August 10, 2009

Contrast Photography Show Scheduled for Delta Debut


The Gallery@Wiljax




Photographer Alex Abercrombie

© Photographer: ALEX ABERCROMBIE
Courtesy The Gallery @ wiljax


What this all amounts to is perhaps the largest gallery show of photographic images to be displayed in the Mississippi Delta. And it is all happening in Cleveland. For six weeks the work of photographers from around the world will be on display. The show will hang at The Warehouse and is being produced by The Gallery @ wiljax.

“We are very excited to bring this to Cleveland,” said Laura Beth Lott, director of The Gallery. “We realized pretty early on that our space might be a bit small for this collection, so we decided to see if the folks at The Warehouse would be interested in working with us. Their gallery space is nearly 5,000 square feet, and they didnʼt have anything scheduled for September, so this made sense for everyone.”


Photographer Beth Dowdy

© Photographer: BETH DOWDY
Courtesy The Gallery @ wiljax


The project began as a labor of love for gallery owner and photographer Will Jacks. “I am a photographer. I love it. I love creating images and I love viewing images. I love that photography is perhaps the most accessible art form we have. It allows us all a medium to tell our own stories, and it is fascinating to me to see the different ways in which photographers choose to share their voices. So a few months ago Laura Beth and I decided we would try to find a way to provide a platform for those voices and those stories. And we wanted to share as many of them as we possibly could.”

In March a call for entries was placed on photography forums, art websites, and in newspapers and magazines throughout the US. The result was a culled collection of approximately 200 images representing a variety of photographic processes, but all based around the theme “Contrast”.


Photographer Amy Evans

© Photographer: AMY C. EVANS.
Courtesy The Gallery @ Wiljax


Will Jacks explained, “I wanted to come up with something that could be an obvious technique in photography -- the use of contrast -- but also something that represented our area -- the Mississippi Delta, which to me anyway, is very much a land of contrast. But I also wanted to see how other photographers would explore that concept in their own communities. Finally, I wanted the collection of images themselves to reflect contrast. So we have very abstract pieces. Very real pieces. Large pieces. Small pieces. Work by established artists and work by children. The point of this is not so much to focus on individual works as much as it is to show the widest range of photographic visions as possible. I think weʼve done a pretty good job with that, and Iʼm excited for everyone to see it.”

Submissions include the work of photographers from seventeen states and three countries. The show will feature glass plate images, digital prints, fiber prints, and even a multimedia room for digital projection.

“Itʼs been so much fun seeing what everyone is creating,” said Laura Beth Lott. “And fascinating for me to see how many different ways people use photography to make a statement. I was pretty new to this world of photography when I came to work here last year, and this show has really opened my eyes to its possibilities. I think the people that come to see this will feel the same way. At least I hope they will.”

An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, August 20 from 6-9 pm at The Warehouse in Cleveland. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. The show will hang until the end of September.


The Gallery@wiljax
347 Cotton Row, Cleveland
Mississippi 38732X