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I wait for this harvest of imaginative energy all year long – the Somerville Toy Camera Festival (STCF) is back in town! The dynamic range of photographs on view is unlike any other you’re likely to experience in one place. And luckily for us, there are actually three venues showcasing a plethora of Color and B&W images made with time-honored, medium-format film icons like the Kodak Brownie, Holga and Diana cameras. Add to those, dreamlike photographs made with handcrafted pinholes (not “officially” a toy camera, but just as variable in result), undulating panoramas created with cameras like the Spinner 360, and vertiginous fantasies made with the Sprocket Rocket, among other delights. In the hands of the inventive photographers selected by 2018 STCF Juror Jennifer Shaw, these unpredictable “toys” produce a wonderland of images that inevitably reach beyond the subject to the subjective, inviting viewers into a kaleidoscope of sensations. Join me here for a whirlwind tour and then go enjoy for yourself at the Nave Gallery (through 9/30/18), Washington Street Arts (through 9/30/18) and Brickbottom Gallery (through 10/13/18). Photographs as unique as these are even more enchanting in person and since most works are for sale, you have an opportunity to nab something truly special for your own collection.
Master photographer and educator Bill Franson has three photographs on view at Nave Gallery. He will be leading the popular Toy Camera Street Shooting Workshop on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 from 10:00am – 1:00pm. This event is free but registration is required: http://www.somervilletoycamera.org/festival-events/2018-toy-camera-workshop-with-bill-franson-dg3xd
WASHINGTON STREET ARTS
Although the smallest of the STCF galleries, Washington Street Arts is exhibiting many of the vibrant Sprocket Rocket photographs, like those by Chris Turner (above) and Nathan Miner’s astonishing geodesic dome of contiguous photographs (below).
Three of Marky Kauffmann’s spectacular panoramas are on view at Brickbottom Gallery (above). Join her for a STCF and Photographic Resource Center (PRC) joint program, the Lo-Fi & Slow Photo “Nights at the PRC” on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Washington Street Arts. This free event is an opportunity for local photographers to share work in an informal and supportive setting and is open to the public. To sign up, go to: http://www.somervilletoycamera.org/festival-events/2018/9/18/toy-camera-night-artists-talk-in-partnership-wprc-boston
This is just a snippet of the intoxicating work you can experience firsthand at Nave Gallery, Washington Street Arts and Brickbottom Gallery this September. A huge thank you to juror Jennifer Shaw for making such a superb selection of work and congratulations to the exhibiting photographers! For a full schedule of events and exhibits, go to: http://www.somervilletoycamera.org/festival-events/
Feature Image: “Erosion Stopped?” by Erin O’Donnell, made with a Holga camera and Kodak Portra 400 film (courtesy of the artist). On view at the Brickbottom Gallery through October 13th, 2018.