SOHA Studio and Gallery's Upcoming Exhibit is a Breath of Fresh 'Air'

By Christopher Reilly
In Culture

“How do you see air?” That’s the question posed by gallerist and co-owner of SOHA Studio & Gallery, Julie Malone, in creating SOHA’s newest exhibit, “Air,” which opens with a reception Friday, March 14 from 6-10pm. The answer to Malone’s question comes from eight different photographers who were asked to create a work on the “Air” theme. “The things that are coming in already kind of blew my mind,” Malone says. “Things I wouldn’t think of when I think of air.”

Egret by Amy Buxton Courtesy of SOHA Studio and Gallery

Egret by Amy Buxton
Courtesy of SOHA Studio and Gallery

Malone says the process and resulting exhibit is challenging both for the artists and the viewers. “You can’t see air but you can feel it, so it’s a textural thing to us physically,” she says. “We feel it on our skin but how do you see it?” The artist’s interpretations of the topic will encourage viewers to consider their surroundings and their own ideas as to what air is, which is, in essence, life itself.

The exhibit includes an impressively diverse line-up of artists; male and female, young and more mature, well known and not so much, contributing both photography and film works. “The thing I’m most excited about is it’s a broad, vague theme and everyone’s going to come up with something different,” says curator Mark Regester, who is also one of the exhibiting artists. “That is very exciting for me and fun for everyone else.”

Regester gets particular satisfaction from being able to show photographers in a world where it is growing increasingly difficult for a photographer to be shown in a gallery and have an impact. Photography is now ubiquitous. Every phone has a camera so everyone is a photographer. Amy Buxton, for example, has never shown before. “I’m very excited to see her stuff and give her an opportunity to shine,” Regester says. “I’m excited for her to put her stuff big on the wall.”

The diverse works will include a wide range of styles, from Buxton’s delicate nature photography to Tom Lampe’s photographs featuring a lot of diagonals and architecture, but that always capture a kind of movement that Regester calls “spectacular.” As for different interpretations of “Air,” consider Jess Withington Dewes, a wedding portrait artist whose exhibited work involves an elderly woman who is on an oxygen machine, so her representation of air is particular to herself. “It’s very intimate,” says Regester. “She’s telling a story about this woman’s life.”

Artists featured in the exhibit include Amy Buxton, Jess Withington Dewes, Jarred Gastreich, Virginia Harold, Andy Holman, Tom Lampe, Mark Regester and Bill Streeter.

“Air” opens at SOHA Studio & Gallery, 4915 Macklind Avenue, with a reception Friday, March 14, from 6-10pm. The gallery will host Family Day on Saturday, March 22, from 11am-4pm, and an artists’ talk and closing reception Wednesday, March 26, from 7-9pm. For more information, visit the SOHA website.

Follow Christopher Reilly on Twitter @ChristoReilly

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