Art Review

Artbeat

Each year, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (1513 Boulder Street, 303-455-8999) selects three members as prizewinners and presents their works in an annual exhibit. The latest version of the show has the already-outdated-sounding title of 2002 CPAC Member Awards. (In fairness to the organizers, the exhibit opened in December, so the title was fine -- at least until last week.)

The most important award given is a CPAC grant, and this year's recipient is Loay C. Boggess, who is best known as a maker of books. A good selection of her books are displayed on a shelf; on the wall are two sets of unbound Boggess photos, which are created using a liquid light process on handmade cotton paper. One set depicts bare trees, the other Victorian houses. The low resolution inherent in the liquid-light method and the rough surface of the fibrous papers combine to soften the photos' details. Like Boggess's books, these wall pieces tell a story and incorporate hand-lettered text.

In addition to the grant, CPAC gives two Personal Vision awards. This year's recipients are R. Skip Kohloff and Carrie Ann Sauer.

In a series of new photos that mark a departure for Kohloff, the well-known photographer explores his own memories with exquisite depictions of the landscape. Based on conventional black-and-white photographs, the images, such as "Untitled: Gardens of the Fleeting Moment" (above), have been digitally produced as giclée prints shot onto watercolor paper. Kohloff was assisted in the computer printing process by digital photography whiz John Bonath, another CPAC member.

Sauer explores the transparency of art glass in silver gelatin prints from her essentially abstract "Lightscape" series. Using artificial light and thick crystal bowls and vases, Sauer focuses on the way the glass bends the light. Her photos have a retro quality that recalls early modernism, especially the group that was hand-tinted.

This year's members' award show has a shorter-than-usual run, necessitated by the scheduling of the next CPAC exhibit. The new show will explore the work of legendary New Mexico photographer Betty Hahn. That exhibit is poised to open at the end of the month and will mark, astoundingly, the fortieth anniversary of the illustrious CPAC. But until then, there's still time to catch the 2002 CPAC Member Awards show before it closes on January 18.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia