For the first time, the Perkins Center for the Arts’ “Photography 41” exhibition has a theme: Looking up.
“We were thinking about how people are feeling coming out of COVID and entering the show for the first time, because last year a lot of people didn’t,” said Sharon Kiefer, curator of exhibitions at Perkins.
She explained that the title of the exhibit, which runs until Feb. 25, can be taken in different ways.
“From the ground looking up or thinking about the state of our world – whatever that was going on in our society – a positive kind of title,” Kiefer said. “Looking up, looking forward, looking toward the future: That’s what that meant to me.”
Forty photographers entered the show with a total of 96 works. Philadelphia- based photographer Jim Graham juried all the works down to 40.
“He was looking for the theme; he was looking for how well they represented the title looking up,” Kiefer explained. “A lot of what he chose was black and white and a lot of what he chose had people and things looking up.”
Out of the 40 works, three received first, second and third place cash prizes.
Peter Barberie, curator of photographs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will select one photo in the exhibit to be placed in the museum’s permanent collection, and the artist of that photo will receive a cash prize of $600.
Kiefer admires the artists’ works.
“One that stuck out to me is by Rich McGovern,” she said. “It’s a huge ice rink and there’s a reflection of an amusement park on the ice, so it’s like a blue reflection.”
“The skaters are placed in such a way it looks like a painting,” Kiefer added, “but then their shadows are ascending and that’s his looking up, the shadows ascending. He put a lot of thought into it and it’s just a really, really well- constructed piece.”
Since Kiefer got to Perkins in October 2020, she’s curated many unique exhibits.
“I really liked the one this past summer here in Collingswood,” she noted. “It was a quilt exhibition and we were partners with the borough of Collingswood for their crafts and fine arts festival,” she said.
“The quilts were amazing, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a quilt show at Perkins ever … so it was something really special.”
For more information on “Photography 41” and upcoming Perkins’ events, visit https://perkinsarts.org.