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Classic Hands-on Photography

Elaine Erickson’s ‘Eye of the Beholder’

Dec. 19, 2012
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Photography was traditionally defined by an artist cloistered in a dark room filled with tins of chemicals used to develop a picture on pure white paper. Twenty-first century technology moved the medium into the digital age with the click of the button on a cell phone. However, Elaine Erickson Gallery presents two artists working in the difficult form of silver gelatin prints: George Sanquist and Yong-ran Zhu.

The gallery’s exhibition, “Eye of the Beholder,” opens Jan. 18 and features visual perspectives observed through the silver gelatin print. Owner Elaine Erickson rarely displays photography, yet was won over by these two award-winning artists working in a hands-on medium that requires much perseverance.

Erickson visited their studios to learn how silver gelatin prints are made. “One print goes through seven washes in development where the temperature has to be exact, where separate washes need different temperatures,” she says. “To create a silver gelatin print becomes labor intensive, unforgiving. For every good print, there might be one hundred lost. The process itself becomes a lost art.”

For Sanquist and Zhu (pronounced choo), photography provided personal sanctuary. As a Milwaukee police officer, Sanquist, now retired, worked with the dangerous Gang Squad; Zhu escaped from Communist China leaving his family and past behind. Yet, their serene and striking photos stir the viewer’s consciousness and sensitivity to uncommon beauty.

The Elaine Erickson Gallery is located in the Marshall Building at 207 E. Buffalo St. A reception with the artists will be held Jan. 19, 12:30-3:30 p.m.


Art Happenings

Morning Glory Gallery

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Lobby

929 N. Water St.

In your search for that last-minute holiday gift, visit the Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council’s gallery filled with contemporary fine crafts made by the members. The gallery is open before holiday performances at the Marcus Center and also has regular hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon-6 p.m., or by appointment. New work arrives weekly.


“Ernest Hüpeden: Beyond the Forest”

John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts

608 New York Ave., Sheboygan

New research on early 20th century Wisconsin painter Ernest Hüpeden provides context for his artwork in an exhibition opening Dec. 16. The exhibition is the largest ever devoted to this artist’s paintings and includes works recently gifted to the Kohler Center from Jim Zanzi and Kohler Foundation, Inc.


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