'When I Was A Girl' Digital Montage at SJU Gallery

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (February 12, 2008) - When I Was A Girl, a collection of digital Iris prints by award winning photographer Ann Chwatsky, are featured for the next exhibit at Saint Joseph's University Gallery, which opens Friday, Feb. 22 and runs through March 27. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m.

"Chwatsky's pieces bring a fresh look to digital photography, and their impact is two-fold," said Jeanne Bracy, associate gallery director. "Her landscapes are breathtaking, while the titles bring new meaning to the photo-collages."

The prints are largely black and white, but color is used sparingly in some. Chwatsky says the series is a narrative work that uses the computer as a montage tool.

"The prints incorporate multiple ideas – and images – to tell my story," she said. "They evoke the feelings I had when I was growing up...when life was still a mystery."

The work stems from her interest in landscape – particularly iconic landscapes from China and the American West, which are places she has spent much time. "The challenge was to bridge the traditional landscapes with psychological and personal issues," she noted.

As in most narrative, titles frame the story, and the titles of her prints all begin with the wistful trope, "When I was a girl," and are followed by the subject of the study. In "When I Was A Girl, I Worried About Being Buried," Chwatsky says her childhood fears are explored through images of Italian urns and burial mounds from Korea and China.

In particular, her time spent in China seems to haunt her inner landscape, as in "When I Was A Girl, I Thought I'd Always Be Protected," which features the terracotta warriors buried with the first emperor of China.

Chwatsky is an assistant program director and assistant professor of art in the photography department of New York University. She received a master's of science in art education from Hofstra University.

Photographs by Chwatsky have been exhibited widely in galleries in New York City, the Hamptons, Texas, and California and abroad in Argentina, London, Prague, Russia and China, and have been reviewed by the New York Times. Her publications include the books The Four Seasons of Shaker Life, text by Gerald Wertkin and The Man in the Street, forward by Pete Hamil. Her commercial assignments have been published in Newsweek, Newsday, The New York Times, Esquire and Glamour, among many other publications.

The Saint Joseph's University Gallery is located in Boland Hall on Lapsley Lane, off of City Avenue between 54th Street & Cardinal Avenue in Lower Merion. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 610-660-1840, or access http://www.sju.edu/gallery.




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