parent tree continue to thrive. I hope that everyone will not just stop to admire this resplendent and creative print, but to also pause to pay a tribute to the wonder and beauty of nature, so eloquently displayed here.

Peter Marr

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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