The Kool-Aid was Kool-Aid, the brownies were brownies and people were packed into the room like sardines. But the vibe still flew free Friday night at the Byers-Evans House Gallery, for the opening of Lisa Law: Flashing on the Sixties, a meaty show of images both iconic and fascinating from a social-history point of view.
There were folks of all ages -- collectors, local photography luminaries, artists, gawkers, old hippies and the newly curious -- though the predominant hair color was tipped with gray. And even if the Kool-Aid wasn't spiked, it was a happy affair with a vaguely nostalgic ambiance.
The exhibit itself is a knockout, especially if you like rock-star images, full of lovely candid shots like this one below of Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico, dancing around in a flowing dress. You can also pick up a signed copy of Law's picture book Flashing on the Sixties and the DVD of a documentary of the same name, which includes commentary from Dennis Hopper, Wavy Gravy, Ram Dass and numerous other friends and figures.
After a while, the crowd hushed up in a circle around Law, who first led everyone in a trio of resplendent "oms" and then called for group hugs in a leftward motion. She then delivered a short exhortation to respect the lessons of the Sixties. Not only a photographer, Law was also a Digger and a member of the Hog Farm at Woodstock, spent time in the New Mexico commune New Buffalo, was a friend to many of her photographic subjects and has a sharp recall for her free-form days.
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After she spoke, the crowd began to thin, so it was possible to better see the show, which remains on view through the end of February.
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