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Vault Gallery Presents: Photography of Kathryn Mohrman

A photograph by Kathryn Mohrman moving through wide green leafed flowersExhibit:  Photography of Kathryn Mohrman

Location:  Vault Gallery, Downtown Phoenix campus Library. (Located in UCENT Lower Level)

Available: Through end of February 2013, during normal library hours

Artist's Statement:  About five years ago I began to explore photography more seriously than simply taking snapshots. I was intrigued by the possibility of capturing emotions as well as recording my travels. Through photo classes I found I was seeing shapes, colors, textures in new ways. I began to be more sensitive to the world around me, from large (the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the colors of the sky at sunset) to small (the stamens of a flower, the shadows cast by a lace curtain).

Great photographers say that what they exclude from their pictures is as important as what they include. I will be curious to know what you see in these photographs. What do you think I should have included that I didn’t? What in these pictures could have been excluded?

In deciding which photos to exhibit, I discovered that I gravitate toward a series of broad themes, among them color, reflections, windows, and faces. Do you see other themes in this selection of photographs?

While color is not essential for a great photograph, color is often what catches my eye first. The riot of color in our world makes “looking” an inspiring and exciting activity.

Reflections appeal to me because the viewer gets multiple images, not just one version of reality. In this exhibit, reflections take several forms including mirrors, water, and windows, even green glass balls.

I think of windows as a way to gain a glimpse of another world. Some of these photos frame a slice of nature through a window frame, while others give a glimpse from the outside of a shady interior.

And of course we humans are instinctively drawn to faces, to images of the wide variety of people who inhabit our world. For a long time I was afraid to take pictures of people, not wanting to be an intruder, but I discovered that many people are flattered to be photographed. Children often ask to have their pictures taken so they can see themselves in the back of the camera. Convulsive giggles often follow.

Of course these four themes overlap in the photos in this exhibit. There are windows with reflections, faces in windows, colorful reflections, and colorful faces. The combinations make it fun!

About the Artist:  Kathryn Mohrman is Professor of Practice in the School of Public Affairs; she also directs ASU projects in China and Vietnam.