In March, Jan Palmer joined the Photographer’s Cooperative at In One Instant Gallery of Photography, where she exhibited a selection of unique images of mannequins, dolls and New Mexico neons and old churches. To be sure, some of the latter were in evidence at the Alliance for the Arts on Friday night, such as Lobo Theatre 2, Zia Motor Lodge and Premier Motel. But the gems in Jan’s solo show in the lobby of the Foulds Theatre are half a dozen gelatin silver prints from her Portraits in Old Frames Portfolio.
The venues for these contemplative vignettes were some old barns and farmhouses in central New Jersey. “I’d map out their location on fishing trips,” divulged Jan’s husband during Friday’s opening night reception. Then he’d drive Jan out to them with a muse or two, which often included their daughter. Once on location, Jan clearly employed her education, training and experiences as both a photographer and psychotherapist to stage portraits framed by old, weathered windows that convey reflective moments such as Alone, Lost and Blessed.
Jan also used psychotherapy to talk her way out of a couple of jams. “We were at one old farmhouse when the police showed up, demanding to know what we were doing trespassing on private property. When I told them I was a photographer on a shoot, they relaxed and simply instructed us to just leave when we finished up.” Uh huh. Bet she’s able to talk her way out of traffic tickets too.
“As a practicing therapist, I have listened, I have observed behavior and I have felt emotions in everyday one-on-one counselling sessions with patients,” says Jan. “As a photographer, I have observed light, I have captured form and have felt the passion of expression. This journey has enjoined the listening, the seeing and the feeling with the light, the form and the passion. To create photography is my expression. The images are my art.”
And her portraits in old frames are fine art photography at its best. Each portrait is reflective. Each portraits affords a glimpse into the psyche if not the soul of its subject. But more, each portrait is cleverly composed to take painstaking advantage of shade, shadows and tantalizing reflections that heighten and underscore the emotions conveyed by the faces and settings appearing within the frame.
Jan Palmer’s solo show in the Foulds Theatre lobby will remain on view in the Alliance’s main gallery through November 7, 2012.
The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state-designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance’s 10-acre campus and galleries are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial Boulevard. To become a member, please visit http://www.artinlee.org/JoinUs/membership.html or call 239-939-2787.