Featured photo: “Land of Blue, Iceland, 4” by Aurora Berger, Prescott College (cyanotype).
If there’s one thing I noticed in my enjoyable amble through the approximately 75 photographic works on display for “Emerge: 2016” at Art Intersection in Gilbert, it is the proclivity for taking risks — with composition, models, mood, process, materials and more. And why not? The works in this sixth annual show come from students in Arizona high schools, community colleges, art schools and universities. Seems like such environments are perfect places for experimentation and newfound self-expression.
Consequently, the works aren’t all successful: some of the portraits and scenes are aspiring to share a narrative but aren’t quite clear enough in their intentions. Some of the pieces experimenting with technique are admirable in that regard but don’t quite intrigue the eye beyond that.
On the other hand, several pieces show remarkable young talent, and I was just about to hand over my credit card for a few of them to take home.
“Emerge” is on view until May 21, 2016. Submissions were juried by Arizona photographer William LeGoullon, who shoots intense and immaculate views of humankind’s intrusion onto the desert landscape, whether giving his subject matter a macro or micro treatment. His solo show at Gebert Contemporary closes May 7, 2016.
Shout-outs to these artists-in-the-making:
— Brooke Wright of Skyline High School, whose two pieces offer surrealism and a touch of humor.
— Alyssa Walkosz of Campo Verde High School, for two simply composed black-and-white compositions of pencils and matchsticks that are almost optical illusions.
— Azalea Patricia Rodriguez of Arizona State University, for a lovely use of cyanotype on an antique magazine page in “Brother.”
— William Flemer of Prescott College for documenting drought conditions at Lake Mead and Lake Powell in two well-rendered pigmented inkjet prints.
Student work in various mediums, photography included, is on view at a number of venues around the Valley, including:
— The new art gallery at Mesa Community College.
— The Young@Art Gallery affiliated with the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, in downtown Scottsdale.
— Arizona State University’s Step Gallery and Grant Street Studios in the downtown Phoenix warehouse district, an MFA thesis exhibition space.
— And, for the month of May, “Metrofitted” at Bokeh Gallery in monOrchid, featuring work from the Metropolitan Art Institute.