Arts Desk

Reviewed: “Signatures” at Glen Echo Photoworks

Who does better work, the teachers or the students? In the joint exhibit of teachers’ and students’ “signature” images at Photoworks, let’s call it a draw.

Among the teachers, images by Scott Davis, Frank (Tico) Herrera and Rebecca Drobis stand out. Using faux-vintage toning, Davis photographs an oddly shaped ficus tree in Buenos Aires, with a frenzy of roots coexisting with a trunk oriented at an eccentric, nearly upside-down, diagonal direction. Herrera also uses an old-timey approach to capture trees with an odd diagonal; his image features a series of crowns that slopes inexorably downward. Drobis, one of the few artists in the show to work in color, offers a well-worn swing set set against a foreboding, icy-blue Montana sky; she smartly accentuates the sweeping view by extending the image around the frame on all four sides.

The best student work comes from Brenda Hanning, Saman Michael Far, William Mertens, and Joanne Miller. Hanning captures an oddly textured tree trunk set against a receding background of darker woods; Far offers an eloquent narrative image of a man stepping out of a restaurant into the bright light; Mertens uses blue tinting to highlight a mysterious tableau of two figures looking into a mirror, or perhaps a window; and Miller documents a bird taking off artistically from a humble telephone pole.

Through Jan. 23 at Photoworks, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. Open 1 p.m. to 8 pm Mondays and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and any time when a class is underway. That includes most evenings, and many Saturdays and weekdays. To inquire call (301) 634-2274.

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  • Francine

    Genuinely no matter if someone doesn't be aware of afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it happens.

  • Scott Davis

    Thank you for the review! It's always nice to know when people appreciate your work. Just a correction - it is not a faux toning process. The print is a palladium print, an antique photographic process hand-coated on heavy paper stock. The process was invented in 1885 and peaked in popularity in the first decades of the 20th century, going into decline after World War 1. It is enjoying a renaissance today with interest in hand-coated processes having risen in response to mass-produced and non-physical imaging.

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