January 26, 2006

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New York artists to show at Derryfield School

Exhibit to offer impressionistic photos and really big moths

By Jaclyn Leeds  news@hippopress.com

An exhibit of digital prints by Joseph Scheer and photographs by Harry Littell opened Jan. 15, at the Derryfield School Lyceum Gallery. A reception for the artists will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

Scheer’s recent project, “The Moths of Allegheny County,” demonstrates the seemingly artificial quality of realistic digital image making. The prints are scans of real insects, enlarged to create a world of monstrous moths. The moths are scanned at 67 million data points per square inch.”

“Every moth requires hours of work: color correcting the scan, adjusting the printer so the final image truly matches the moth. It has to be perfect,” Scheer said,

The startling detail in the “Grizzly Bear—With Wings” does reveal something more like a furry mammal than the actual flapping brown moth witnessed by the naked human eye. It is this integration of new technology and art that allows Scheer to transcend natural images and portray charcoal, chocolate, and cream-colored scales of this moth’s “fur coat.” Scheer’s prints challenge the conventional idea that art is a realistic depiction of what we see.

Scheer studied printmaking at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, and received his MA and M.F.A degrees in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. He is a professor of print media and electronic arts at Alfred University and, as of 1997, also serves as the co-director of the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred. His prints have been displayed in shows around the world, including in Switzerland and in China, and his work has been published in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine’s May 2002 photo essay “Uncommon Vision.”

Harry Littell’s daily strolls through a familiar preserve help him to appreciate the ever-changing environment. His past projects demonstrate a rather traditional, documentary approach. Cornell Then & Now (Ostman and Littell, 2003) compares historical photographs of Cornell University 150 years ago to his photographs of the same contemporary scenes surrounding the University today. The work displayed at Derryfield, however, is a unique departure for Littell. These photographs create images in which light, line and form dissolve into one another.

“My images are personal records of my time spent walking and looking — they become metaphors for my feelings toward life,” Littell said.

The photographs on display are impressionistic. Unlike Sheer’s digital prints, which are emphatically documentary, Littell uses layered focus and sharp contrasts of black and white in an almost painterly fashion. These images are emotionally evocative, rather than descriptive.

Littell studied photography and sculpture at Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and Alfred University. He is currently instructor of photography at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, N.Y. He has exhibited his work in several solo shows and in many group shows, and has co-authored numerous publications.

The Derryfield School is a private school, grades six through 12 in Manchester. The school campus includes a sculpture garden as well as the Lyceum Gallery. The Lyceum Gallery is open to the public 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Scheer and Littell’s art will be on display through Feb. 12. Meet Harry Littell at a reception in his honor 5:30-6:30 January 27 at the Derryfield School, 2108 River Road, Manchester. For more information, call 669-4524.

Jaclyn Leeds is a senior at Derryfield and will be attending Wellesley College next year.

Comments?†Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com



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