Peaceful Solitude: The Film Photography of Brian Alworth

July 7 - August 20 2017
Opening Reception: July 7, 4-8 p.m.

Juried Exhibition 2016

Brian Alworth
White Sands at Dusk
inkjet color print

“Peaceful Solitude: The Film Photography of Brian Alworth” opens on Friday, July 7, in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The public is invited to view the exhibition beginning July 7. An opening reception will be held from 4-8 p.m. that evening, with an artist’s talk scheduled at 6 p.m. The exhibit will remain on display through Aug. 20. Admission is free.

Alworth is the second recipient invited to present a Crisp Museum Southeast Solo Exhibition, given to a living artist in the Southeast region who has produced a sufficient body of work, has not had a solo museum exhibition and has made contributions of their time and artistic talents to their community.

“Photography for me has always been about seeing things that perhaps others don’t see,” Alworth said. “I’m the guy that will wander away from the crowd. I tend to see the world at a bit of a distance, as if from behind a sort of virtual lens. Perhaps this is an advantage when it comes to spotting moments of quiet beauty, whether patterns of light on the wall of a narrow slot canyon or late afternoon sun through a stand of aspen in September.”

Artist Statement by Brian Alworth, February 2017 
It’s always difficult, I suspect, for an artist of any sort to turn the camera around and figure out what is going on. Photography for me has always been about seeing things that perhaps others don’t see. I'm the guy that will wander away from the crowd. I had an art expert study my photography once, and he decided that my images are often beautiful but lonely. Rarely any people. I can’t explain this completely other than to say that I had enough painful experiences in social situations that I became a bit of a loner even as a child, and to this day still often prefer only the company of nature. If there is a sign of human activity, it is something that happened long ago. You may think you hear a laugh or whisper, but it's probably just the wind. In any event, I tend to see the world at a bit of a distance, as if from behind a sort of virtual lens. Perhaps this is an advantage when it comes to spotting moments of quiet beauty, whether patterns of light on the wall of a narrow slot canyon or late afternoon sun through a stand of aspen in September. 

I still shoot mainly film on old medium and large format cameras. This is more difficult and requires more patience, but the results speak for themselves. The prints are either enlargements made in a darkroom or slides and negatives that have been scanned on a drum scanner. None of these prints have been significantly altered or 'photoshopped'; the only mischief has been adjusting color or contrast a little to get the print to look as much like the original as possible. These days I occasionally see photographers boast that one of their images is ‘straight out of the camera,’ meaning that it hasn’t been digitally enhanced. I guess one could say that all of these images are ‘straight out of the camera. 

Lately I find myself drawn more and more to black and white photography. Perhaps this is in reaction to digital photography, which seems to involve more and more software-enabled manipulation. There is a quiet, deliberate and contemplative process involved in the creating of a black and white image using a manual, non-metered camera. With enough software perhaps the image can be duplicated, but the experience cannot. 

Over the years I've had several gallery shows. My first was at a wonderful little art museum in Marquand, MO. The most recent was at the Crowe Gallery in downtown Cape Girardeau. I am very grateful to Peter Nguyen and Southeast Missouri State University for allowing me to show my work in such a beautiful setting.

Brian Alworth Bio 
Born August 23, 1960 in Twin Falls, Idaho. 
Ben Franklin High School, New Orleans, LA 1978 
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 1983 (BS in physics, BA in French) 
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO. (MS in Atmospheric Science) 
Fall 2005 Landscape Photography of Brian Alworth/ The Gallery in Marquand, MO 
June 2007 "Alworth and Crowe" combined exhibit/Arts Council of Southeast Missouri 
December 2012 Landscape Imagery of Brian Alworth/Crowe Gallery in Cape Girardeau, MO

Specializing in medium and large format film photography, Alworth has recently been drawn to black and white photography. The quiet, deliberate and contemplative process involved in the creating of a black and white image using a manual, non-metered camera is a contrast to digital photography with software-enabled manipulation. His works highlight that while images can be duplicated with enough software, the experience cannot.

Alworth is a meteorologist for KFVS12’s First Alert Weather Team in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is an avid outdoorsman and photographer. He has exhibited his work at The Gallery in Marquand, Missouri, and the Crowe Gallery and Arts Council of Southeast Missouri Gallery in Cape Girardeau.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. For more information, call (573) 651-2260 or email museum@semo.edu.

Contact

573.651.2260
museum@semo.edu
River Campus, 175 Cultural Arts Center
Crisp Museum
One University Plaza, MS 7875
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701