Now an annual exhibit event, Good Light ’13 at Current Space brings together pieces by a number of emerging student, amateur, and professional photographers working mostly in Baltimore. The show draws from an open call/submission format, which yielded forty-five multi-image submissions. Most of the participants in the show happen to be MICA students and alumni, but several went to other schools for BFAs, or didn’t study photography at all. Thirty-three individual framed prints and photographic pieces hang around the gallery in a long, varied lineup.
This Friday, the 27th, Current will present a slideshow of works by twelve other participating photographers whose images aren’t hung on the wall, and photographer Daniel Shea will give a talk on his own work. The artist-run gallery/studio hung the first Good Light exhibition in November of 2012, to fundraise for their planned public-access basement darkroom, a successful project completed in June of this year. Artist Ginevra Shay, manager of the darkroom and director of the public photography programming at Current, spearheaded the space’s photo focus from the start. She has co-curated both editions of Good Light, this year with Jules Hamann.
Shay and Hamann could have been more selective between the submissions themselves, but instead chose to bring together a range of subjects, styles, and abilities for the sake of an inclusive exhibit. The wide, rectangular main room of the gallery isn’t ideal for viewing a large show of small prints. No piece in Good Light ’13 is large enough that more than one person at a time can comfortably stand in front of it. In the past, Current has put up temporary exhibit walls to break up the main space into separate zones of curation, yet the lack of dividers in this particular show seems to anticipate Friday night’s high attendance social event. Keeping the main room wide open leaves room for a large group to mingle, and keeps all the photos together in one general space.
The curators haven’t grouped the artists’ unrelated works by shared subject or aesthetic quality. This method highlights the stimulating variety of the show without contriving genre associations between the works, but also avoids a hit-or-miss arrangement; the pieces don’t need to compete for attention in the democratic space. No corner of the show contains stronger images than another corner, which will probably grease the flow of viewing for the event on Friday In fact, I’m less inclined to point out unmemorable images at all, because the variety makes them all a bit more interesting. I can’t compare Christina Barrera’s ambiguous, collaged silver gelatin piece to Tim Castlen’s striking urban documentation image hanging nearby, because Becca Morrin’s photo of a gaudy neon-lit staircase breaks up the contrast. They each hold their own, and contribute to the richness of the mix.
The photographers sampled include: Mary Ancel, Christina Barrera, Robert Brannigan, Kelly Burgess, Michael Bussell, Jonathan Campolo, Tim Castlen, Caleb Churchill, Danielle Criqui, Liz Donadio, Andrew Eargle, Lindsey Filowitz, Patrick Galluzzo, J.M. Giordano, Nate Grossman, Carl Gunhouse, Jules Hamann, Eric Helgas, Christopher Hinojosa, Maddy Horan, Sarah Jacobs, Patrick Joust, Val Karuskevich, Josie Keefe, Shannon LaRue, Juan Madrid, Jessica Marx, Emily Mason, Tammy Mercure, Meredith Miller, Becca Morrin, Stacy Renee Morrison, John M. O’Toole, Shannon Patrick, Nina Perlman, Emilia Pennanen, Trevor Powers, Dale Rothenberg, Max Shuster, Ben Sloat, Ryan Syrell, Kyle Tata, Philip Tomaru, Katy Wood, & Suzanna Zak.
The gallery exhibit of Good Light will be open for viewing on Friday the 27th from 7-10PM, and during regular Current hours on Saturday and Sunday, 12AM-4PM. An exhibition catalog will be available for sale at the opening on Friday. There will be a suggested five-dollar donation to support the Current Space Community Darkroom and photo programming.
* Author Mac Falby studies photography and humanities at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Class of 2014.