WESTFIELD - The work of photographers Bill Karrow, Elora Esce, Mara Rubin and Megan Borgstrom will be featured in "All Nature is Resurrection," in Patterson Library's Octagon Gallery, opening Friday, May 11 with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will run through June 8, and is open to the public during library open hours.
Artist Karrow has a background in drawing and painting, but his focus switched to photography during a trip to Arizona.
"It was there that I became aware of the camera's potential for capturing the beauty of the world," he said. "I operate from a simple theory of art - art gives form to meaning. It provides a broad definition of art that is inclusive of the artistic dimension of any endeavor. I'm tolerant, if slightly uncomfortable, with the term 'artist.' To me, an 'ist' is a practitioner of an 'ism,' an 'ism' being something taken to its perverse extreme. I don't think that it is an accurate description of me or the work that I do, but I am understanding of those who apply it to me. My work as an artist is a struggle between pragmatism and imagination."
Elora Esce with a print of her photograph entitled “Early Thaw.”
Esce's work often features her own hair intertwined with objects from nature.
"I wanted to think about how my physical appearance has affected my personality and how I feel about myself," she said. "Each image is composed of three elements - hair, plants and small organisms such as insects and amphibians. These concepts are combined into one image and meant to be an extension of my inner self. The process in which I make my art is just as important as the final product. Walking through the woods and gathering plants to scan is like meditation for me. I am able to still my mind and keep a focus on what excites me. Also I greatly enjoy getting others who may not be as avid naturalists as I to show enthusiasm. I love when viewers ask questions, wanting to know more about the plants and animals depicted in each image. "
Rubin says when she started photographing flowers, her passion was not photography, but flowers. When her garden in an Atlantic rainforest began creating flowers of great beauty, she wanted to preserve their beauty in some way.
"Slowly my garden came to be, and every flower that bloomed there was a treasure that I wanted to keep forever," Rubin said. "Preserve, if not the perfume, the delicacy of features, the brightness or lightness of color, the diaphaneity of some, the robustness of others, the roughness or the daintiness of their structure, the myriad patterns, shapes and sizes, the sunlight that bathes them, the dew that sprinkles them, the calmness of the atmosphere or the dancing petals animated by wind."
Borgstrom is an art student, and photography is her favorite expression.
"By looking through the lens of my camera I'm able to capture a moment of something that I feel is beautiful or intriguing, and I love it," she said. "People are my favorite subject matter because you can capture their emotion and beauty. For me photography is my way of exploring the world and communicate to others the way I view it."
Wine for the opening reception has been provided by Johnson Estate Winery. Patterson Library Octagon Art Gallery program is funded in part by the New York State council on the Arts Decentralization Regrant Program administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council. Contact Nancy Ensign, Octagon Gallery Curator, for interest in art exhibition for the year 2014 at 326-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.