APTOS — Developing a photograph has not always been a simple thing. Before the modern era of digital smartphone cameras, the medium was a complex chemical process that required a good deal of knowledge and skill.
The 23 artists whose work will soon be on display at Cabrillo College’s art gallery have taken things a step further.
“Out of the Dark: Alternative Process Photography” will open on March 11 at the Cabrillo Gallery, located at the college’s Aptos campus. The exhibit will showcase artists who have taken new approaches to the traditional photographic printing process.
The gallery’s Program Instructor Beverly Rayner and Program Coordinator Victoria May were hard at work unpacking and installing pieces at the gallery Wednesday. Some of the pieces had been handed in personally, while others were shipped to the college. Rayner even took a special trip to San Francisco recently to pick some up from various galleries.
“I’m really excited about this exhibit,” Rayner said. “I honestly feel like a kid in a candy store right now.”
“Out of Dark” features multiple alternative process techniques. Everything from Polaroid manipulation, photograms, hand-painted photographs, image transfers and more will be on display. But, said Rayner, this is just a small helping of the possibilities out there.
“If we had every alternative process represented here, we’d need a much bigger space,” she laughed. “And more techniques are being discovered every day.”
The exhibit will include work of artists from across the country, but also that of Cabrillo College instructors such as Janet Fine, Martha Casanave and Greg Mettler.
May said she hoped students would be inspired to think out of the box after viewing the exhibit.
“Artists have so much to work with now,” she said. “It’s like music — young people have so much musical history behind them. They listen to so many different kinds. It’s the same thing here. They can embrace and use both the old and new.”
ABOVE: This piece by Margo Duvall is a photographic transfer applied to an old clothing iron. (Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian)
According to Rayner, “Out of the Dark” is the first exhibit Cabrillo Gallery has ever held dedicated solely to alternative process photography.
“We researched a lot,” she said. “We spent a long time gathering information and making connections to put this together.”
May said it was important for them to bring diversity into the gallery.
“Beverly has really been trying to bring in a broad spectrum of art into this space,” she said.
During the exhibit’s run, the gallery plans to include educational aspects, including descriptions of each artist’s process and possibly some workshops.
“This type of work opens our minds,” Rayner said. “It truly expands our idea of what a photograph can be.”
“Out of the Dark” will open March 11 at the Cabrillo Gallery, located in Library Room 1002 at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos. An opening reception will be held on Saturday from 4-6 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. For information, visit cabrillo.edu/services/artgallery.