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Peter Marr's and Partners'Picks of the Show


January 23 - February 18, 2018

Gil Maker, Steve Malloy Desormeaux
Don Menges, and John Solberg

 Peter Marr and Gallery Partners have chosen their "Picks of the Show"

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All images copyright by the individual photographers

Peter Marr's Picks of the Exhibit
Community by Gil Maker

Community #1 and #2
by Gil Maker

Gil’s refreshing, insightful and inspiring images were taken in the summer of 2017 when he visited 2 immigration communities, one in Bath and one in Portland, both cities in the State of Maine. In Community #1 and #2, both photographs are comprised of 2 prints, and it is obvious that the subjects were not posed, but they were certainly asked if they if not object to be photographed. Immigrants whose ethnicity differs from that of the host state or country all have mixed feelings of happiness and concern. It seems to me that the people in Gil’s images have a refreshing and positive advantage in that they went to live in immigrant communities, where these minority groups retained the customs, languages and social views that they were familiar with. Certainly, Gil had great respect for the people in his images, and definitely there was no impertinent inquiry into their being. These are statements that manifest his aesthetic and humanistic concern. In Community #1, I love the relaxed atmosphere of the print, and the contrast between the elated and happy man at the right with the rather perplexed man in the foreground. The second image in this print has both happiness and comedic behavior rolled into one. The man whose attire is somewhat bizarre shows his affection for the lady in a somewhat funny and strange way, sort of like putting on a show for the photographer. In Community #2, it is uplifting to see the genuine elation and exuberance of the two men sitting on the concrete door step, displaying a devoted friendship that one hopes will last a long time. The accompanying print also exudes devotion and affection, but in a more reserved way as though it was between a mother and her daughter. Gil’s poignant images clearly show that immigration is a great life-changing experience, particularly if one moves into a community where the ethnic culture is very familiar and welcoming to everyone.

Peter Marr


by Steve Malloy Desormeaux

by Steve Malloy Desormeaux

4-H is an outstanding organization, and Steve’s delightful and uplifting portraits beautifully illustrate the love and affection that young people have for animals, one small but important part in their overall goal to be partners and leaders in their community. From the images that were taken at various County Fairs, I was particularly taken with the study of 2 young 4-H participants interacting with a sheep whose fleece had recently been sheared off. The end result was an endearing triangle of joy and elation that would melt the heart of any observer who was lucky enough to view this print. The girl and the boy in this image emanate a warmth and tenderness that is both genuine an inspiring. There is both happiness and compassion in the young girl’s face as she watches the boy’s hand rub the sheep’s head. The compassion is directed at the sheep, for how it must feel the loss of its coat, probably being shorn for the first time. What is especially noteworthy in this photograph is that it was not posed, so that what one sees is the naturalness of the occasion, resulting in an insightful situation of companionship and spirited bonding between the girl and the boy with themselves and the sheep. It is an imaginative learning experience for these two young people, and hopefully it will give them a good foundation in their quest to honor the 4-H pledges for an organization that contributes so much to their community.

Peter Marr

The Negotiation by Don Menges


The Negotiation
by Don Menges

Don’s exceptional B/W images superbly unravel the fabric of human experience, showing us the community as he sees it, and invites the active engagement of the discriminating viewer. He has great respect for his subjects in the sense of an intense observer and not an intruder.

The Negotiation is an outstanding example of Don’s perception and creativity, capturing a Cartier Bresson moment that Henri  would have been proud to have taken. This image is greatly enhanced by the use of the B/W media where the rich range of tones fully complement the total scene with expressive highlight and shadow detail. One is immediately aware that this is a classic and delightful urban gathering, a setting that has been repeated countless times over the years, though not necessarily with the same participants. All that is missing is the sound stage that would let the observer listen in to what the people are conversing about. For myself, and I hope for most viewers, I do not want to know what is transpiring here. This bus stop setting is a consummate opportunity for every observer to actively supply their own version of what is happening here. For myself, the white-haired gentleman looks in reasonable health, with no apparent disabilities, and would not be asking to replace one of the ladies on the bench. Furthermore, asking them to move over so that he could sit down would not be a good possibility, considering the relative sizes of the women, particularly the one on the extreme left. The third lady on the bench is obviously voicing some concern, as is the woman in the center. Ironically, the man on the far right is looking away, deliberately avoiding any possible conflict, whilst the man in the poster at the top right appears to be ironically amused by the whole situation. The bottom line is that this great image captures an uplifting community experience, that has been inspiringly photographed by Don for everyone to enjoy, admire, and think deeply about.

                                                                                               Peter Marr 

Refugee Children by John Solberg

People of Chiapas #7
by John Solberg

John’s remarkable images of the Chiapas community is a great and passionate tribute to these wonderful indigenous people who live in the rural highlands of Chiapas. It is interesting to learn from his short biography that after armed revolt, constitutional reforms in 2001 successfully allowed these proud people to retain and preserve their cultural and spiritual heritage. Of all of John’s prints, I particularly admired his photograph of 7 delightful children, expressing true community spirit with their arms around each other as though they were one. Simply dressed in well-worn clothing, they obviously were very willing to be photographed, probably pleased and honored as they represented the next generation that would carry on the culture and values of their parents and the community. These children were born and raised in this area, so there was a strong bond between them, and at this time they have limited knowledge of the outside world. At this stage in their life they learned exclusively from their parents and elders and from themselves. There seems to be a dogged determination in all of their faces, the only hint of surprise and excitement coming from the little girl at the far right. Her curiosity is in marked contrast to the girl next to her whose demeanor seems to show concern as to what is going on here. The 5 boys may have been taken a bit by surprise when asked to get together for a photograph although they certainly willingly participated. Two of them had been playing what is probably a popular pastime, spinning a small circular ring across a string that was tied to their thumbs. This operation although simplistic could be an important learning tool for such things as patience and dexterity. We are deeply indebted to John for taking and showing us these impressive and inspiring images, and our hearts and admiration go out to this Chiapas community who have in spite of severe hardship have fought so successfully to preserve their culture and heritage.

 Peter Marr

Gallery Partners' Picks of the Exhibit
Snow Geese to the Moon by Peter Blackwood

Snow Geese to the Moon
by Peter Blackwood

 This is a magical photograph which showed the patience and “good eye” of the photographer. 

The moon is in a crescent phase, but it is not quite night, so the moon appears almost ghost like.  Below the moon is an almost "constellation" of Snow Geese, white bodies reflecting the last of the light.  Their black wingtips mark the end of their outstretched shapes.

The grouping of geese almost look like they are either propping up the moon in the sky OR that the moon is releasing these birds to the earth.  It is amazing how this relatively simple composition is open to various interpretations by the viewer. 

This image is beautifully composed, making a strong graphic statement with the just a simple combination of the rising moon and a "parade" of snow geese.

Himalayan Child #4 by Nicholas Jospe

Himalayan Child #4
by Nicholas Jospe

Nick’s wonderful exhibit of children assembled from images taken on a trip to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal could just as well be titled, Through the Eyes of a Child. Engaging, smiling, inquisitive, fun loving, triumphant are all adjectives that could be used to describe the children who Nick encountered on his travels. I selected Himalayan Child #4 not only because of the clear interaction between the child and Nick, but also because of Nick’s use of the compositional elements in his photograph. The subdued, but complimentary colors first attract the viewer to the image. The bold lines and rectangles are repeated throughout the frame. Nick places the child somewhat in the center of the picture, not always suggested as a good idea by photography gurus. Yet it works.  By using the diagonal lines of the house and window frame creates enough tension in the photo that centering the child does not make any difference. The light on the child’s face is beautiful; just enough to highlight the face, but not too much to allow enough shadows to create depth and contours. The darkened room behind the child further pushes the facial features to the foreground of the image. This is a delightful and magical image to behold. Thank you, Nick for allowing us to ‘trek’ alongside as you encountered these children.


Winter Shadows by Mary Shelsby

Winter Shadows
by Mary Shelsby

This wonderful large print by Mary draws the viewer into this landscape.  The tree’s shadows lead you into this beautiful setting.  The trees are a major part of the composition, even though they are strong shadowy features of the composition.

The evening sun is just setting, the blue sky will be soon gone, but it is still there with the colorful clouds reflecting the setting sun, providing a beautiful counterpoint color to the blue water and almost colorless trees. 

We look through the tree’s silhouettes and notice that there are still some stubborn leaves not willing to leave their home.  They pick up the colors of the sunset as an additional feature of this image.

The use of the large format is very effective; it fills the viewer’s eyes, focusing them on just this great landscape. 

Having this photograph on your wall would be a constant pleasure to view and get lost in nature’s beauty.

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