Under Safelight: Photographs by Chris Holmquist, Jonathan Merritt, & Mark J. Watts

Exhibition Dates: November 11th - December 30th, 2016 in Photography Galleries, Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, 713 Monroe Ave, Rochester NY

Reception: Friday November 11th, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. in Photography Galleries, Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, 713 Monroe Ave, Rochester NY

Under Safelight is an exhibition celebrating darkroom photography by showcasing the recent work of three of our Photography program teachers.

"Using a darkroom today is a choice, and no longer a necessity as it was for the first 160 years of photography. Nowadays, those who do it have different reasons than image makers of yore, and often those reasons are hard to articulate. For me, it's as much about using an old 1960's press-camera as it is about shooting on film... it's as much about collecting old darkroom paraphernalia and learning about it's design and manufacturing history as it is about making gorgeous prints on silver-gelatin papers... and it's as much about reading antiquated books or old patents as it is about taking a really great photograph. Making photographic prints with chemical technology turns out to be a remarkably multidisciplinary affair. These days I do most of my routine picture taking on an iPhone, but it's the whole practice of the darkroom, or more accurately the study of chemical photography and it's ability to teach someone multiple crafts and disciplines, that I truly enjoy celebrating. It's potential to also create beautiful, precise and durable images of life on Earth... well that's just a bonus!" --Chris Holmquist

"When you wander the confluence of urban and suburban, it’s difficult to notice the details when the world is so loud and busy. But at night, it’s a different story. With the slow, careful and meditative quality of camera in hand, I explore this territory in that cool, solitary quiet. Wet asphalt under streetlight, cracks in stained concrete, shadows of familiar objects with new shapes. This world is filled with details; my photographs are what I see." --Jonathan Merritt

"My current photographs are made with film and paper in a darkroom. I have created many fine images that use digital technologies, but after a few years of shunning darkroom work, I have returned to the soft glow of the safelights. I compare silver gelatin prints made in a darkroom to other analog technologies; vinyl records. Many people say that vinyl records sound “warmer” compared with digital files, I feel that darkroom prints look “richer” compared to their digital counterparts. The imperfections and handmade aspect of the silver gelatin prints are a central part of their appeal. Unlike digital technologies each of these darkroom made prints are unique, no copy is exactly the same." --Mark J. Watts

The 2016-2017 Photography Exhibition Series is sponsored in part by: