Photography exhibit sheds light on beauty of everyday objects

The Channels Art Pages | STAFF REVIEW

ZURI SMITH, Channels Staff

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Most people can’t recall the last time they took a moment out of their day to appreciate something ordinary.

And that’s what “Beauty in the Mundane” is all about. The exhibition, curated by Atkinson Gallery intern Cristina Marquez, is all about noticing the ordinary things in life and making them extraordinary through photography.

The purpose of this particular exhibition, which was open to all City College students for submission, was to create a space for students to photograph ordinary things they found interesting in their everyday lives.

Opening reception for the exhibit was held on Monday, March 20, displayed on the second floor of the Administration building in the SBCC Foundation hallway. The space is bright, giving it the feel of a miniature gallery.

Those who attended the reception looked intently at the pictures while holding small discussions on why each photographer chose a particular object to photograph.

The walls are lined with photographs that range from shoes to Lego pieces. Some of the photographs are in color, others in black and white.

All of the photos, however, have one thing in common, a sense of appreciation for an object that isn’t normally appreciated.

One piece that stood out is titled “Corrosives in Red” and is a picture of two metal pieces with what looks like rust pouring from them. The picture looks like it’s bleeding.

In everyday life, one probably wouldn’t take the time out of their day to notice something as ordinary as corrosion. It is after all a natural process that occurs every day.

But it was different, looking at it through someone else’s lens. Suddenly the rust wasn’t just rust.

Maybe someone will look at it and imagine that this is what the Red Sea looks like. Someone else might think of flowers. This picture made me think of my favorite television show, Dexter.

Another noteworthy work was titled “Dancin’ Shoes.” The photo is a black and white shot of dancing shoes placed on a shelf. The picture is taken from an angle, displaying the length of the shoes and the rack.

Again, a shoe rack isn’t something that one normally would take interest in. Many people have shoe racks in their houses. To most people, that’s all they are: a place to put your shoes.

But maybe it was the way the picture was taken, because suddenly I was 14 years old again, in my childhood home, placing my shoes neatly next to my mother’s. It made me think of my old laundry room and the noise that washer would make when it was finished running, the click-clack of the jackets tumbling over each other in the dryer. It made me feel like I was home.

One of the most important things about art is that every piece isn’t going to be for everybody. Someone, like myself might look at the shoe rack and feel memories of their childhood swell up in their chest. Or they may only see a shoe rack. But that’s the beautiful thing about an exhibit like this; someone might not feel something for the piece that others feel, but they may feel some way about another piece.

As a society, we never take enough time to be aware. And that’s what this exhibit is all about; being aware of what surrounds you. Being aware of what makes up the fabric of your everyday life. It’s about appreciating the small things, because maybe, that’s all we have as human beings. These small, pieces that we foolishly deem meaningless, only for them to later become an entire section of our lives.

Maybe the mundane objects in our everyday lives aren’t so mundane after all.

Correction: March 21, 2017
An earlier version of this story misstated the exhibit as an Atkinson exhibit. The Channels regrets this error.

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