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Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011

CoPA Exhibit Engages the Eyes and the Mind

Walker's Point Center for the Arts hosts juried show

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At Walker's Point Center for the Arts, the Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA) presents its fifth annual Midwest Juried Exhibition. In the hallway of the lobby, photographers post fragments from their creative statements. CoPA member and Milwaukee artist Eddee Daniel's reads, "My goal is to express concepts that frames cannot contain, just as nature cannot be contained."

Daniel received "Juror's Choice, Honorable Mention" in this elite exhibition for his print Grain Elevator, a sublime expression that juxtaposes architecture and nature with vines creeping between two agricultural buildings. His statement and two contributing photos highlight this year's theme: The photograph displays an intellectual concept equal and integral to the visible image.

Best in Show award-winner Sarah Stonefoot drew upon dead ladybugs in her home to contrast life and death, interior and exterior, and man and nature. For the print Ladies in Red (1800 Ladybugs), Stonefoot created patterned wallpaper from the decaying insects. Viewers need to intensely study the photo to notice the intricately placed bugs on the wall. Two other prints from her ladybug series hung on either side of the winning image.

Chicago's Jennifer Greenburg rummages for vintage photos from the 1950s and then inserts herself into the frame and narrative. Four black-and-white images from her "Revising History" series were juried into the show; Baby's First Haircut garnered second place.

The 40-plus prints in this exhibition demonstrate the photograph's appeal as an art medium that pushes conceptual limits instead of merely recording beauty, time or place. The works of these CoPA members engage viewers' minds as well as their eyes. It is an open invitation to envision what lies beyond the two-dimensional photograph, in the unseen imagination and intellect of these artists.

Walker's Point Center for the Arts hosts a 5-9 p.m. closing reception on Friday, Jan. 20.
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