"I Choose Film" opens at SVAC

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MANCHESTER — Though the digital age is upon us, film photography remains a popular medium among artists worldwide.

The Southern Vermont Art Center (SVAC) will be highlighting 20 of these global artists in their new exhibition, "I Choose Film," running this summer from July 8 through Aug. 27. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 8.

For this exhibition SVAC has defined film as any process employing light-sensitive photographic emulsion in the creation of imagery. Consequently, works in the show employ a kaleidoscope of traditional and contemporary film techniques including wet-plate collodion, platinum prints, artist books, and x-rays.

"Far from being dead, film is enjoying a resurgence — a renaissance, even," said artist Stephen Schaub. "I believe this springs from a newfound appreciation for film's unique capabilities."

Schaub, the curator for "I Choose Film," is the founder of the photography advice and commentary blog FigitalRevolution.com, which to date has had over a million and a half hits. The term "figital" was coined by the artist in 2005 to describe photographic work that employs both film and digital techniques. Both Schaub and SVAC hope that the I Choose Film exhibition will not only display unique art from around the world, but also evoke interest and excitement for the medium among attendees.

"You have a whole generation coming of age now who grew up with primarily digital photography, and they are realizing: there are more possibilities out there," said Schaub. "Film is a vast and rich medium, and what it does, nothing else can do."

As part of the opening weekend celebration, representatives from the Penumbra Foundation in New York City will be photographing wet-plate tintype portraits throughout the day Saturday and Sunday.

Also part of the show will be the "Take Your Best Shot" kids instant photography contest, for kids under 18 who are accompanied by an adult. Participants will be able to check out a Fuji Instax instant film camera from the museum, shoot with a pack of film on the grounds of the art center, and donate their favorite image to hang for the duration of the show.

"I'm especially excited about the children's photography contest," said SVAC executive director Joan Teaford. "This interactive part of the exhibit means that every child who comes to the show can participate: they check out an instant camera and create an image to be added to the exhibit right then. What kid wouldn't be excited to do that?"

SVAC hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition is open to the public, and admission is free.

Artists featured in the "I Choose Film," exhibition include: David Burnett, Brian Kosoff, Craig Stevens, Bob Van Degna, Susan Weiss, Carol McGorry, Abby Kraftowitz, Steve Mallon, Art Gilman, Chris Usher, Peter Liepke, Dan Nelken, Alan Ross, Thomas Kellner, Scott Anton, Rachel Czajkowski, Sam Dole, Jolene Lupo, and Stephen Schaub.

For more information, please contact the Southern Vermont Art Center at 802-362-1405 or info@svac.org.

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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