Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our New Photography Exhibit in Riverdale, New Jersey!



This article also appears on our Italian Journal page.

Our current exhibit of selections from the collection Italy, Through the Eyes of Love is at the Riverdale Public Library in Riverdale, New Jersey (www.riverdalelibrary.org). The exhibit opened with a reception on November 17 and continues through January 16, 2009. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Library.

The Riverdale Public Library is an open, light-filled space with several levels. They regularly hold art exhibitions and interesting programs on a variety of topics. Over the summer, Jefferson stopped by the Library and asked if they would display our marketing postcard, since I was a town resident. (Jefferson designed our postcard and it always attracts attention. Here it is:

The staff graciously agreed and Jefferson went on his way. A few weeks later the Library contacted us through our website and asked if we would be interested in exhibiting the photographs at the Library. We were thrilled! They also asked if we would conduct an hour-long program for them on the collection (more on that later!), which of course, we agreed to do. It’s scheduled for December 2 at 7:00 pm.


We had a small window of time in which to install the exhibit, as we had to wait for the previous Library exhibit to be dismantled. Just like in Westchester, we brought in the metal grids for the unframed works (thanks to Matt Locker!) and hung the framed and gallery-wrapped prints on the walls.
The Opening Reception would start in a few hours. As we were working on it, we noticed that the heat in the Library (especially on the second floor) caused the identifying tags on the metal grids to curl. This was an unanticipated complication that needed to be addressed. Jefferson sized up the problem and fixed it by attaching thick stock black paper to the back of each tag. He believed this would work at least through the Opening Reception, and after that we would have time to create a more permanent solution if needed.
Of course, reinforcing the tags was rather tedious and time consuming. We finally finished at 5:30, rushed home, got dressed and returned to the Library in time for the Opening Reception at 6:30.

People started arriving early and kept coming until the Library closed at 8:00. We had invited many of them, and quite a few were strangers to us who had heard about the exhibit and wanted to see it. I use the word “strangers” very loosely because common interests bring people together, and soon we all talking about the enchantments of Italy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Matting and Framing Photographs



This article also appears on our Italian Journal page.

We receive so many questions about matting and framing that it seemed like a good idea to share our process in an article. We hope it will add to the conversation about how to best enhance photography or showcase any artwork.

On our website, essenceofitaly.net, if you click on the Photography link on the left hand side, you’ll find yourself at the page that lists Regions and Subjects. We’ve added a new Category under the Subjects heading, entitled Custom Framed Prints. This category shows how we’ve chosen to mat and frame a selection of images from the collection, Italy, Through the Eyes of Love.


The photographs can be displayed in a variety of ways. We’ve included smaller size prints in ready-made triple frames, which you can purchase in many stores. In this way, the photographs can be mixed and matched to achieve whatever theme appeals to you; whether it’s subject matter, color, shape or your personal memories.

We’ve also included larger prints, approximately 12x18 inches, that we have had custom matted and framed. When it comes to choosing the right frame and mat, we pair each photograph with what we believe brings alive the color, vibrancy and mood of each image. Sometimes elements of the image itself are extended onto the mats or frames. At other times, the mat and frame emphasize the image that lies within.



I’d like to add a word about matting here. Many people believe that only black or white mats should be used for photographs. I believe this reflects a concern that a colored mat will distract from, rather than enhance, the photograph. However, we’ve never subscribed to this point of view. Although there may be times when a black or white mat best serves the image, we’ve never felt limited to those choices. Instead, we chose each mat color with the same care and specificity with which we choose each frame.


With all of our custom framed works, we use non-glare glass. It’s a little more expensive than regular glass, but is well worth it. Regular glass is highly reflective and this interferes with your ability to view the photograph. Any light source, including sunlight or a television set, will reflect off the glass and create a visual obstacle to the photograph and the mat you’ve chosen. But non-glare glass allows you to enjoy the photograph without strain or interruption.

Here are some examples of our custom frame choices and the reasons behind them:
For Chianca Beachouse, we started with a photograph that is very bright, colorful and intense in its geometry. We chose a mat color that compliments, rather than competes with the colors in the image. This mat also has a geometric design of its own which extends the geometric theme of the image. The frame has a plain design, again so as not to compete with geometric depth of the photograph.


For Benvenuti, we chose a purple toned mat to compliment the colors in the photograph, especially the predominate shades of yellow. The frame is deep burgundy that picks up the color of the pipe that runs vertically down the left side of the image. The frame is also textured in short sections that mimic pipe sections.


For Harvest, we chose a dark grey mat to emphasize the lighter colors of the grapes in the center of the image and also to mimic the dark cantina in which the grapes are stored. The frame is made of gnarled, twisted wood reminiscent of grape vines and bark.


Capri Rocks is a majestic image and its strong, masculine tone is repeated in the mat and frame choices. Here we used double matting in colors that pick up the colors of the rocks themselves and compliment those in the sea and sky. The frame is wide and substantial, mimicking the heaviness of the rocks.

I hope these examples provide a window into the process we use when creating finished works. I hope they help you set your own imagination free. If you would like to discuss possible matting and framing choices for any photograph from Italy, Through the Eyes of Love, please contact us.

Taking Down the Exhibit in Westchester



This article also appears on our Italian Journal page.

Although the exhibit technically ended July 31, 2008 the wonderful staff at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center were in no hurry to take down the exhibit. They allowed the works to remain until mid-September, when we finally began the careful dismantling process. Like all endings, it was bittersweet.

The exhibit had gone extremely well for the Center and for us. It was wonderful to read the comments written in the Visitors Book in the Exhibit Halls. Here are some of them: “Wonderful eye for beautiful scenes. Thanks for this mini-vacation”; “Le fotografie sono meravigliose!”; “Absolutely breathtaking – I feel as if I am there having wine & bread sharing happiness with my friends & loved ones!” We were so grateful to the Center for the opportunity, and they treated us so well throughout the experience, that we donated a 24x36 inch canvas of “Waiting” to the Center.

A narrow totem with 3 display screens stands in the front lobby of the Center.
Jefferson had created a slideshow of selections from the exhibit that played continuously on one of the screens. As the time for removing the exhibit drew near, Evelyn Rossetti, the Center Director, told us that the slideshow was so beautiful that she didn’t want to remove it. She asked if we wouldn’t mind leaving it on display in the totem. Mind?? Not at all! The slideshow had to be reworked because it had announced the exhibit dates. Here is the streaming video version of the new slideshow:

video

The Center also used my photograph, “Bogliasco Cliffs” for the cover of its Fall and Winter, 2008 Program Catalogue. Bogliasco is a small town near Genoa, in the region of Liguria, on the Italian Riviera. Here it is:


I had the opportunity to give a live radio interview about the exhibit on WGHT - 1500. You can listen to it here.

We had good press throughout the exhibition.

We’re very proud of the exhibit review that appeared in the Westchester County ArtNews Supplement to the Westchester County Business Journal, June 2008:



A wonderful article also appeared in The Herald News, focusing not only on the exhibit but on our collaboration:


The Italian Tribune: