Art Watch: Beautiful Time Light photography

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Also: A rousing fight for Fi

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

Two new shows at Chester County Art Association open to the public with artist receptions this Thursday, February 16 from 5-7pm: A non-juried, multi-medium art show all about color, “Color Obsession” as well as the much anticipated “Portraiture” fine photography show by the Time Light Art group. Further afield, The Oxford Arts Alliance opens its new show “Carl D. Laughlin, Jr./Framemaker”, with a reception Friday February 17 from 5-8pm at 38 South 3rd Street in Oxford. Also this Saturday, from 6-10pm, Ivystone Studio in Downingtown is having a re-opening, very happening party benefit with new artworks, music, and more at their destination gallery location at 138 Moore Road in Downingtown. So much to do art-wise this Thursday and Friday night!

The highlighted show for the week is the Time-Light Art Group’s “Portraiture” exhibition at Chester County Art Association, 100 North Bradford Avenue in West Chester.

Image by Lin Tan

This astonishing group of amateur and professional photographers get together for juried shows just once or twice every year. Most of the artists have careers outside the arts, including college professors, scientists, bankers and technology experts. What they share is a true passion for photography, as well as a Chinese heritage. The majority of Time Light artists have lived in Chester County for most of their lives, and they meet up during the year to show and discuss their photographic works.

The founder of the Time Light Art group of Professor Lin Tan, who is a teacher and poet, as well as a board member of Chester County Art Association. Chester Gu is the group’s President, and both artists will have beautiful images in this year’s show.

Lin Tan writes, “We have over twenty artists whose works are on display in this group exhibition. We try to get as many artists involved as possible as we regard ourselves as a grass-root organization.” When asked “What makes a successful photograph?”, Lien replies, “Photography is a specific form of art. Respect of this art form and the fusion of the art form with human feeling are important for me. So I do minimal alteration on my photo images. I count more on my vision and my understanding of the science of photography.”

While, even after more than 150 years since the invention of photography, some people still question whether photography is an art or more of a science (it is an art), it is interesting to hear Lin discuss the scientific aspect of the field. Lin uses only traditional film cameras, but notes that it does require more time and attention for cataloguing and organizing his images. He also does not use Photoshop, but many of the other Time Light photographers do edit in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Lin is excited about the show because of the great “variety of the show and the image quality of many of the prints. The title is Portraiture, but you see more than the traditional portraits. With so many artists in the show, it is inevitable that quality may vary, but on the other hand, you get various styles competing and complementing each other in the same gallery.” What he loves most about photography is that “The expression potential is limitless, it is fascinating. You can explore the psychology of a subject through your lens and craft and share your experience with others. The amazing thing is that many understand it and can share what you found and probed.” One of the images that Lin Tan will show in “Portraiture” is of two autumn colored, gracefully curled leaves. Here, the show’s title reinforces the personification inherent in the image, and the two leaves become a swan song of two beautiful lovers.

Image by Jie Deng

Two other beautiful images from the Time Light Group show are by Jie Deng, who is locally famous for her series of portraits “People of Kennett Square” on instagram and in her website intheeyephotography.com. My favorite image in the show is Jie’s photograph of a lovely young women reaching out over a pool of water. Jie also included an image of artist Katee Boyle, from Jie’s People of Kennett Square series. Jie writes that she and Katee “had been talking about this photo shoot for a long time… I looked at her work, her paintings and sculptures…. I fell in love with her metal corset when I first time saw it; I felt it should be part of the photo… I wanted the photo speaks itself,  and I wanted people feel her passion.”

To date, Jie has photographed 35 people of Kennett Square, with stunning images accompanied by interviews of each of the participants. Jie says that portraits are intriguing to her because of “the story behind them…A beautiful photograph puts you in a particular moment. The photo tells a story , and the viewer feels the emotion.”

While you are visiting the Time Light Photography show, also be sure to check out the “Color Obsession” exhibition in the adjoining gallery at Chester County Art Association. These themed, non-juried shows are a terrific opportunity for artists at every level to exhibit, and for viewers to be inspired and get a sense of what local artists are doing now. Prices are usually very economical for any budget too! Both art shows will continue through March 9, 2017.

In Oxford, The Oxford Arts Alliance opens a new show all about the beauty of the frame, from the collected works of framemaker, artist and frame collector Carl D. Laughlin, Jr. What an interesting idea for an exhibition! Frames are the last thing that any artist usually thinks about, but often are the first thing that deters a buyer when it is not right. Picking the perfect frame for a painting is an art in itself, and traditional frame-making is an art as well. This show draws attention to the detailed craft of the frame, and makes us appreciate this often overlooked partner to two dimensional art.

Lynnette Shelley at Ivystone Studio.

The new destination gallery, Ivystone Studio is having it first big re-opening bash of the new year this Saturday night, February 18 from 6-10pm. Justin Smith, glass blower and owner of Ivystone Studio, just hired artist and former JAM Gallery manager Lynnette Shelley to manage the gallery’s art and events. The hiring of Lynnette will give Justin Smith more time in his art studio and bringing in such expertise bodes well for the future of one of most beautiful gallery spaces within 50 miles. Currently they have over 30 artists exhibiting in the space, in all media, and in the Spring they will be utilizing more public space sculptures in their outdoor exhibition space.

This Saturday they have an art benefit “Fight for Fi”, open to the public for $30 each at the door, which includes food, beer, wine, and music by Blackbird Society Orchestra. There is also a silent auction, and 10% of all art sales during the evening will be donated to “Fight for Fi.” Fi is Fiorella Nickels, much loved mother and wife, who is battling progressive liver and breast cancer, chronic pain as well as very steep medical bills. So check out the new installments at the gorgeous gallery space, enjoy a lively party, and help support Fi’s struggle to win back a healthy life with her family.

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