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Lavett Ballard / Julia Clift / Krista Svalbonas / Byron Wolfe

March 9 - 30, 2019

NoBA Artspaces, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Featuring four contemporary artists who use photography in their work, but do not produce traditional photographs. Paintings, sculptures, collages, 3D-printed objects, and video animations test the boundaries between mediums with different experimental approaches to the photographic image.


Lavett Ballard, MFA UArts, is listed as among the “Top 10 Emerging Black Female Artists” in Black Art in America.  She works with reclaimed wooden fence fragments on which she creates visual narratives about people of African descent. Combining paint, charcoal, and oil pastel with photographic reproductions, Ballard adorns images of historic figures with tribal markings, regal accessories, metallic stones, and other suggestions of royalty to restore their cultural power lost during enslavement. Her small wall hanging pieces function as “altars” to the individuals they honor, and her large, floor installations are symbolic references to the social barriers that separate people.


Byron Wolfe, Professor of Photography and Program Director at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, offers several works from his Reconstructing the View project focused on historic photographs of the Grand Canyon. Integrating careful research into his own contemporary perspectives, Wolfe compresses time and expands space through “re-photography,” presented as traditional framed prints, animations viewed through an artist-designed and 3D-printed stereoscope, 3D-printed objects derived from the animated imagery, and prints that visitors can view through a professional field geologist mirror stereoscope.


Krista Svalbonas, Assistant Professor of Art at St. Joseph’s University, produces constructions, collages, and laser-cut prints that address issues of home, belonging, migration, and dislocation. Her architecture-based imagery references the physical structures of the human environment, while the personal, ancestral, and broader cultural narratives about the identities and experiences of those who inhabited these spaces address the psychological dimensions of the environments we create for ourselves, or that might have been forced upon us. With this exhibition, Svalbonas introduces her newest, single-layer laser-cut works investigating WWII displaced-person camps in Germany.


Julia Clift, MFA candidate at Temple University,’s Tyler School of Art, uses a camera to record naturalistic images from the landscape around her, produces abstract collaged works from the photographs she prints, then creates painted compositions that reference her process of moving from real to abstracted space. The final paintings, ultimately, become complex, new spaces, where only markers of photographic perception remain. In these “landscapes,” visual cues of the built environment – power lines, artificial colors, architectural structures – play off of prominent blues, greens, and organic forms, all suggestions of the natural environment.


This project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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