Reproductive Freedom

Kick your cabin fever with this quartet of photo shows.

I can't say enough about (REAL): Photographic Constructs at the CVA, so don't miss it. The snow has really hit attendance, and forced the gallery to cancel an opening reception on January 5. But it's been rescheduled for Thursday, January 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. -- a good time to check out this amazing show.

Another really good photography exhibit is at one of the most offbeat locations I've ever been to: a storefront located at the end of a parking lot behind the Oriental Theater. No joke. It's called sellarsprojectspace, and it's run by artist Jimmy Sellars.

It's an amazing transition to go from the humble alley exterior to the elegant inside room with its putty-green walls and sparkling spotlights. The chic space is the perfect setting for the gorgeous photos that make up John Bonath: Blessings. The optimistic topic of "blessings" is an interesting one for Bonath, because he's had a hard year battling cancer. But the blessing is that the chemotherapy was successful.

"Improve Your View," by Jon Rietfors, digital C-print assemblage with badge mounts.
"Improve Your View," by Jon Rietfors, digital C-print assemblage with badge mounts.
Detail of Gwen Laine's "Still Life With Will," mixed-media construction with photos.
Detail of Gwen Laine's "Still Life With Will," mixed-media construction with photos.

Bonath's computer-altered photos are based on earlier ones that he's exhibited, so they may look familiar. In their original form, they were smaller and had subtly different details, but for Blessings, Bonath enlarged and reworked them to create fantasy worlds based on his imagination as well as readily identifiable things. Many of the "Blessings" photos include figures, such as "An Eventful Life Is a Book With Many Chapters" which depicts an older woman clutching a gigantic book. In others, like "Laws of Karma" and "Blessed Are the Damned," wooden carvings of hands stand in for people.

If you missed the January 5 opening because of the snowstorm, there's a closing reception on February 2 from 6 to 10 p.m.

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