Friday, June 26, through Friday, August 14
Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL
From June 26 through August 14, two gifted photographers from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will enjoy one shared venue in Rock Island, Illinois, when the Quad City Arts Center gallery hosts a pair of fascinating new exhibitions: David Van Allen's Assembled Portraits, and Ron Meyer's Jazz Noir: Images from the Iowa City Jazz Festival.
Van Allen’s process begins by collecting hundreds of images of a person, using silver-based black-and-white film. While his camera remains very close to his subject during the image-collection part of the process, Van Allen changes camera position for each fragment, which tends to make the portraits mildly cubist. He then assembles the photographs (up to 200) to create nearly life-size portraits, and through this process, Van Allen compiles multiple facial expressions and hand gestures, providing the viewer a more complete “picture” of the individual. As Van Allen states at DVanAllen.com: “I encountered the photographic work of the English painter David Hockney in the 1980s and started experimenting with multiple-image fragments to create an image that possessed a larger, more humanly perceptible sense of time and space. If you were to combine Hockney's approach with a strong urge to get a really close look at my subjects, then you might have something like what you see here.”
He continues: “Multiple points in space are combined with multiple points in time. For instance, I will collect six to nine images of the left eye and just as many of the right eye. Each was taken at a different moment in time and may have been part of a slightly different facial expression. When a pair of eyes are combined, they represent a certain passage of time. Even though each was made at 1/125 sec., a period of several seconds or, perhaps, several minutes passed by in between them. Granted, that's not enough time for aging to have occurred, but it's a long enough moment to have a thought.”
In his Jazz Noir exhibition, Meyer presents black-and-white photographs of jazz musicians made at the Iowa City Jazz Festival. The photographs are a mix of low and high key B&W prints, and as Meyer states, “A live jazz performance, especially a solo, is a very intimate experience for the listener. I have tried to capture this experience in my unique style of photography and black-and-white processing to give the viewer a feeling that the musician is playing for them.” Meyer, whose works can also be seen at RonMeyerImages.com, is a continuing-education photography instructor at Kirkwood Community College, and has been taking photographs since the purchase of his first film SLR camera. His artistic, emotive images have won numerous citations, including the Merit Award – received over five consecutive years – in a prestigious international black-and-white photography portfolio competition in B&W Magazine.
Regular Quad City Arts Center gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free, and more information on David Van Allen's Assembled Portraits and Ron Meyer's Jazz Noir: Images from the Iowa City Jazz Festival exhibits – both on display from June 26 through August 14 – is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.