Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

St. George’s Dappled Photo Talent in Sight Site

“We invite people who carry a camera in their pocket to explore this creative art form that mirrors and shapes everyday life,” writes curator Kathy Cieslewicz of the Sears Museum’s new photography exhibit Sight Site, which opened June 19.

It certainly seems that the idea of “everyday life” lies in the eye of the beholder, or at least the holder of the camera lens, in this very diverse photography exhibit. Perhaps as a consequence of a show curated by the geographic residence of the photographers themselves, Sight Site presents a sort of stone soup medley of photographic styles and subjects. The majority of pieces are a straightforward homage to Southwest landscapes and fauna, though there are several unique series that explore abstracted or urban landscapes as well.

Deborah Bice Sand Series

Of the landscapes, there is a particularly succinct series depicting formations of sand by Deborah Bice. Her “Falling Sands” shows sand pouring like a delicate waterfall from a pocket of sandstone while “Rhythm of Sand” provides a pleasing contrast, with its huge, semi-abstract dunes. A set of exquisitely delicate silverprints by David Pettit also provide a nice black-and-white grouping within the show.

A third featured series depicts landscapes that “hide in plain sight,” or as Jasper Johns said, “are seen and not looked at.”  A dozen small, untitled photographs by Gene Butera examine the textures and color combinations that might adorn a decrepit wall or battered floor or industrial fence. A former art director for Car and Driver magazine, Butera’s easy handling of composition and color show an experienced hand and trained eye in pieces that, far from being a game of “I Spy,” stand solidly as unique abstracts.

Photographs by Gene Butera

Interspersed within Sight Site are other subjects as well, including some urban landscapes by Frank Huff, and a few unique figures by Nick Adams tucked into the northeast corner.

While the wide variety of work included in Sight Site makes for a difficult review, it does reflect the diversity of the local photographic community, and allows the viewer to wander through “all things counter, original, spare, strange…” as the poem goes, and it’s worth a trip to enjoy St. George’s “dappled” photographic talent.

Sight Site continues at Dixie State University’s Sears Art Museum Gallery through August 18th.



Alisha Tolman Burton has been an independent graphic design and marketing consultant since 2008, and utilizes social media heavily for online marketing strategy, particularly for non-profit projects, such as Art On Main and the Art Around the Corner Foundation.

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