By Tom Wachunas
EXHIBIT: Picture This: Captivating Photographic and Digital Visions, featuring the work of Jerry Domokur, Mandy Altimus Pond, Stephen McNulty, Su Nimon and Michele Waalkes. THROUGH NOVEMBER 8 at Gallery 6000, located in the University Center Dining Room at Kent State University Stark campus, 6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton
OPENING ARTISTS’ RECEPTION ON THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Please RSVP to Gail Thomas at (330) 244-3503 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again I’ve donned my curator hat in offering this Gallery 6000 exhibit of works by five artists whose works I have greatly admired in the past. Please keep in mind that Gallery 6000 is not a conventional art gallery with retail business hours (though most of the works are for sale). The space is an elegant, airy dining room, with the walls fitted for hanging art works. Best times to visit are weekdays before and after lunch - mornings from 9 a.m. to 11.a.m. (you might need to ask for the overhead track lights to be switched on) or 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. That said, I respectfully beg… er, uhm… request that you attend the opening reception cited above.
The abstract digital manipulations by Jerry Domokur are intricately layered images that magically evoke both mechanical and organic structures and processes in flux. Whether in super-charged color, such as his Tsunami, or in black and white, his compositions sizzle with spontaneity and hypnotic spatial ambiguity.
Su Nimon’s original photographs of local, often iconic architectural landmarks are digitally processed to reduce detail and limit color. Their look is deceivingly simple and “high contrast,” yet remarkably resonant with fascinating nuances of mood and formal structure.
The photographs by Mandy Altimus Pond explore what she calls “conceivable fantasies.” With real, recognizable elements (people, props, locations), she creates unusual situational contexts, such as the ghostly Waiting for William, and otherwise dreamlike, intriguing narratives.
“Stunning” and “breathtaking” are simply inadequate descriptors of the pigment ink prints by Stephen McNulty. The four magnificent wilderness pieces here are technically and aesthetically brilliant. His work is a vital and inspiring photographic witness to the awe-inducing power and beauty of nature.
Inspiring, too, are Michele Waalkes’ digital photo transfers onto fabric and other materials. Works such as her Porta are beautifully subtle, serene meldings (i.e., two images combined) of natural and architectural settings that create a sense of contemplative journeying. I continue to think of them as physical metaphors for the metaphysical act of meditation.
And to varying degrees, it is a similarly meditative sensibility that I think is threaded throughout this eclectic gathering of works, and one I hope will in turn prompt an edifying experience for all viewers.
PHOTOS (from top): Tsunami by Jerry Domokur; Waiting for William by Mandy Altimus Pond; Thru the Arch by Su Nimon; Porta by Michele Waalkes; Milford Falls, New Zealand, by Stephen McNulty