Onward: A journey for Emerging Photographers
Project Basho
1305 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa
Through February 22nd, 2009

The gallery was packed and full of excitement on Saturday for the opening reception of Onward 09 at Project Basho in the Old Kensington section of Philadelphia. I would guess that most of the 59 selected photographers were in attendance along with numerous friends, family, and other interested photography lovers, including Stephen Perloff, editor of The Photo Review. The only downside to a crowded gallery is the difficulty in a careful review of all of the work. The crowds did thin out somewhat as the reception ended and I was able to take in the beautifully arranged and presented photography works selected by this year’s juror, Peter Barberie, curator of photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The shining star of this year’s show is Sarah Kaufman. Born and raised in Philadelphia and now living in New York, Kaufman has two photographs in the Onward show, “Untitled, Blue Smoke” and “Untitled, Orange Sofa”, and both received the top Juror Award. Kaufman’s beautiful and very large 40” X 40” C-Prints could have easily dominated a gallery full of mostly much smaller prints. This was not the case thanks to masterful wall arranging by gallery curator Tsuyoshi Ito. Still, they command attention, and rightly so. My eyes lit up when Sarah told me this work was shot with her vintage Rolleiflex, and she eagerly explained the lengthy and expensive process of drum scanning the negatives and working with her printing vendor to ensure the gorgeous color tones and final results in her work. The two works she has in the Onward show are part of her series, Moments of Absorption.


"Untitled, Blue Smoke" by Sarah Kaufman


"Untitled, Orange Sofa" by Sarah Kaufman


Other work in the show that caught my attention…

“Davis with Deer, Upstate NY 2007” by Phil Jackson.
Jackson is about to embark on a Winter road trip to Arizona via Florida in a 1986 Grand Prix. Once in Arizona he plans to rent someone’s back yard and live in a tree house or shed he will build himself. I can’t wait to see the photos he brings back from this trip. Good travels Phil!


“My Dream is to Realize Who I Truly Am” by Tealia Ellis-Ritter
Best portrait in a show that contains a surprisingly small number of portraits.


“After They Left” by Joetta Maue
At 4” X 4”, this little jewel was the smallest print in the show, and I wish I could have seen more of this series as a grouping.

"After They Left" by Joetta Maue


Names of all Onward 09 selected photographers


Peter Barberie
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