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There is cause for jubilation during this dark month: a new photography gallery has come to Boston! The 555 Gallery opens today in the ever-gentrifying warehouse district of South Boston, where it shares a building with the LaMontagne Gallery (upstairs), just one block from the artist studios building, The Distillery. Owner Susan Nalband, an actively involved South Boston resident for the past five years, has innovative plans for extending Boston’s photography community into her neighborhood. And exhibits are just the beginning. The 555 Gallery will host artist talks and workshops, acting as a resource for photographers, and will house a small boutique featuring items like local, artist-made jewelry, to extend its welcome to area locals. Recently, Susan shared some thoughts about her exciting new venture.
Elin: What made you decide to open a photography gallery in Boston in 2014?
Susan: Photography, because it is a lifetime love affair I’ve had. Boston, because it’s a city that can appreciate fine art photography and has limited venues for it, and 2014 because the right location came across my path.
Elin: What is your vision for 555 Gallery?
Susan: The program at 555 Gallery will evolve as we evolve, but the exhibits this inaugural year are influenced by a combination of what I’ve seen out there, what is fun and what represents my own experience with photography. I was trained as a documentary photographer, and it is always where I go first. There’s a combination of emerging and seasoned photographers represented in 2014, and that will likely always be the case.
Elin: What kinds of exhibits do you plan to host?
Susan: We’ll usually have 2 or 3 person shows that will offer opportunities to see beautiful images that more or less may provoke conversation. There will be a portfolio of classic black and white nudes by Leonard Nimoy (yes, that Leonard Nimoy) and work by Garth Lenz, an award winning conservation photographer who is on a mission to tell the story of the tar sand mining in Canada. There will be work by young Brooklyn photographer Cassandra Giraldo, describing the lifestyle of “gentle punks,” a group of young people in St. Petersburg, Russia who, just as you would expect, live on the fringes of society. Not to give all of the surprises away…but…we’re planning a dinner event in the gallery with photographs on exhibit of what you’re eating and where it came from.
Elin: Please tell us something about your inaugural exhibit. How do these two artists set the tone for your new venture?
Susan: “Barbarous Coasts” presents the work of two photographers, David Mattox and Neal Rantoul, who have gone to the ends of the earth to create images that illustrate the rapturous beauty of the sea, its adjacent landscape and people.
David Mattox, whose work describes life in a unique wild salmon fishing camp in Alaska, is actually the captain of the boat and runs the fish camp. The photographs appealed to me because this is a reality that most of us are not familiar with – but it is reality. You’ll see, and I challenge you not to feel like you can smell the fish on the boats and the ocean in the air.
Neal Rantoul’s Iceland: Rock takes us to the other side of the world, again by the sea, to experience what appears to be an unreal landscape of huge walls of a rock cliff that are bizarre, beautiful and a little terrifying.
The combination of the work of seasoned photographer, Neal Rantoul, well known and beloved in Boston, and a first time exhibitor, David Mattox, speaks to the gallery’s goals of bringing work to the public in Boston that is beautiful and provocative, by both emerging and well established fine art photographers.
555 Gallery, Boston’s newest gallery celebrating photography is located in South Boston’s warehouse district at 555 E 2nd Street. Please join the festivities at the inaugural exhibition, “Barbarous Coasts,” running February 13 to March 22 with an opening reception on Saturday, February 15 from 5 to 8 PM.! For more information, go to: http://www.555gallery.com/