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“Forms in Silver” shines

Posted on 09.25.2013

Located in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, “Forms in Silver” is an ongoing exhibit featuring the photography of Thomas Potter and Gayle Moore.

Photography exhibit “Forms and Silvers” will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery through Sept. 27. Photo by Jon Mathis

Potter was inspired to work in silver photography and traditional film because of the level of technique it requires.
“When everybody was beginning to move towards the digital art, we felt much closer to the silver traditional film. We find it even more challenging as well,” Potter said.
Photography is an art that has developed from taking hours to produce one photograph to taking seconds to produce many.
Silver photography is a traditional method that is not as simple as the press of a button, and the process takes more than just a camera and tripod.
Silver photography is created from a film negative, when the film suspends light-sensitive silver halides in a gelatin. This is rinsed away during the developing process.
The silver that remains on the film shows the image of the film’s base. From this, the photographic print is created.  It is a long process, but it gives artists more control over what the final images will look like.
The exhibit displays photos of landscapes in the Southwest, Northwest and Midwest, as well as human landscapes and nature.
For these subjects, Moore and Potter felt silver photography worked best to capture small details that they wanted to emphasize.
“I think the black and white pictures help to convey some of that [the details] more so to me than the color image would,” Moore said. “It brings out some of the detail, the architectural form, how they laid the rock on the wall and some of the mystery to ‘Did they live there? What did they do there? How did they do that?’”
Gallery coordinator Mark Ruschman wanted visitors to gain an appreciation for the design elements as well as the historical techniques used to create the images.
“Photography now is digital, and prints are not hand pulled like they used to be,” Ruschman said. “So you have two contemporary artists using historical techniques. But in the end, they create some contemporary art.”
The artwork demonstrates line, shape and texture in a way that, according to Ruschman, is compelling to view.
“It’s just really beautifully crafted work, and the images are beautiful,” he said.
According to the artists, the gallery is not just meant to be admired, but it is also meant to demonstrate that the old ways of creating images can be just as gripping as the new ones.
“We would just like people to see the work we’re doing, want to share it with others, inspire others to try to create their own artwork,”  Potter said. “Perhaps maybe even convince some people that using film still provides a very special look and challenge in the art form.”
“Forms in Silver” is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sept. 27. More information about Thomas Potter and Gayle Moore can be found on their website,
The website provides links to other events in which the artists are involved, their biographies and where their books of photographs and prints can be purchased.


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