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February 27, 2013

March brings two new exhibits to PCCA

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

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“I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” by Scott Northrup.

ROCHESTER — Two new exhibitions, “WiFi/LoFi” and “Scott Northrup: Names & Faces,” will open at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts with a joint reception 7-9 p.m. March 1. Both exhibitions will be on display at the PCCA, 407 Pine St., through April 5.

The PCCA is turning its main gallery over to a group of five artists — Loralei Byatt, Clare Fox, Andrew Kopietz, Hiroko Lancour and Lisa Steichmann — for “WiFi/LoFi,” which PCCA Director Mary Fortuna said explores different approaches to traditional photography.

“It’s a show that has a couple of different methods and a couple of different techniques that people may not have seen before in photography,” she said.

Using iPhones, Holga plastic cameras, cyanotype and other alternative processes, Fortuna said, the five exhibiting photographers all push the boundaries of their expressive talents to create artworks that challenge conventional ideas of what photography can be.

Kopietz and Byatt, both of Detroit, each exhibit photographs shot with iPhone and iPod cameras. Exploring the possibilities of the limited camera, Kopietz shot his images on his defunct iPhone over the past two years to capture urban landscapes, buildings, sidewalks and people, while Byatt created a series of self-portraits for the exhibition called “Little Selves” using her iPod Touch.

“Loralei was striving for less resolution, less precision, less perfection, and she came up with really interesting, really graphic images,” Fortuna said.

Steichmann, of Ann Arbor, will exhibit a collection of works shot with Holga plastic cameras and printed with various darkroom processes from her in-home darkroom.

“The Holga camera is a very simple piece of equipment — no meter, no batteries, nothing like that. I’ve been using it for about 25 years,” Steichmann said. “Then I tend to hand-color, tone, paint and things like that to alter the print after I make it.”

Fox, of Detroit, will show pieces from a series she calls “Superstars, Misfits and Has-beens,” which documents significant pieces of her own clothing in the form of cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print.

Lancour, of Detroit, also used the cyanotype process to create photograms of weeds pulled from her yard as part of a series called “Uprooted,” which will be on display during the show.

In the first-floor gallery, the PCCA will present a solo show of works by Scott Northrup of Dearborn, which includes double-exposure Polaroids, cross-stitched notes and scanned prints that Northrup said function as self-portraits, personal landmarks and mash notes to the American dream.

“Scott is very well-known and well-loved,” Fortuna said. “He’s very accomplished, especially with video, which is his primary medium, but he does a lot of really beautiful photography, himself, and also a lot of mixed media, collage and other work. … He doesn’t limit himself to one thing.”

Northrup said in an email that the scope of his work is broad in form, but throughout it all, he’s asking and inspired by big abstract questions of romance, loss and longing, or the feelings we secretly harbor for one another.

“This is not to say that there isn’t a sense of humor present, but that laughter is often masking a budding disappointment. I am also very interested in parasocial behavior — one-sided relationships with media figures and imaginary characters — and the effect that this has on our comprehension of fact and fiction, or what Diana Vreeland called ‘faction,’” he added.

Admission for the opening reception is free and open to the public. There will also be a free Gallery Talk, an informal discussion between members of the public and the artists, at 2 p.m. March 2 at the PCCA.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.