Art Review

Artbeat

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center (1513 Boulder Street, 303-455-8999) is putting on Visions 2: Contemporary Colorado Photography, an impressive group show that takes a snapshot of the present state of contemporary fine-art photography in Colorado. As indicated by the title, this is the second such effort to have been organized by CPAC. The first, Visions 1, was presented way back in 1997. Gosh, I hope they don't wait until 2010 to do the next one!

The photos included in Visions 2 were selected by celebrity juror Steve Yates, curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. Yates used a panoramic view to guide his selections, accepting work in a myriad of styles and a wide range of mediums. For those who entered, odds of getting into the show were pretty good: Out of 100 applicants, 38 were accepted.

The main revelation of the exhibit is how many unknown photographers are working in the state. I was unfamiliar with most of them, so I asked CPAC coordinator Lisbeth Neergaard Kohloff to tell me about them. "I don't know most of them, either," Kohloff said with a shrug, "and that's wonderful in a way, isn't it? So many new photographers! It's so exciting."

Among these newly discovered talents is Sean Rozales, whose Goya-inspired "Third of May," an inkjet on canvas, is one of the real standouts in Visions 2. Another emerging artist is Matt Lit, who is represented by the striking "Hilton Head, #1" produced with a toy camera and some computer software. The elegant and sumptuous "Shooting Gallery" (above), by Hollis Bennett, is a computer print that is likewise eye-catching.

True, Visions 2 at CPAC does not achieve its goal of accurately reflecting the present photo scene in Colorado, but I'd still recommend seeing it. And there's plenty of time left: The show doesn't close until January 24.

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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