Bouras Properties Showcases Les Femmes Photales
Co-curator Sue Zwick is a Summit resident.
Black-framed photographs line the halls of Bouras Properties. To the left amidst the holiday decorations are varying pictures of people, structures, and roads. A blurb written by Berendina Buist recalls her trip to India as it sits framed beside the natives – mostly children – who are surrounded by crumbling, historic buildings.
Marilyn Cannings photos are hung across the way, depicting statues and standing people blurred as if by movement. Next to that are inverted photographs, stark with each unusual highlight by Judith Snyder. Across from that are three different roads at varying times of day, with lights exploding through each photograph, done by Kathy Rogers.
This gallery, one of at least six this year, features the work of an all-female photography group that calls itself Les Femmes Photales. This diverse group features women from different walks of life, according to Jody Pfeiffer, an Exhibiting Artist.
“We’re a group of women photographers who got together to critique our work, to get ideas, to just better ourselves; basically we like to show our work,” said Sue Zwick, co-curator for this event and a Summit resident.
Down the hallway to the right are landscapes, famous structures, and nature. Linda Kilmer shot tourist destinations with a twist: the statue of a woman obscures the Eiffel Tower in one shot, and another frame holds two angled pictures of the Eiffel Tower placed side-by-side. Patricia Bender emphasizes juxtaposing photos similar themes in the same frame with flowers, pebbles and leaves scattered to the wind. Hand-painted detail overlays “soft-focused” photos of landscapes shaded by hanging clouds, taken with pinhole or toy cameras by co-curator Gina Bellando. Her pictures are also the only few that aren’t all in black frames.
This is the first exhibit Les Femmes Photales has done that didn’t feature a theme. Instead, every artist shows their own personal style or theme, said Pfeiffer.
“Everyone works differently, but the show as a whole is cohesive,” said Bellando. “Diverse exhibit, but it’s filled with high-quality images by women who are serious about what they do: photography and improving their work.”
Upstairs features the only color photographs ranging from glitz to grime and chrome to rust. Pamela Green named her grouping “Blood and Beauty,” featuring a meat packing district as it underwent a change from gritty to more glamorous. One photograph features a headless mannequin behind steel bars while the photo beside it shows a party like Mardi Gras bathed in flesh tones. One picture shows a sign of Neon rainbow fluorescent lights in a store window reflecting trucks.
Zwick features chrome-plated classic cars on metallic paper while Pfeiffer shows a rusted, abandoned car with spider web cracks along its window. Pfeiffer and Zwick have almost identical shots of their respective cars’ headlights. Zwick’s is shiny with multiple layers of silvers, greys, blacks and whites with a hint of pink and green. Pfeiffer’s is blue and red, dull on the outside but glowing as if lava bubbles below the surface.
“(Zwick’s) cars are sort of classic collectible, old cars from car shows,” said Pfeiffer. “The car I photographed was a decrepit, rusting, decaying old Studebaker. I love the color of rust against the color that was left of the paint: there’s a lot of texture and rich colors.”
Bouras Properties has held art galleries for nearly ten years, said Linda Cole, the Administrative Assistant. Local artists and people as far as Canada have hung their work in the Bouras building.
10 percent of all profits made from the sold artwork go to Overlook Hospital.
“Every show we sell something,” said Cole. “We’ve sold things to employees here.”
The origin of Les Femmes Photales begins in the dark room of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Some of the women were taking courses there, wound up meeting one another and sharing interests.
Les Femmes Photales meet together to critique their work. The pieces featured in Bouras Properties have all been successfully critiqued by the members.
“I think it was just a good opportunity to get the work out to be seen,” said Pfeiffer.
This gallery is free to attend. People are encouraged to visit the Bouras Properties, though it is recommended that they call Cole in advance at (908) 277-6054. This gallery will remain open until January 4. Prices for photographs are listed in the statements written by the artists.
Bouras is also doing a Toys for Tots drive until the 15th.