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Three Fine Art Photographers Pushing the Medium at Gallery 14

INTO THE GARDEN: Hopewell’s fine art photography gallery features works by Martha Weintraub, whose “Conservatory,” shown here, is one of several garden images on view. Ms. Weintraub creates hand-colored gel transfers from her photographs to yield whimsical and often surrealistic landscapes. (Image Courtesy of Gallery 14)

INTO THE GARDEN: Hopewell’s fine art photography gallery features works by Martha Weintraub, whose “Conservatory,” shown here, is one of several garden images on view. Ms. Weintraub creates hand-colored gel transfers from her photographs to yield whimsical and often surrealistic landscapes.
(Image Courtesy of Gallery 14)

Photographers Martha Weintraub, Rhoda Kassof-Isaac, and Wiebke Martens feature in a joint exhibition at Hopewell’s fine photography Gallery 14, opening Friday June 7 and running through July 7.

Ms. Weintraub has a series of “Into the Garden” images in the show. “Since the ancient Egyptians, people have been taming the wilderness into spaces reflecting beauty, style, and status,” says Ms. Weintraub, who likens a garden to a work of art “Like painters, garden designers plan perspectives of foreground, middle, and background in their compositions. Designs thus express more than the flowers, trees, shrubs, and water features they may include; history and geography influence design; European and American gardens differ from the gardens of the Far East, which value irregularity and surprise.”

Ms. Weintraub approaches her photography as if it were painting rather than a record of reality. In Photoshop she often improvises, combining and modifying different elements to create a composition. Some of her work is whimsical and surrealistic with imaginary and colorful landscapes, while other work is sensitive consisting of lovely botanical renditions. In either case the viewer is invited to immerse oneself in quiet contemplation.

She has visited many gardens near her home and in travels abroad. For her garden images, she creates hand-colored gel transfers, post computer. She begins by taking photographs, which she then converts to black and white positives and prints on transfer film. Using a gel medium and a roller, she transfers the positives to artist’s water color paper and then hand-colors each image using water color pencils and acrylic paints.

The results are impressions of gardens, not literal translations. Her work is reminiscent of illustrations found in 19th century English literature, etchings, and Chinese and Japanese wood block prints.

Ms. Weintraub’s photographs have been chosen for a number of local and national juried shows. Her image City of Books was awarded Best in Show at Phillips’ Mill Annual Photography Exhibit in 2012. She is the current president of Gallery 14 and her work can be viewed at: www.martha
weintraub.com.

Both painter and photographer, Ms. Kassof-Isaac is a founding member of Gallery 14 and has been inspired by the group’s growth and reputation. “This gallery is a place where professional photographers gather to discuss, share, and explore the new directions that the art of photography is moving toward. Inspiration thrives, grows, and is content in this atmosphere,” she says. The collection of her works on show is titled “Look Again.”

Of the relationship between painting and photography in her work, she says; “Is this like having two languages? The two media speak with each other and offer greater inspiration.”

Ms. Kassof-Isaac is also a teacher and a psychoanalyst. She has lived in Switzerland and Italy for many years. Her photographic work is enhanced by painting on each image.

Ms. Martens has been fascinated by photography ever since receiving her first camera at age 12 and concentrated on travel and landscape when she grew up.

In recent years, she has significantly expanded the scope of her work, exploring the great variety of textures, patterns, and colors in nature.

Last year, on a tour of Iceland, she was captivated by the landscapes, from farm houses in lush, green, pastoral settings to surreal black tuff ring volcanoes. Looking closely, she discovered small flowers covering an orange rock face, algae growing on stones like hair, and beautiful basalt formations. Her images capture the contrasting colors of Iceland. Her collection “Colors of Iceland” is in Gallery 14‘s Goodkind Gallery.

Her work has previously been exhibited at Dalet Gallery in Philadelphia, Art Way Gallery in Plainsboro, and the Bank of Princeton in Lambertville, among others.

For more information and gallery hours, call (609) 333-8511.

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