Onward Compe at Project Basho


This year’s version of Project Basho‘s annual Onward show was juried by someone whose work I have long admired, the nationally known photographer Todd Hido. The show includes includes 57 photographs by 50 artists.

Stefania Chiorean, Zapada (Snow), inkjet, 10 x 14 in.

Last year the juror was Larry Fink, and the year before, Peter Barberie. To get chosen for this show is a terrific chance to get seen.

As in so many large, group shows, the olio of images is just that, a melange, which makes for a tough environment for an artist to show a single, lonely image. For the most part,  photographers can hardly earn their share of attention and understanding here. Of the images that stood out, a couple benefited from my knowing other work by the artist, thereby having the cards stacked in their favor.

Sarah Moore, Vast Nothing, inkjet, 14 x 21 in.

One of them is Stefania Chiorean, whose two storybook European landscapes I had seen and admired in a small show on Passyunk Avenue. Her Zapada (Snow), shows clothes blowing on a line in the country, with only the imprint of bold lettering on fabrics to suggest that what we’re looking at is contemporary. The other is Sarah Moore, now based in Columbus, OH,  whose people in desolate landscapes I invariably find riveting for the suggestion of a backstory along with beauty.

Aiden Simon, Untitled 18 from Twin Lakes, Digital C-print, 24 x 29.125 in. The photo manages to capture gender questions by cutting off the identity of the second lover and making the object of desire a very young male.

Unfamiliar to me, a splendor in the grass moment captured by Aiden Simon was high on my list, along with a couple portraits of gorgeous young men sitting on beds–Lara Shipley’s Victor in His Room, a back-lit profile of a guy who looks like he might be part Inca; and Ashlei Quinones’ Brett Compton, with an oppressive military portrait looming behind him.

Lara Shipley, Victor in his Room, inkjet, 16 x 16 inches
Ashlei Quinones, Brett Compton, Digital C-Print, 20 x 24 inches

Other photos I admired were by Galina Kurlat, Shawn Rocco and Chelsea Hamilton.

One of Galina Kurlat’s honorable mention winning photos, reclamation 8, inkjet, 13.5 x 18 inches; sorry about the reflections, as usual

Kurlat received an Honorable Mention award from the juror along with Emma Powell, Jessica Caisse, and Lisa Adamucci. Juror Awards went to Nigel Bennet and Barbara Diener.

The photo that won the West Collection Purchase Award, Lisa Adamucci, Be Good, Be Good, Inkjet print, 113.125×40 inches.

About 65 percent of the show consists of ink jet prints, and the quality of the digital prints has improved from so many of those I saw in the first Onward show I went to five years ago. I don’t remember the exact number of digital images that year, but it was definitely a smaller percentage than this year.

The show will remain up through March 25.



aiden simon, ashlei quinones, galina kurlat, lara shipley, lisa adamucci, onward, onward compe 2012, project basho, sarah moore, stefania chiorean, todd hido



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